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

Thursday, September 6, 2018

F1 app for Android gets new race and video hub.

Halo F1 fans. There's an update for the F1 app waiting for you in the Google Store.

This update is branded as a major update and introduces a couple of new hubs. As can be seen in the screenshots below, fans will now get a new race and video hub. Basically, the bottom tabs have changed, giving fans the ablity to quickly and easily get to videos with a single tap. Personally, I find this re-design really awesome.

That said, there are more to this update. just check it out below:
  • Redesigned live timing experience with smart telemetry data and easy-to-use drive tracker.
  • Expanded driver and team biographies.
  • Improved push notifications - so you never miss out.
The update is available for download in Google Play Store. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Google adds quick-side panel to Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings to make G Suite users more productive.

Google added a quick-side panel to its productivity suite with the objective of making G Suite users more productive. The quick-side panel will allow users to do their job without leaving Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings. Three Google products will be available within these apps and they are google Calendar , keep and Tasks. So far, the side panel has been available in Gmail. This update brings the same feature to Google Calendar where users will be able to use Keep and Tasks, thanks to the side panel.

The update is rolling out now and G Suite users will start seeing it within 15 days.

Source: Google

Friday, August 17, 2018

Microsoft Launcher beta for Android lets parents ask Cortana for the location of their kids via voice and more.

Microsoft is currently serving version 4.13 of its Launcher to beta users on Android and the new verion contains some useful features for parents who monitor their kids activities on their devices. From now on, parents will be able to ask Cortana for the location of their kids via voice with a simple command: "Where are my kids?". Cortana can also now read incoming SMS messages should the user choose to activate the feature. And Microsoft AI also gets the ability to speak Indian English.

This update also includes the following new features:
  • Now you can drag and drop widgets to and from the Launcher Feed. Widgets also no longer have card headers when placed in the Feed.
  • Updates to the calendar card let you add a new event with one click when you no longer have any more events for the day.
  • Tuning fixes for the new app drawing.
This update is available to beta testers to download in Google Play Store.