Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Twitter update gets photo sharing in DMs.

Twitter today updated its app for Android. An interesting update that lets users send and receive photos via Direct Messages. A nice feature for sharing private pictures with people you follow. The update also contains some other features including:

This update includes a number of enhancements.
New design.
Refreshed look and feel. Home, Activity and Discover now available by swiping in Timelines. Easier access to DMs.
Share photos in Direct Messages.
Send and receive photos via DMs.
Notifications from your network.
Choose to view Replies, Retweets, and Favorites from only the people that you follow.
Receive Push Notifications from the people you care about most.
Favorite their profile to receive a Push Notification any time they tweet.  

The update is available for download in Google Play Store.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

FIFA launches its official [World Cup] app for Android.

With the 2014 world cup behind the door, it comes as no surprise to see the world football regulator release its own app for fans worldwide to keep tabs on the event on their phones and tablets. But since the major event is still months away, it does have another purpose and deserves a place on your favorite device now as it provides you with news, stats, live score for the world's top leagues, an all-in-one app for soccer fans around the world. But there's more.

The app will give you access to the FIFA final draw live on December 6 which will determine the fate and path of your national team in the World Cup 2014. The app will also provides access to videos from FIFA TV studios and archives but does not mention live streaming of games.

The FIFA app is free and can be downloaded on Google Play Store. An iOS version is also available.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

HTC releases HTC FootballFeed app for UEFA Champions and Europa leagues.

HTC has launched an Android app that lets soccer fans to follow UEFA Champions league and Europa league on the go. The app, called HTC FootballFeed, has been released today. FootballFeed looks similar to Blinkfeed, the built-in news reader for HTC devices. As such, HTC FootballFeed provides soccer fans with news, stats etc. Also included is push notification  and a 15 minutes reminder before a game starts so you don't miss anything whether you're on your couch or away from your TV or home.

HTC FootballFeed is a free download from Google Play Store and requires Android 4.1 (Jelly bean).

- Designed for an efficient, unique user experience,
- Official updates direct from UEFA and HTC,
- Squad line-ups for each match,
- Push notifications, so you never miss a thing,
- Countdown clock for upcoming matches, 
- Standing tables for both Leagues,
- Club pages with relevant facts and stats

Monday, November 18, 2013

InstaWeather introduces InstaWeather Friends.

InstaWeather is an app that lets you share the weather at your location as an overlay added to your photos. Simply snap a picture with your phone and InstaWeather adds your location, temperature and weather stickers that you can then share to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

In an update published today, InstaWeather version 3.0 introduces InstaWeather Friends which lets you see the weather at your friends location. For that to work, all that is needed is a connection established between InstaWeather and Facebook. No need to manually enter your friends location in another app to get that info.

InstaWeather is available in two versions: The free ad-supported one and paid ad-free Pro ($1.94) version.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Adobe Reader version 11.1.0 gets in-app purchase.

In the latest update, Adobe Reader lets users buy Adobe PDF Pack and Adobe ExportPDF from within the app. As for the rest of the changes, check out the log below:

What's New
• Buy Adobe PDF Pack and Adobe ExportPDF services from within Adobe Reader
• Convert documents and images to PDF using Adobe PDF Pack
• Export PDF files to Word or Excel using Adobe ExportPDF
• New and improved Text Search using snippet views
• Online help to learn more about Adobe Reader
• New, modern File Browser UI experience
• Multi Window support
• Improved performance for x86 devices

Source: Google Play

Saturday, November 2, 2013

WeChat gets KitKat compatibility, Google Contacts support and more.

WeChat is a multi-function messaging app that is extremely popular in China and other asian countries with over 50 million downloads for a platform that boasts 300 million active users. As with other platforms of its kind, WeChat gives free chat and video sessions to its users including a push to talk mode. WeChat is also a multi-platform app in that it works on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. 

WeChat has been updated to version 5.0.3 with the following changes:

- Fully compatible with Android 4.4
- Sign up via Email
- Add Google Contacts to find more friends
- Make Voice Call to WeChat friends
- Manually clean WeChat files to save space
- Export chat history via Email
- Edit and send Favorite Messages to friends

Friday, November 1, 2013

Voxer gets rich notifications, Halloween theme, larger group chats.

