Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Microsoft brings Skype to Android Wear.

If you own an Android Wear watch and use Skype on your phone, check out Microsoft's latest update for Skype. The Redmond-based software giant has indeed added support for Android Wear in its latest iteration of Skype for Android which will let you perform some basic tasks on your wrist without having to fetch for your phone inn your pocket, assuming that's where you keep your phone.

The first item in the change log is the reception of message notifications and view the message on the watch. Of course, Microsoft lets you reply to messages by speaking to your wrist and if you're not comfortable with that, you can choose a pre-written response or simply respond with emojis.

The third item in the change log is about calls. Here again, Microsoft brings the basic with the ability to accept and reject calls, mute ongoing conversations and hang up on your Android Wear device.

The final item is about Skype Mojis to send "short clips fro your favorite movies and TV shows in a Skype chat. This new feature seems to be an update for the Skype Android app itself.

This Skype update is available in Google Play Store.

Evernote updated with three new widgets: Actions Widgets, Action Bar and List widget.

Evernote is a great productivity tool and it just got better on Android, offering new ways to create notes on the home screen using 3 three new widgets. The previous widget was a separate app, while this update, which raises the version to 7.2, integrates the widgets.

Below are the three new widgets that come with the new Evernote:
  • Actions widget (1×1) – Need quick access to a note, the camera, or search? Pull your favorite feature out of the app into a single, dedicated icon to just start doing whatever it is you need to do.
  • Action bar (4×1) – Select from 11 different actions to create your personal best-of-Evernote functions.
  • List widget (4×2) – Shortcuts to key actions of your choosing as well as a list of notes. The source of the notes is up to you. Designate a specific notebook, use recent notes to hop into what you were just editing, or populate it with your reminders to stay on top of to-do’s.
Head over to Google Play Store to update Evernote.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Google's Clock gets support for Android wear and more.

Who doesn't use its phone as an alarm clock nowadays? Every mobile platform have a clock of their own which offer the basics. Then you have clocks from third party developers with unique features of their own. I use Timely Alarm Clock, a beautiful alarm clock for Android developed by Bitspin. The company was then acquired by Google. I was expecting the app to become the default alarm clock on Android or the design ported to Google's default alarm clock, but that never happened and the app got its last update in February. But I digress.

Google has today updated its clock app with some features that still won't make it your alarm of choice, but they're still of some interest, especially if you own a android Wear watch. Check out the change log below before heading over to Google Play Store to download the update:

  • Gradually increasing volume for alarms and timers.
  • Choose your favorite timer ringtone.
  • Preemptively dismiss alarms within the Clock app.
  • Control timers from a notification.
  • Easier alarm and timer management on Android Wear.
  • Interactive alarm notifications on Android Wear.

Gmail for Android lets you easily unsubscribe from email lists; blocking specific email addresses coming soon.

Google has made it easier for Gmail users to unsubscribe from email lists in a few taps. This feature was already available in the web version of Gmail and today Google is porting it to Gmail for Android. Gmail users will be able to unsubscribe to "eligible bulk mailing lists" in the settings of the email. 

In a blog post on the official Gmail blog, Google also announced a new email blocking feature which will roll out to Android in the coming weeks. This feature has for now been made available for Gmail on the web and will let Gmail users block specific emails. Of course, this can be reversed in Gmail settings. 

Check out the full blog post on Gmail official blog and download the update on Google Play Store

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Nokia Here Maps now compatible with Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch.

I am currently on a business trip in Washington D.C., a city I've never visited before. Thanks to Here Maps, it is very easy for me to move around that fascinating city without eating all my phone's data. I bought a prepaid data plan from AT&T and thanks to Here Maps offline maps feature, I found my way around without asking anyone and saving on my plan.

Today, Nokia has updated Here Maps and made it compatible with Samsung's latest smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S2. The change log does not say how's that supposed to work. Guess we'll have to wait to learn more. In the meantime, download the update in Google PlayStore.

Citrix Receiver gets support for Android 6 Developer Preview 3 (Marshmallow).

If your business or the company you work for is virtualized, you should be familiar with Citrix Receiver, an Android app that lets you access your work desktop on any supported phone or tablet on the go and check your corporate email and applications.

