Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WhatsApp announces real-time Live Location sharing coming to Android and iOS.

Recently I blogged about Telegram bringing live location sharing to Android and today WhatsApp on Android and iOS is following suit with the gradual roll out of the same feature. Once the update reaches users’ devices, they will be able to share their location in real time. WhatsApp posted about this: “Whether you’re meeting up with friends, letting loved ones know you’re safe, or sharing your commute, Live Location is a simple and secure way to let people know you are safe.”

And this new feature is fully encrypted, keeping it hidden from prying eyes. Like Telegram’s implementation, WhatsApp users will be able to stop the sharing at any time or “let the Live Location sharing timer simply expire.” The blog post does not give any details about the default time the sharing stops and I haven’t got the update on my phone yet to verify this.

Live Location sharing works for one person and groups. According to the blog post, users can do this by tapping “"Location" in the attach button, there's a new option to "Share Live Location." Choose for how long you want to share and tap send. Each person in the chat will be able to see your real-time location on a map. And if more than one person shares their Live Location in the group, all locations will be visible on the same map.”

As I said above, the update hasn’t reach my device yet and WhatsApp said that the update will be rolling out in the coming weeks. Check it out on Google Play Store.

Source: WhatsApp

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Google Photos now groups your pets photos alongside humans because they're family.

Hey pet owners! Google is rolling out an update for Google Photos that will let you easily search and group together photos of your beloved pets. These photos will now show alongside people photos in the app. You will no longer have you use search terms to filter out your pet photos as they will all now be grouped in one place.

Google is making it even more easier for you. Like with people photos, you will be able to label your pet photos by name “to more easily pull up their photos in the app, or create albums, movies or photo books using their pictures.” Additionally, the update will let you search by breed or by emoji.

Back in May, Google started rolling out a new feature that automatically made a movie out of your pet photos. Today’s update will allow users to create their own movies and use “six pet-inspired” songs available in the movie editor.

Google has started rolling out the update to most countries today. Show your pet even more love by downloading or upgrading Google Photos in Google Play Store.
Source: Google

Sunday, October 15, 2017

OneNote for Android now supports password to sections, fingerprint unlocking. Read this how-to.

Today Microsoft has updated OneNote for Android to support password-protected sections with the goal to secure your notes, sensitive or not, “from prying eyes”. Securing notes is a feature that is already available in the Windows version of the app and it’s great to see Microsoft porting it to Android as part of its mobile strategy. Let’s see how to use the new feature on Android after installing the update.

After starting OneNote on your device, open a Notebook that has the sections you want to lock with a password. Tap and hold on one of your section and tap “Protect Section” in the menu to bring up the screen below where you’ll type your password twice and tap OK. After entering your password, OneNote will take you back to the Sections screen where you’ll see an unlock padlock next to your section name. Yes, OneNote does not lock the section right away. You’ll have to close and re-open the app for the password to come into effect. But wait, there’s more.

The update also includes support for fingerprints on devices with fingerprint scanners built-in. This feature does not appear right away. You must first setup a password as explained above and the next time you unlock a section, OneNote will have a toggle to enable “Unlock with fingerprint next time” you access your section. Users will still be given the option to unlock their sections with a password.

OneNote does not let you have more than one section unlocked. It will automatically lock a section after you navigate away to open another section. Which makes sense from a security perspective. However, I don’t get it why Microsoft added a “Lock All” feature in the context menu of a section. Tap and hold on an unlocked section and you will see “Lock All” there. Again, not sure why it’s there, but I may be missing a point.

This context menu also lets you change or remove the password. The former requires you enter the old password before entering your new one. To remove a password, type your password and you’re done. Note, you can do all this only after unlocking a section. These options won’t appear if you tap and hold on a locked section, obviously.

One very important detail: At the bottom of the unlock screen - see screenshot above -, there’s this very important note that says: “Important: If you lose or forget the password. OneNote can’t recover your data.” There does not seem to be a limit on the number of logon attempts. During my test, I typed a wrong password 10 times without any consequences. So, if you forget or lose your password, your notes will remain, you just won’t be able to access them anymore. Unless you remember your password. You’ve been warned.

