Saturday, December 15, 2018

Google wants you to share calendar files via SMS.

Google, or someone at Google, thinks that Android users want to share calendar events via SMS. Yes via SMS. What a great useless idea. I never share calendar events and I doubt I'd do it via SMS, which I consider as obsolete in the age of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other cross-platform messaging apps.

Similar to Apple, Google believes you need that feature. You just don't know it yet. Now you have the ability to share calendar events via SMS with friends.

The update is rolling out now in Google Play Store. You have no choice but to download the update and move on.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

New Adobe Photoshop Express for Android lets you seamlessly share photos to Instagram.

Adobe Photoshop Express for Android just got better today thanks to an update that will make users happy, especially those with an Instagram account. Instagram is a very popular photo sharing platform, more popular than Snapchat and gradually gaining more and more users. A popularity that parent company Facebook is now trying to monetize and I'm not sure that move will play well with users. Only the future will tell. but I digress.

In this update, Adobe is adding the square aspect ratio for Instagram. Users will be able to share photos to Instagram "without worrying about the 1:1 aspect ratio. PhotoShop Express will handle that automatically. This is a great addition.

PhotoShop Express now supports "Split Tone". This new feature will let users "add different colors to the shadows and the highlights of an image to create a surreal effect."

That's it for this update. Head over to Google Play Store to download or update Adobe PhotoShop Express and enjoy hassle-free image editing to share on Instagram.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Amazon will roll out continuous scrolling and a new mobile-friendly format for magazines in the coming weeks.

Amazon Kindle for Android received an update today. However, the update prepares the app for upcoming new features. Amazon announced the updates will be rolling out in the coming weeks, with no precise dates.

The first item listed is the ability to activate continuous scrolling in the app in the Aa menu. The latter is found at the top of the app and lets readers change font size, color and more. I'm not a fan of continuous scrolling. I prefer to manually turn the pages. Call me old school if you want but that's how I like it and no doubt a lot of readers out there will enjoy continuous scrolling.

For the readers with magazine subscriptions, Amazon is introducing a mobile-friendly format for the following magazines initially: Food Network, Cosmopolitan, Time, Popular Mechanics, and 200 others. That's a lot for initial titles. No doubt, subscribers will appreciate.

I will update this post when Amazon starts rolling out these new features in the coming weeks. In the meantime, download the update in Google Play Store.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Amazon Kindle for Android lets users filter libraries to just show samples.

Amazon Kindle brings over a million books to your Android devices for your reading pleasure. One of my favorite features that the online bookstore offers is the ability to download and read free samples before actually buying the book. A unique feature when it comes to online shopping.

Today the app was updated with a nice and simple feature. Users can now filter their libraries to just see downloaded samples. Like I said, a minor but helpful update.

The update is live for download in Google Play Store.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Language learning app Duolingo for Android now offers two additional languages: Hindi and Indonesian.

Learning a new language used to be challenging, but thanks to apps like Duolingo, learning is made easier and fun. Add to that the ability to learn on the go, we are able to also learn faster. Duolingo is my favorite language learning app and my daughters also use it. As their dad, I can tell they are improving based on their school grades. Duolingo also lets me track their progress online and via daily emails notifications.

Duolingo was updated today with two additional languages and they are Hindi and Indonesian. That's two more languages you can start learning right away. That is all in this update. Check it out in Google Play Store

Duolingo also offers the following languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto and Turkish. And there's probably more. Happy learning!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Apple Music for Android updated with new Friends Mix and more.

Apple Music on Android brings over 40 million songs for users to listen online or offline and the app has been downloaded over 10 million times. Which is not bad considering how antagonistic Apple and Android fans are. And the reviews in Google Play Store are quite positive. 

In case you're wondering, I had to resort to Apple Music for my music consumption for the simple reason that Google's Play Music is not available in my region. Sure I can buy or rent Movies, but no music. And now I'm deep into Apple's musical ecosystem, no matter what Google does, the chances to get me out of it equal to zero. So much for you Google.