Citrix Receiver has been updated today. This update does not contain anything new, but the developers have added support for Android 6 Developer Preview 3, a.k.a Marshmallow. Head over to Google Play Store to update Citrix. While this update does add the bits to make Citric Receiver Marshmallow-friendly, it also includes a number of unspecified fixes and minor enhancements. So don't skip this update even if you're device is not running Marshmallow.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Google updates its productivity suite.

Your Android device is a great productivity tool and Google knows that. The company is regularly updating its productivity suite adding new features to make our lives easier. This week, Google Docs, Sheets and Slide were updated. The first two received some welcome additions while Slides got some bug fixes and unknown improvements.

Who doesn't use documents. Everyone does. With that in mind, Google updated Docs with search. Users will be able to do search right within Docs, no need to leave the app to start Google Search and switch back to Docs. Multitasking within Docs is certainly going to enhance your productivity. And google did not stop there as it made the formatting tools available right when you need them. Last in the change log is the customary bug fixes and performance improvements. Up next is Google Sheets.

Data crunchers or eaters will love this update to Google Sheets which will let them "visualize trends and understand data with automatically created charts and insights." Remember those frustrating moments when you tried to make an individual word bold in a cell and the formatting tool would stubbornly apply it to the entire text? That's behind us now. Sheets will let you apply formatting to individual word in cells easily. 

One of the most tedious task in Sheets is data entry, very often typing the same data. Sure copy/paste helps, but it is not a perfect solution. Enter drop downs which lets you choose cell contents based on data you already entered in above cells. Microsoft Excel users have been using this for years, as well as suggested formulas that can be inserted with a tab.

Head over to Google Play Store to update Docs, Sheets and Slides:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Microsoft Translator localized in 11 languages & auto detects text based languages.

Microsoft was first to bring a translator app to Android Wear and Google quickly followed suit. Today, Microsoft posted an update that kinds of plays catch up with Google Translate in that Microsoft added support for text based language auto detection.

Microsoft  also localized its translator app for Android with 11 languages: Arabic, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional). And finally, there is the usual bug fixes and minor user interface improvements.

Download Microsoft Translator in Google Play Store. It's free.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Besides new Maps logo, Google lets you easily compare ETAs in new update.

After announcing the logo redesign yesterday, Google did not waste time to update it's app icons as well and the search giant did not limit the updates to aesthetics either.

Google updated its popular map app with the ability to easily compare ETAs across driving, transit, walking and biking. The update also contains the customary bug fixes. And, of course, there is the new Google Maps logo.

Download the update in Google Play Store.

Microsoft optimizes Bing Search to use less battery and work faster on Android.

Microsoft's app invasion of Android seem to have slowed down a bit these days, but that does not mean the company is just content with having it's software on the world most used mobile platform.

After having recently ported Bing Search to Android, Microsoft has published an update today to improve battery usage. The update, according to Microsoft, should use less battery and work faster.

Do you use Bing Search on your Android device? Download or upgrade Bing Seaarch for Android in Google Play Store.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Nokia Here Maps adds public transportation info for Switzerland, Ottawa, Brest, Charleston and Sioux Falls.

According to the developer information in Google Play Store, Nokia still owns Here maps and they updated it today, letting users see public transport information for Switzerland, Ottawa, Brest (France), Charleston and Sioux Falls in the U.S. Here Maps is very useful for travelers and locals and one of its selling points is the offline map. A feature that even Google Maps does not offer.

Besides the new public transportation, Nokia also added the following features:

  • Long tap anywhere on the map to start drive guidance, get directions or share a location.
  • See all stops along your route when taking public transport.

Head over to Google Play Store to download/update Here Maps.

Feedly update adds Chrome Custom Tabs and Shared Collections.

Back in May, during Google I/O, Google introduced Chrome Custom Tab. Before the release of Chrome Tab, most apps used their own in-app browser or offered users the choice of browsers they had installed on their Android devices. But Google has other plans with its own browser, Chrome. With the custom tab, Google wants to make Chrome the default browser. Basically, developers can integrate Chrome Custom Tabs in their app and the latter will open when a link is clicked and will even adopt the apps theme color.  And Feedly is among those apps that uses Chrome Custom Tabs.

Feedly, the popular Android news reader picked an update today and integrates Chrome Custom Tab for a more integrated experience.

Feedly also introduces shared collections, a new way to share  your favorite sites with other Feedly users. With shared collections, you actually build your own community. There's more about shared collections which you can read about on  Feedly blog.

Download the update or try Feedly in Google Play Store