The ability to lock sections in OneNote is a nice update for users who are security-minded. Check it out in Google Play Store.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Telegram 4.4 for Android gets live location sharing and a redesigned media player.

Today, the popular Telegram messaging app for Android has been updated to version 4.4 with a new Live Location feature that will let users share their current location to any chat in real time. Telegram writes in a blog post that this feature is “useful when you are on your way to an appointment or are trying to coordinate with friends at a large event.

The Live Location feature gets its name from the fact that users can share their location and choose how long other users in a chat can see their them. Three choices are available: 15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours. To start location sharing, simply tap the attachment icon and select location. Tap Share My Live Location for… and select the length of time convenient to you. It is also possible to share Live location in groups and “if other members of the group do the same, you’ll get an interactive map of everyone’s current coordinates.” A bar at the top will remind you that location is still active and users can stop sharing with two taps.

Redesigned media player

Telegram also redesigned the built-in media in this update to “better support the playback of MP3s and other music files you send and receive.” The blog post even offers a channel where users can experience the new media player. The channel is @cctracks. There, users will be able to download some audio files to listen to. 

Language and community-driven translation.

With the addition of French, Indonesian, Malay, Russian and Ukrainian, Telegram now supports 13 languages that can be changed in-app. In order to improve the translation, Telegram is inviting users to use their localization platform and help with proper translation. Should users find a “specific element” that is not properly translated, they can suggest “alternative word or phrase.

Check out Telegram 4.4 for Android in Google Play Store.

Monday, October 9, 2017

App Review: K-News app for Android brings Mauritian news to your fingertips.

If you’re out there looking for a local news aggregator, there is an excellent app in the Google Play Store developed by a local developer. K-news has it all in place for you. When you open the app, it provides content from popular newspapers of the country. Currently, it’s showing news articles from L’Express and Defi Media news groups. The lazy among us will appreciate that they won’t have to go out hunting for news source to add to the app and you don’t need to sign in with any of your social network accounts to pull content from the above-mentioned news source. That’s a great plus for those who value their privacy.


When you open K-News, you see a card-view layout and you swipe up and down to scroll. Swiping down from the top will refresh the news feed and pull new contents if available. You can also tap the Refresh button at the top next to the Search icon. The latter will bring up a Search screen and bar. Type in a word or phrase you’d like to search and the app will display all articles related to your search. Tap the X in the Search field to clear it and do another search. After you’re done, tap the back button on your phone to return to the app main screen.

The developer published an update today that brings some nice changes to the UI. I’m posting some pictures below that shows the old and new UI. The cards now show the news category as well and a reader counter that shows the number of times an article was read. By default, the app shows the news making the headlines first. And there is an option in the menu to show the most read ones. There’s also a Video option that pulls video content from L’Express, Defi Media and IoN Video. These filters can be found under the hamburger menu – the three horizontal bars – in the upper left corner of the app. You can also swipe from left of your screen to access them.

Old UI                                       New UI


Each card in the newsfeed shows the news tile and the beginning of the article. Tap the card to display the full article. The full news page has a picture at the top and the title right underneath it. I’ve noticed that those loads very quickly, but the article took longer to load. The text is left aligned which, in my opinion, makes for easy reading and the font size makes the text easy to read.

Each article has the sharing icon in the upper right to share to social networks or in emails. If you find a news of interest but you don’t have time to read it, you can choose to read later provided you have apps like Pocket installed on your device.


K-News is currently in beta, meaning the developer is still working on it and may have some bugs. But it is publicly available for download without the need to sign up and despite being a beta, it is very stable. I haven’t experienced any crashes. Sure, there are a lot of features that the developer can choose to add, like giving users the ability to choose the category they want to see more or support for notifications. But again, this is work in progress and I’m sure he will add more features. As of now, K-News is the best local news aggregator you will find in Google Play Store.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Live sports score app SofaScore gets new Android 8 notification features, now covers Cycling & FIFA rankings.

