Thursday, January 16, 2020

F1 2020 season calendar is now available on Android.

In 56 days, 9 hours and 40 minutes, in Melbourne, about 24 of the world’s best drivers will rev up their powerful engines for the first time this year to claim the F1 teams and drivers’ championship. Lewis Hamilton, the current world champion will try to win his sixth. Hopefully, Ferrari will put up a fight this year, unlike the years where Hamilton won the previous six. 
This year, the official app has been updated with the 2020 race calendar which starts on the 12th of March in Melbourne. Session times for each round will follow soon. The changelog also states that it will be "easier than ever to replay live timing sessions with replay buttons now placed more prominently around the app after a race weekend." Of course, there are the usual bug fixes and performance improvements.
Check out the update on Google Play Store

Friday, December 20, 2019

Google Translate improves offline translation by 12% and transliteration by 20%.

The language barrier is a problem when traveling, but apps like Google Translate makes it a bit easier to read road signs and even engage in short conversations with locals. Add to that offline translation and you get the perfect translation tool in case you do not have a data plan or you're in an area where the internet is spotty. Google Translate has long offered offline translation, but it was not a great experience in some cases. According to Google, the experience just got more accurate by 12% "with improved word choice, grammar, and sentence structure." Sami Iqram said in a blog post that "some languages like Japanese, Korean, Thai, Polish, and Hindi the quality is more than 20 percent." And there's more.

Enter Transliteration. This tool helps spell and pronounce words that are written in a script you do not understand. As an example, "when you translate “hello” to Hindi, you will see “नमस्ते” and “namaste” in the translation card where “namaste” is the transliteration of “नमस्ते. Google Translate supports transliteration for the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telegu, and Urdu.

You can download Google Translate in the Play Store.

OnePlus announces new bug bounty program and partnership with HackerOne.

After suffering two data breaches in its history, OnePlus is today launching a new bug bounty of its own that will pay between $50 up to $7000 dollars to security professionals who discover threats to its security systems. To make this happen, OnePlus created the Global OnePlus Security Response Center, which, the company says, "will engage academics and security professionals to responsibly discover, disclose and remediate issues that could affect the security of OnePlus' systems...". Security professionals can find details about the programs by visiting this website. OnePlus said a public version of the program will be available next year.

OnePlus also announced that it is partnering with HackerOne which will start as a pilot program. Select researches will be invited "to test out OnePlus' systems against potential threats.

It's great to see OnePlus taking the security of its systems seriously to prevent any future mishaps.

Source: OnePlus

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.