A walkie-talkie or push to talk app is both fun and useful and Voxer is one of those apps for Android that does that well. It lets you easily communicate with friends or group of friends. Voxer exists in two versions and they are both free: the business and the regular, end user version. Let's go see what's new in the latest update. One of the nice addition is the ability to listen and respond to messages right from the notification center.

What's new:
Everyone has their own username. Tell your friends - usernames make finding your friends easy. Voxer Pro users can go to their profile and pick their own username.
Halloween theme
Check out the new ‘Spooky Hallow’ theme.
Rich Notifications
Voxer Pro users can now listen and respond to their messages right from a notification.
Larger group chats
Group chats can now be up to 500 people for Voxer Pro users.
Share messages
Voxer Pro users can share their messages through email or SMS.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Display Instagram, Tumblr & Pinterest posts and photos on Facebook Home lock screen.

More and more features are being added to the official Facebook app for Android that you may not use your PC browser to access it anymore. In the latest update published today to the Play Store, Facebookers get a lock icon next to their names for quick access to their privacy settings. I'm sure this has been high on users' suggestion list. 

US users are blessed with the ability to set reminders for their upcoming favorite TV shows. Of course the update also contains the usual bug fixes.

Finally, devices that support Facebook Home, will now display posts and photos from Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. These added features should bring some love to Facebook Home. LOL.

Download Facebook for Android from Google Play Store.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Angry Birds Friends: Spooky Halloween tournament with zombie Pigs.

With Halloween behind the door, the eternal Angry Birds franchise had to come up with something to keep you entertained. Rovio updated their social-friendly Angry Birds Friends today featuring a new tournament based on the Halloween theme that will start tomorrow, October 23. What's the spooky episode all about?

Zombie Pigs!!! You start the game by popping the pigs like you used too. Nothing spooky here, except that they come back in the form of living dead.  So how do you go about killing creepy zombie pigs the Angry birds way, you may ask. Simple. Just just pop them again. Two pops help you fight your way through the tournament. And to make things even more fun, Rovio has added an awesome custom slingshot to help you boost your score. It is a one time purchase and is afterwards forever yours to keep.

The new Halloween episode is a free download in Google Play Store. Have fun.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New floating contextual menu for Contact + in version 3.17.0.

Remember the days when contacts list on smartphones were limited to initiating calls or text messages. These days are fortunately behind us. Contacts management and interaction have evolved and we are now able to do more than just phone calls and sending SMS. These interactions are somehow by default limited to Facebook and Twitter. 

Enter Contacts +. A smart app that offers more features beyond just Facebook and Twitter. As a dialer app, Contacts+  is the app you need to interact with your friends on Whatsapp, LinkedIn, WeChat, Google, Hotmail, Skype. All in one place.

Contact + has been updated yesterday with new quick actions buttons, which are like floating buttons from which you can quickly perform actions like calling, messaging or emailing a contact. 

Change Log:
+ New Quick Action Buttons:
You can now choose what happens when you long press a contact in the main screen!
You can choose from: call, text, email, or have a animated popup that will allow you to choose the action.
Note: the quick actions buttons can be customized via the settings menu
+ Bug fixes

Contacts + is a free app that can be download free from Google Play Store.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Feedly gets faster and a new widget.

Last July, the internet went into a frenzy when Google announced the discontinuation of Google Reader, its popular news reader. We will never know how popular it was, but those who liked the service were very vocal when Google announced its decision. I was a user of Google reader on my Galaxy Nexus, but since my main driver is a Windows Phone, I had a news reader there to compensate for the loss of Google Reader. 

The hunt of a Google Reader replacement had started in Google world and it was not long  before an app would step up to replace Google Reader. Feedly arrived and was quickly adopted by Android users. Now the app has over a million downloads in Google Play. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the defunct Google Reader had a much higher download numbers. Anyway, G reader is dead, long live Feedly.

Feedly has been updated with a bunch new features. Here's what's new in version 1.7:

★ Faster and more fluid experience
★ Enhanced readability
★ New widget
★ New discover section
★ Fixed auto-refresh issue
★ Improved feed search
★ Samsung Gear optimization

I'm curious about the Samsung Gear optimization. Not you?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fixes: Opera Browser beta & Chrome Beta for Android.

