Saturday, October 12, 2019

Microsoft Launcher 5.9 brings live update to "your original calendar app icon." (Whatever that means.)

Microsoft posted an update today for their Android Launcher. The update has me confused though. The changelog says this: "Live date update is now available on your original calendar app icon, and Microsoft Launcher calendar icon is also updated with a cleaner look."

My "original calendar app" is Google calendar and the app icon is live. In case you're wondering what's a live icon, it's simply an icon that shows you today's date. In other words, this is a feature built into Google Calendar and has been there for a while, like forever. So I really don't know what Microsoft is referring to. Let me know if I'm missing something.

So there you have it. Version 5.9 of Microsoft Launcher for Android brings you live calendar app icon. And the icon has a cleaner look. 

Microsoft Launcher is available for free in Google Play store.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Microsoft Outlook for Android will soon let users RSVP from their lock screen.

Microsoft released an update today for Outlook on Android that lets users quickly RSVP to meeting requests right from the notification on the lock screen, thus circumventing the need to unlock the phone first. However, at the time I'm writing this post, only the changelog has been updated.

After installing the update on my OnePlus 6T, I decided to test the new RSVP feature. I created a test event on my iPhone and sent an invite to my account. The event did show up in my OnePlus notification on the lock screen but without the 'RSVP' feature. Only 'Accept', 'Decline', and 'Tentative" were there. The RSVP feature is still in the invite email.

I'm not sure why the new feature is missing after installing the update or maybe a Microsoft employee forgot to toggle that server switch. Anyway, check it out in Google Play store. The 'RSVP' button will eventually show up.


RSVP to meeting invites in the moment! The next time you're invited to a meeting you can RSVP right from the push notification on your lock screen.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Microsoft Outlook now lets users easily compress videos to avoid attachment limit.

Sending attachments in emails can be a frustrating experience because of the size limitations imposed on us by the service providers. All of them - Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo - have the same limitations and while they may sometimes frustrate us, users, these limitations exist to save precious storage and bandwidth. Currently, the attachment size limit in Outlook is a measly 34 MB. If sending from OoneDrive, the size gets bumped up to 2 GB. However, Microsoft Outlook for Android has decided to give its users some slack.

The latest update to Microsoft Outlook allows users to send videos that exceed the attachment limit by compressing them. The app now has an option to easily compress the videos before sending them. I'm sure some will welcome this new feature. Personally, it does not make a difference as I always upload whatever I need to share to my OneDrive and send a link to it to my recipients.

The update is available for download on Google Play store. Check it out.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Google One will now automatically backup your phone data.

Google One cloud storage went live last year offering a paid storage for backing up phone data to the cloud. Starting at $1.99 per month, users are offered storage options ranging from 100GB to 30TB to save messages, photos, videos, and contacts online in case disaster strikes. 

Yesterday Google announced in a blog post they're improving the service. Besides the standard features mentioned above, Google One will now automatically backup your phone. In addition, the service will backup original quality photos, videos, and multimedia messages (MMS). And users will be able to manage all that on their Android devices from the Google One app.

Google said, "With Google One, you already get more storage for your photos, videos, and documents—giving you the peace of mind that your memories and important files are stored in the cloud. Now with automatic phone backup, we're taking another step in helping you keep the stuff you care about safe." 

Source: Google

Thursday, September 12, 2019

How to: Send web pages from Chrome desktop to your Android phone and vice-versa.

Before diving in, first verify you have the latest version of Chrome installed on your computer and phone, and that you use the same Google account on all your devices. Using the same account is key to synchronizing such things as tabs, favorites across all your devices.

The ability to send tabs or web pages from a device to another is recent. Google took its time to implement, test, deploy the feature, but it’s been available through extensions and third-party software.

I'm going to show you how to send pages to and from your Android device. But first, you have to download and install the latest version of Chrome for Android an all your devices. Once that is done, open a website on your computer in Chrome. Then, with your mouse, right-click on the tab and select "Send to your devices". In doing so, you will see the devices on which you signed in with your Google account. Select the device you want to send the site to. You will receive a notification with the title of the website and the name of the computer from which it was sent on your phone. Tap the notification on your phone to open the page.

Like I said earlier, this works both ways. If for some reason, you want to send a page from your phone to your computer, follow these steps.

Open the site on your Android device. Then click the three vertical dots at the top-right corner and click "Share..." to open the share menu. In the menu, click "Send to your devices" - that's the icon with the Chrome icon - and click the device listed in the "Send to" menu. Click the notification in the "Action Center" on your Windows 10 computer to open the site.