Cycling fans rejoice. SofaScore, the popular live sports score app on Android, has been updated today and the team added Cycling to the app. I must admit I am not a fan of cycling, so there’s not much I can write about that sport. The change log itself does not provide any details. If you’re a cycling fan, grab the update in the store to learn more.

This update also makes SofaScore compatible with Android 8.0 Oreo and will provide a completely new notification settings experience. I expect SofaScore to take advantage of the new notifications features Google added to Android 8.

Soccer managers are always the least talked about, unless they’re fired or are Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United coach. In this update, SofaScore is introducing a history chart for managers showing average points and time spent with teams.

SofaScore now also covers FIFA games and will give details on international matches and national teams.

This update, version 5.44.3, also includes the following:

·       More odds are now available in app.

·       ATP series information for tennis tournaments.

·       Information about matches played on neutral ground.

Check out the update in Google Play Store.

Friday, October 6, 2017

YouTube for Android gets a new Activity tab with two sub tabs: Shared and Notifications.

I just noticed a new Activity tab has appeared out of nowhere in the YouTube app for Android. The new tab has two 'sub tabs' under it: Shared and Notifications. The former got replaced by the new tab and got relegated to a sub tab. Notifications got promoted from users profile. In the end, it's two features of the YouTube app that are made easily accessible. No more fiddling around to find the channels you follow closely. I'm not sure though if this update is available worldwide. The YouTube app on my other Android device still does not show the Activity tab. Just check it out and with some luck, you may find it there.

Technically, this appears to be change on the server side, so I don't expect an update to appear in Google Play Store. Or maybe it will eventually and I'll keep you posted if it does.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Emirates partners with Flydubai for easy check in and booking on Android.

The Emirates app for Android has been updated today and if you are a frequent traveler or not, you might want to check this update especially if you are a customer of the low cost Flydubai airline.

The Emirates app now lets travelers of Flydubai search, book and check in for Flydubai flights within the app for a “seamless booking experience.”, and this is possible thanks to the partnership between Emirates and Flydubai.

The app also includes the usual performance improvements and bug fixes. Check it out on Google Play Store and enjoy.

Microsoft renames Arrow Launcher to Microsoft Launcher with new design and features.

Today Microsoft has rebranded its launcher app for Android. Arrow Launcher is more, make place for Microsoft Launcher. A change that makes sense as the previous one was no indication that the launcher was developed by the software giant. And of course, there is more to it as Microsoft Launcher gets a new logo, a redesign and some new features.

Top on the list of new features is the addition of “Continue on PC”. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s a useful feature that lets users easily share files from a phone to a PC running Windows 10, obviously.

Microsoft Launcher also includes support for gestures. For example, users can double tap to screen lock or swipe down to do a search, etc. Users can re-assign these gestures to perform other tasks in the app settings. The launcher also supports pining contacts to the Home screen, in folders or on the dock.

The launcher also brings an improved personalized feed which you can access by swiping from the left on the Home screen. The personalized feed can even be set as the default Home screen, bringing everything you like on your main screen for quick access.

Long time Arrow Launcher user will notice much of the change that the new Microsoft Launcher brings. For those looking for a new launcher on their Android devices, check out Microsoft Launcher in Google Play Store.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Video sharing is now faster in Google Photos for Android.

Google just made it easier and faster for us to share our videos through its excellent Google Photos app for Android. The frustration of not being able to share your videos right away due to a slow connection is now an experience that the new update to Google Photos promises to get rid of. As of now, uploading videos is not the best of experience.

The updated Google Photos will make that faster by uploading a low-res version of videos, small enough for quick sharing. The app will later replace the low-res video with the high-res video you recorded once your Android device connects to a good enough internet connection.

No more waiting to share videos with your family and friends. Wait no more and go grab the update in Google Play Store.