Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Microsoft Outlook for Android quietly gets a 'Delete' button in the notification area.

Microsoft has quietly added a much-requested feature to Outlook for Android which lets users quickly delete an email right in the notification area. Now, Outlook users will get the options to Archive, Delete, and reply to emails in Android's notification area without having to open the Outlook app first. Prior to this update, users could only archive and reply to messages. 

The addition of a 'Delete' button to the Outlook notification is very useful for situations where the provided preview is more than enough and you don't need to take any further action on the email. I for one surely welcome the 'Delete' button.

I'm not sure if this feature is being deployed through an update or is just a server-enabled feature. Either way, you can always download Outlook for Android in Google Play Store.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Amazon Kindle for Android gets support for split screen and notification center.

Split screen is one of my favorite feature on Android and today I'm more than glad to see Amazon kindle join the bandwagon of apps supporting this feature. With this update, users will be able to multi-task while reading.

This update will also allow Amazon Kindle to show new releases, deal alerts, and more in the notification center. No need to open the app to discover what's new anymore. The update is already available globally to download in Google Play Store.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Firefox Focus browser for Android finally gets 'Find in Page' and 'Request Desktop Page' in latest update.

If you value your privacy, Firefox Focus is the browser made just for you. By default, Firefox Focus blocks ad trackers and lets you easily erase your history, passwords, and cookies. In fact, the browser cleans up everything each time you close it after use. Firefox Focus also features a minimalistic design with a few configurations options.

Today the app was updated with two new simple features. Features that you expect to find in any modern browser, like the 'Find in Page' that lets you search text on a webpage. Firefox Focus is also adding a 'Request Desktop Page' feature to easily switch between mobile and desktop versions of pages you visit.

These two new features are available in version 6.0 of Firefox Focus which can be downloaded free in the Google Play Store.

SofaScore adds a dark theme to its Android app.

Dark mode is a very useful feature and it's nice to see more and more developers adding it into their apps, making it easy on the eyes. Even Google is testing dark mode in Android P developer preview and YouTube too. Today, SofaScore, my favorite sports app, is finally adding a dark theme to its Android app.

The night mode is not enabled by default after installing the update. Enabling it can be done quickly and easily in the app settings with a simple slide to 'On'. That done, you can now follow your games in the dark without bothering your partner and blasting your eyes with white light.

The update is currently available globally for all to download and raises the version number to 5.60.1. Check it out in Google Play Store.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Netflix for Android officially introduces Smart Downloads.

Back in February, I blogged about Netflix testing 'Smart Downloads' after I noticed the feature pop up in the app on my OnePlus 5T. 4 months later, the feature is rolling out for everyone to use. As from now on, Netflix will delete episodes you've watched and then automatically download the next one for you. Of course, Smart Downloads works only when connected to Wi-Fi on your Android phone or tablet. Should you want to keep watched episodes, you can turn off Smart Downloads in the app settings. 

I've found Smart Download to be extremely useful and it's been turned on ever since Netflix pushed it to my device. If you do not see the feature yet, make sure you download the latest version of Netflix in Google Play Store.

Source: Netflix

Thursday, July 5, 2018

SofaScore update provides detailed information for World Cup 2018 stadiums.

The World Cup 2018 is ongoing and the excitement is building up as we get closer to the semis. Today SofaScore is updating its app for Android with info about the stadiums where the games will be played. With this update, SofaScore users will be able to find information about the stadium under the Details tab along with a beautiful picture, the location, and capacity. This is not a big update, but if you're the kind of fans who look into details, you'll like this one. Tomorrow's game opposes Brazil against Belgium will be played at the Kazan Arena. Unfortunately, SofaScore does not provide a detailed map, but, at least, fans will be able to use their phones and Google Maps to find their way.

The update is already available in Google Play Store for download. Enjoy the games tomorrow. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Google Drive now supports opening and viewing password-protected Microsoft Office files.

Today Google Drive for Android has been updated with Google's cloud storage service now supporting opening and viewing password-protected Microsoft office files. This is a great addition for all of us using Microsoft Office. The latter remains the gold standard as productivity tools with users and enterprises alike and it's great to see Google adding more support to the world's number one productivity tool.

Now, no matter how useful this feature is to Google Drive users, I have a word of advice. Password-protecting an Excel, Word or PowerPoint file prevent others from accessing these files and that is good. However, Microsoft cannot help you retrieve the password should you forget it. There is no official tool from Microsoft. So make sure that you use a password that is memorable, otherwise, you'll have to resort to third-party solutions, some of which are free and some not. In either case, that implies making your files and content available to whichever solution you choose. Definitely not a secure way to retrieve your password and protect your content.

This update also includes the usual bug fixes and performance improvements and is available in Google Play Store for download.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Instagram introduces Music in Stories.

Have you ever watched a movie without sound or music? And did you like it? It probably sounded weird as a soundtrack is essential to any movie and as of today, will most likely become key to your Instagram Stories.

Instagram announced the 400 million people who use Stories every day will now be able to add music to their Stories from a library of thousands of songs. Instagram added a new music icon and when you tap on it, you get access to a music library from which to browse by mood, genre or what's popular. Of course, songs can be previewed. 

Once you've found the song you like and that fits your Story, you can go even further and rewind or forward to the part of the song that best fits your Story. Instagram recognizes "that music can play an important role in how you share your moments and express yourself with friends and we're working hard to bring it to the global community in the future."

Music is available on Instagram version 51 in "select countries". However, the ability to choose a song before capturing a video is only available in iOS only, but the company says this feature is coming to Android soon. If you live in one of those "select countries", look for version 51 in Google Play Store.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Telegram for Android lets you replace media sent by mistake, add URLs to text and more.

Telegram for Android has been updated today to version 4.8.10 with a bunch of useful features and improvements. The popular messaging app is adding the ability for users to replace media that was sent by mistake. Up until now, users were able to correct such mistakes by deleting the message outright. This update improves on that and will let users simply change the photo or video right away. All they need to do is to start editing the message and tap the paperclip button to replace the attached media with the correct one. You can see that in action in the Gif below. It works so well you'll want to make mistakes on purpose :).

Telegram is also letting users share more than just a phone number as vCards. Currently, sharing a contact will send the main phone number only. Thanks to this update, users will get to select the data they want to share and that includes several phone numbers, birth dates, homes address, etc.

The rest of the changelog is also useful. Telegram added a 'create link' feature in the formatting menu so users can add URLs to text. Users will be able to preview chats with a tap and hold on profile pictures. And finally, messages can be canceled before they are sent.

This update definitely introduces some nifty features. Grab the update in Google Play Store. Happy messaging.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Microsoft adds external image blocking to Outlook for Android.

Microsoft added a "Block External Images" feature in Outlook for Android. This feature, once activated, will prevent images in emails sent by people, not in your contacts from downloading automatically. Microsoft says "Block external images setting will not block images that are embedded in the email as attachments, including most emails sent from friends and family."

While not a security threat, blocking images in emails protects users privacy as these emails can sometimes include references to images hosted on the internet and can be used to track whether someone has read an email. All in all, this blocking feature is a welcome addition if you value your privacy. 

By default, the image blocking setting is disabled. In order to activate, tap the hamburger menu - the three horizontal bars at the top left - then tap the settings icon at the bottom left. Tap your email account or any other email if you have several accounts and toggle the blocking setting. It turns blue when activated.

This update is already available to download in Google Play Store.