Both browsers for Android have the Beta moniker but not for the same purpose. Chrome beta is the app Google uses to test new features with the help of users like you and me before pushing them out to the official Chrome browser for Android. A treat for early adopters and developers. I'm not sure about why Opera still is in beta version though. I must admit that despite having installed on my Nexus, I never use it. Yes I'm a Chrome boy.

Both browsers have received a bunch of fixes and performance enhancements in the last updates. See the change logs for both browsers below:

Chrome Beta for Android:

  • 263870: History search textbox disappears when search term is deleted
  • 273763: auto complete in Omnibox not functioning properly with gesture based keyboards
  • 283616: After Chrome update, Swype enters double words when touching space bar, delete with backspace word reappears
  • 280717: Chrome on Android should only enable accessibility for "real" accessibility services

Known issues:  
  • 274432: [Tablets] First suggestion is auto selected when we scroll the window upward
  • 289768: [Android] Mobile Gmail compose page email fields do not work with Swype 3.26.*
  • 276550: A bit of first letter of an URL in omnibox is cut.

Source: Google Play Store

Opera browser beta

- Chromium upgrade to version 29
- Compression method change in Off-road mode
- Improvements in download manager
- Improved NFC communication
- Various stability and performance fixes

Pocket Casts gets Chromecast support, pending Google approval.

I received my Chromecast this week after almost a month wait. We all remember how fast the $35 dongle sold out shortly after its announcement during Google IO. It was well worth the wait anyway. It's so much fun to instantly launch a karaoke from my phone or watch whatever YouTube has to offer. As of now only Youtube, Netflix and Chrome browser supports Chromecast. It should not take long to see other apps take advantage of it.

Coincidentally one of the first to add Chromecast suport to its app is ShiftyJelly's Pocket Casts, an app I use for my podcast consumption and one that I recommend. Pocket Casts published an update that adds Chromecast support. The thing is, the new feature is not activated yet as it seems it has not got Google's blessing. I don't know how that works, but it seems that the folks at Mountain View have to have their say into which app gets to support Chromecast or not. No matter what, I hope this is not one of these long corporate procedures.

Besides announcing the Chrome cast support into Pocket Casts, the update also contains a bunch of new features. See the change log:

What's New
- Need for Speed 5, Android Drift: faster podcast grid, faster playlists, faster everything
- Auto download added for podcasts :)
- Quickly blow away boring episodes with our bulk delete feature (long press on an episode to enter)
- Fancy Pants Official Google side menu thing
- Bug fixes. Didn't see that one coming, did you!
- Chrome Cast support: we can't ship it until Google lets us. Residents of Mountain View: go poke some Googlers for us.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Accept LinkedIn endorsements right on your Android.

LinkedIn for Android was updated today with the ability for users to accept endorsements and endorse others right on the device. This feature was much needed as now users are not required to access the professional network website to process skills endorsements they have pending.  

LinkedIn, just in case you ignore it, is a social network for professionals. If you're on the lookout for a job, create a profile on LinkedIn and post your CV or any details that can help put you under the radar of the recruiters who roam the network. And this update makes it easier for you to apply for select jobs with just one tap by using your LinkedIn profile.

The app is a free download on the Play Store.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Facebook Messenger gets animated stickers in messages.

Heavy users of Facebook Messenger will most likely like this new feature that some stickers are now animated in messages. Besides this fancy addition, the app supports more languages: Croatian, Hungarian and Slovakian. Add to that the usual bug fixes and you get an update that is available for download from the Play Store.

What's New
- Some stickers are now animated in messages—see Pusheen, Beast and Anooki wave, dance and wiggle! (Android 4.0.2 and higher)
- Plus, the app is available in more languages: Croatian, Hungarian and Slovakian
- Bug fixes for reliability

Chrome Beta update fixes flickering on HTC One.

Chrome Beta is the app that Google uses to test features before publishing them to the official version of its browser for Android. Since Chrome beta is available for download in the Play Store, early adopters are welcome to download and test those features and give feedback to the team. An excellent way to get various views and experience from users around the world. 

Today's update does not any new features, but include the following fixes:

  • 260227: Space missing from suggestions in when query contains a typo
  • 272062: Simple Cache heap peaks during index regeneration
  • Support for input
Known issues:
  • 237839: Blue shadow on edit context menu
  • 263870: History search textbox disappears when search term is deleted
  • 268896: Samsung S3 - Quitting app,when open new tab while playing mse video
  • 261822: Partial white flashes and background border issues during tap-to-zoom
  • 266572: Flickering on HTC1
Download: Play Store

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Angry Birds Friends updated with Toons Channel.