It's as simple as that. I love this feature.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Google Docs for business now displays word count as users type.

Starting today, Google will be rolling out a minor but very useful update to Google Docs for businesses that will give users the ability to view their word count live while working on a document. This feature can be extremely useful if you're limited to a certain number of words in the document you're drafting.

Word Count has been available in Google Docs for a while, it just wasn't handily available and required users to stop typing, dive into the menus to fetch the data. "Instead of going to Tools > Word Count each time you want to view this information, now, you can simply select Tools > Word count > Display word count while typing to continuously display it in the lower-left corner of your doc.", Google wrote in a blog post.

There's more. Clicking on the Word Count box will provide additional information like page count, character count, and even counts per section of the document.

As I said above, the update is gradually rolling out and is intended for business users. Google did not say if Word Count is coming to home/mobile users.

Source: Google

Sunday, September 8, 2019

How to: change the background color of the Google Search widget on Android.

By default, the Google Search widget on Android phone and tablet has a white background. But thanks to Android openness when it comes to customization, it is possible to change the color to your liking and the steps to do so is very simple. Just follow through and you'll be able to customize the search bar to your liking.

If it's not already the case, add the Google Search widget to your home screen.
  • Press and hold in an empty space on your Home screen.
  • Tap Widget at the bottom of the screen.
  • Scroll down until you find Google Search in the list.
  • Tap and hold, then drag the widget to your Home screen and release.
  • That's it. Now you have the Google Search Widget on your screen.
The next step is to customize the widget with the color you like.
  • Tap the Google Search bar to open it.
  • Tap "More", then "Customize widget".
  • Tap the color palette. That's the third icon from the left.
  • Tap the edit icon. That's the first icon from the right.
  • Use the color sliders to choose the colors you want. The sliders let you mix the colors to get different color gradients.
  • Tap Done when you made your choice.
  • Go back to the Home screen and admire your work.
That's pretty easy. You may go back through these steps anytime to change the color to, say, match your mood.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Official Premier League app for Android updated with 2019/20 Fantasy Premier League season.

Originally created in 1971 by Bernie Donnelly, Fantasy football is a game in which participants assemble an imaginary team of real-life players and score points based on those players' statistics; and this is still a thing 45 years later in a variety of sports. With the Premier League starting in August, the Premier League app now includes the 2919/20 league game. So if you're into Fantasy League, hit that update button in Google Play Store on your device. I can't wait for the Premier League season to begin.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Microsoft Launcher for Android now supports Adaptive Icons; restores hidden dock.

Microsoft has updated its Launcher app for Android today and if you're using it on your device, it's worth a look. This new version introduces adaptive icons. Adaptive icons, as the name suggests, adapt to any shape or size on your device. Almost all launchers available on Android supports this feature making all app icons on your devices look the same, standardized. It's great to see Microsoft follow the trend and make its Launcher app much more pleasant and neat.

Additionally, this update restores the hidden dock. I'm not sure why it was removed in the first place, but it's back and Microsoft lets you hide the dock if you want to and still be able to access your apps and widgets.

Microsoft also made some UX adjustments which the company says will allow users to access "shortcuts when the home screen is locked."

Now, if you don't want to set Microsoft Launcher as your default, this update will still let you get notification badges for calling and messaging apps. However, if you want better accuracy, Microsoft recommends setting Launcher as your default assistant.

Microsoft Launcher is a neat launcher or assistant for your Android device. Sure there are other launchers out there, but Microsoft Launcher stands out for its simplicity. Do check it out if you're not using it yet. It's available free in Google Play Store.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Opera browser for Android now comes with a free VPN built right into it.

I use Opera browser on my Windows Computer and the reason for that being that the browser comes with a VPN built right into it. A VPN allows users to browse the Internet in a secure way and I strongly recommend you use one when connected to a public network. Unfortunately, not all browsers offer this feature. But that changes today thanks to Opera. Users won't need to subscribe to a third party VPN.

Opera had a free dedicated VPN app for Android back in 2016. However, the app was shutdown in 2017. Two years later, Opera is now offering the VPN functionality right into the Opera browser for Android; which, if you ask me, is awesome.

Turning on the VPN is very easy. Simply tap the new VPN icon at the top left corner of the browser and toggle it on. It's as easy as that. As with the dedicated app, The VPN feature remains free to use.

The new VPN feature is available in version 51 of the app. The update is available in some countries to download. But it's not available yet in Mauritius at the time I'm writing this post. Do check out in Google Play Store as the update gets gradually rolling out. Safe browsing to you all.