This update includes some nice features, but my preferred one is the "Friends Mix". Basically, it compiles a list of the songs that the app thinks I'll like from everything my friends are listening to. This is cool and saves me from browsing the long list of songs available on the platform. And better yet, Apple Music also plays the top 100 songs from countries around the world. Again saving me from perusing the list for something I like. I'm kind of lazy if you haven't figured out by now.

Here are the other features in this update:

  • Android Auto: The best of Apple Music in your car.
  • Search by Lyrics. Use a few of the words to find a song.
  • New Artist page: Play an artist with one tap, or browse all the music with the improved design.
Apple Music is free to download in Google Play Store. Subscriptions start at $4.99 per month. 

LocalCast for Chromecast Pro is free provided you're willing to watch short video ads.

On my list of most useful gadgets, Chromecast is deeply entrenched in the second place behind, obviously, my phone. It's amazing how a $35 casting gadget make such an impact on how I consume and share digital content. But like all things, Chromecast also has its limitations and one of them being the lack of support for local files casting. There have been some minor improvements over the years, but nothing compared to apps like LocalCast for Chromecast.

Basically, LocalCast is capable of casting every file formats available from mp4, mkv, 3gp, m4v. And it does that from a variety of sources, not just limited to your devices. LocalCast will happily cast from NAS, Google Drive, Google+, Dropbox and even a webpage.

LocalCast is available in two versions in the Store: The free and pro version. The latter contains no ads; lets you search your device for contents; displays a video preview in certain areas of the app. While I don't mind paying to support an independent developer, it's nice to see that in the latest app update, the developer is making the pro version "free". Well, you have to watch a short video ad to unlock the app's pro features and they remain available until the app is restarted. Not a big price to pay to take full advantage of LocalCast.

The update also reduces the app download size from 10.31MB to "around 9MB".

Check out LocalCast in Google Play Store. Happy Casting! 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

YouTube for Android gets a Dark theme.

Finally, Google has added a dark mode to YouTube, helping to make the app a little easier on the eyes. 

Here's how to enable it:

  1. Tap your profile picture at the top right of the screen.
  2. Tap settings.
  3. Tap general.
Dark theme is the second option on the General page. tap the slider to enable it and voilĂ !

he dark theme is available in version 13.35.51. Download it in Google play store.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Android Messages app gets dark theme; Messages Web gets GIF search and more stickers.

SMS is here to stay and no WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger will ever change that. That's the reason Google keeps updating Android's official app for texting and chat. Android Messages was recently updated with web support, allowing users to send and reply to messages on their computers without having to pick up their phones. A very handy feature that Google is improving furthermore with the last update. 

Android Messages is getting a new look. Not that Google entirely redesigned the app; it pretty much looks the same. But they added a dark theme and if you've been following Android news lately, dark theme is making the headlines as Google kind-of working, not to say struggling, at bringing a dark theme to Android. 

In addition to dark theme, Google is also giving some love to Messages web with the ability to search GIF and stickers. A great addition if you're fans of those.

Of course, this update includes the usual anonymous bug fixes and performance improvements. Android Messages is available for download in Google Play Store.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Microsoft Edge for Android now lets you sign in with work or school accounts and see inked notes from PC.

If, like me, you're among the happy few who use microsoft Edge browser on your Android device for some reason, Microsoft updated the app with some new features today. Folks with work or school accounts will be able to sign in with those accounts to access their "protected organizational sites".

This update will also allow users to see inked notes on their phones. These inked notes will come from your PC since Edge on Android does not support this feature yet. Finally, if you read books in Edge, you'll be able to search for words. 

I made Microsoft Edge the default browser on my OnePlus because of the "Send to PC" feature which I find to be extremely useful for site and file transfer. It's very straight-forward compared to using Bluetooth. If you need a reason to use Edge, I just gave you one. 

Microsoft Edge for Android is available free to download in Google Play Store