Angry Birds, like Mario or Sonic, is now part of those games franchise that will probably never die. At least, it will survive as long as there will be eggs on this planet. Rovio published a 47.84MB update to the store today that adds the popular Toons Channel to the app so users can watch full Angry Birds Toons episodes and other videos on their devices.

Angry Birds Friends has also been updated with support for upcoming tournaments with special themes, new graphics and more interactive levels. Obviously, this update has the usual improvements and fixes to make the birds, pigs and eggs last longer and perform faster on our favorite platforms.

Download: Google Play Store

Long live the birds.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Contacts+ for Android gets new widget.

If you need something more than the default contact app on your Android, you should definitely consider Contact+. With it you can send regular text messages, interact with your friends on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter etc. All in one place without the need to switch between apps.

Contact+ was updated today with the following features:
+ Bug fixes
+ For Android 4.0+ devices - supporting a New (free!) Widget, downloadable separately and includes:
Groups selection (based on phone contacts)
Themes: light, dark&black
Click action selection per contact: call, text, send WhatsApp message or open contact
Resizable & Scrollable !
Lockscreen enabled :)
Note: Once the widget is installed, place it on the homescreen by entering the apps drawer >> click widgets tab >> select “Contacts+ widget” (press & hold) >> drag & drop.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

App updates: Google Translate, Google+, Maps, Avast, CNN, Box.

This is a list of updated apps I have installed on my Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.3. Checkout those apps if you do not have them on your Android. 

Google Translate
What's New:

  • Handwriting input is now available for Hindi and Thai.
  • Camera input is now available for Afrikaans, Greek, Hebrew, and Serbian.
What's New:
  • View, edit and share photos stored in Google Drive
  • Pull to refresh content in the stream and notifications
  • Locations improvements: share your city-level location, control who is displayed on the map
  • Easier switching between different accounts and pages
  • Google Apps for Business support: restrict posts to the domain, domain icons to identify members
  • Hangouts app replaces Messenger for messaging and video calls. Visit Google Takeout to download your Messenger data.
What's New:
  • Scale bar lets you see distances on a map 
  • Bug fixes
What's New:
  • New App Locking Feature (Premium)
  • New Ad detector feature in privacy advisor (Premium)
  • Dashboard redesign, plus additional interface changes to improve user experience
  • New features inside Anti-Theft (e.g Geo-fencing, picture taking)
  • New Backup functionality
  • Bulgarian language added
What's New:
  • Crash and bug fixes to resolve video player issue experienced after updating devices to Android 4.3
What's New:

v2.2.1: Bug fixes including those for uploads on Android 4.3 and Nexus 7 layouts
New left-swipe navigation drawer
Revamped updates feed with document preview and new filtering options
New resizable home screen widget with scrolling
Ability to sort a folder by name, date, or size
Grid (icon) view for files
Ability to switch between multiple Box accounts from inside the app
Real-time updates to offline files while inside the app
Localized file and folder sizes
Finnish language support

Happy download :-)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Twitter for Android gets two-factor authentication, new gallery view.

Twitter has added two-factor authentication to its official app for Android today in an update published in Google Play Store to protect users' account with login verification. This new feature can be activated and managed within the app itself. I strongly recommend that you activate it. Better be safe than sorry.

The update also lets you enjoy a new gallery view for photos in search results and includes the usual bug fixes and improvements.

Get the update on Google Play

Facebook update brings Chat heads to mid-range devices.

Chat heads was initially restricted to devices supporting Facebook Home, the failed attempt by Facebook to take over your device. Home was meant to be the main point of entry to access your phone features as it worked more like a launcher, an intrusive one which did not garner much support from users. But not all was bad about Facebook Home. 

Chat head remains quite popular and it seems Facebook has noticed and is bringing it to those devices that cannot handle Facebook Home. In the latest update to Facebook Messenger, they added support for Chat Heads for mid-range devices like the Samsung Galaxy Y and HTC Wildfire. A bug on the Sony Experia U which caused chat heads to appear incorrectly was also fixed.

Finally, the usual bug fixes are also part of the update as well as improvements to use less battery.

With this update, Facebook Messenger reaches version 2.6.1. If you haven't received the update notification yet, get it on Google Play.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

HTC One Mini announced.

Glacial Silver HTC One Mini
The long rumored HTC one mini has been officially announced today. The device is 13% smaller and 17% lighter than its big brother, the HTC One. It even shares some specs with the HTC 8X notably with a 4.3 inch, 720p display (341 PPI), 16gb of storage, 1gb of RAM, 1800 math battery. But the comparisons stop here.
HTC One and HTC One Mini

The HTC One Mini runs Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5. Like its big brother, the One Mini also sports the HTC UltraPixel, BoomSound, Zones, Highlight Videos, dual-frontal speakers.
Stealth Black HTC One Mini

-4.3 inch, 720p display (341ppi)

-HTC UltraPixel camera (4mp), f/2.0 aperture, 28mm lens

-Front-facing 1.6 megapixel camera, BSI sensor

-Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core CPU at 1.4 Ghz

-Android 4.2.2 with HTC Sense 5

-16 GB of storage, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM

-1800 mAH embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery

-2G Network Coverage: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

3G Network Coverage EMEA: 900/1900/2100 MHz with HSDPA up to 42 Mbps
3G Network Coverage Asia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSDPA up to 42 Mbps
4G LTE Network Coverage EMEA: 800/1800/2600 MHz
4G LTE Network Coverage Asia: 900/1800/2100/2600 MHz

-Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX enabled / Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n

-Size: 132 x 63.2 x 9.25mm / Weight: 122g

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Skype adds signout to all screens and fixes some bugs.

Since the last update to Skype for Android last week that saw the popular app get a redesign that brought it closer to its Windows Phone counterpart, there has been a lot of complaints or feedback if you prefer, about the way user sign out of the app. Again like the Windows Phone version, users who wanted to log out of Skype had to go to their profile to do so. Skype has issued an update today that fixes this issue and let users log out from any of the home screens, including the profile screen.

Skype also included some bug fixes "including one that might have prevented you from making any calls or changing your status to online."

We can only salute Skype promptness.

Download: Google Play Store

Friday, July 5, 2013

Opera Browser beta updated.

The Chromium based browser for Android got a slew of updates and fixes today. Check out the change log:

- Based on Chromium 28.
- Improved startup-time.
- Improved tab-UI animations.
- New "open in private tab" context menu.
- New video control to download the video.
- Improvements and bugfixes to fullscreen web pages.
- Fix for bug causing Opera to crash after system language was changed.
- Fix for bug causing Opera to randomly display a black screen.
- Memory leaks plugged and general stability improvements

Source: Google Play Store

BBC News app for Android gets push notifications and landscape support.

The official BBC News app for Android has been updated today. Users will now get breaking news pushed to their devices on the go. As with other news app, notifications will show up in the notification center for quick and easy access to the breaking news. The update also adds landscape support to all Android devices. 

New in this build:
• Push notifications for big breaking news stories
• Landscape support for all devices
• Various bug fixes including an issue that occasionally caused duplicate push notifications.
Account permission is required to determine if your device is capable of receiving push notifications.

BBC is free for download in Google Play Store.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Today's app update: Gmail, Google Search, Evernote, Adobe Reader, Barcode Scanner...

Quite a few updates on my Galaxy Nexus this morning. Two Google apps update are the most noteworthy with Gmail getting the Delete button back as a default. For some reason, the folks at Google thought users had no need of the Delete button to delete their emails.


What's in this version:
• Delete and archive actions appear by default - control this in Settings
• Tap sender images to select multiple emails in the conversation list
• Bug fixes
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and up

Google Search

What's new:
For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean)
• Information about shows you're watching on your internet-connected TV (US only).
• Saved offers when nearby a redemption location
• New voice action: play music from your phone or the Play Store


• Fixes sync issue
• Reduces app size

Adobe Reader

What's in this version:
• Critical bug fixes for Forms
• Fix for font size issue in Reflow mode

Barcode Scanner

What's in this version:
Android 2.3.3 or later is required now.
The Holo theme is enabled on Android 3 and later.
The barcode scanning rectangle has been enlarged slightly on some devices.
The chosen preview size has changed on some devices, in order to accommodate the space taken by the soft navigation bar.