Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pocket Casts for Android gets a Download Manager and more.

With the year ending, Shifty Jelly, the developer of popular podcast app Pocket Casts, has issued "one last update" for Android. As usual, Shifty Jelly published a quite humorous change log:

Belief Agnostic Gift Giver GuyGal brings you:

- A Download Manager, for you know, managing your downloads.

- The option to automatically add new episodes to Up Next (check your podcast settings)

- Fixes, lots o'fixes.

Have you been naughty or nice? Does Agnostic Gift Giver GuyGal watch you when you're sleeping? Best not to overthink these things and enjoy the break!

Shifty Jelly gets the award of the best change log and the best podcast app. Happy Holidays.

Update Pocket Casts in Google Play Store here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Send 30-seconds videos with Viber for Android.

Viber for Android has been updated today with new features that, no doubt, will be useful for the holidays seasons. The first feature lets users send instant video messages with a tap and hold to capture 30-second videos. Simply release to send the videos. The update also feature a chat extension to find and share online content from your conversation screen: "Select the "@" icon, search for content and share directly fro the results with a single tap." The emoticons also get a new fresh look. Finally, the update adds support for larger group chats, with up to 250 people. Let me know if you ever have a chat with that much people.

The update is live in Google Play Store for download.

Gameloft brings new tournament to Asphalt 8: Airborne with tons of rewards.

I absolutely cannot afford any of the cars which are part of Asphalt 8: Airborne holidays package: BMW M2, Bentley (Isn't that a watch? :)) etc. I probably wouldn't be writing this post if I had any of these cars, and would probably be posting to Instagram a lot, Kardashian-like. 

It's difficult to find sleep on Christmas night, and this applies to all of us, not just kids. If you can't sleep, why not use that time doing something fun and driving luxury cars around the world. Gameloft the game maker for Android and the other Mobile OS platform, came up with some tournament for the holidays.

The Holiday Cup tournament started on December 18 and will last until December 25. Then you have the New Year's Eve Cup and the Countdown Cup. The tournament takes place in the Alps, Venice, Iceland, Rio. Drive your cars throughout the entire tournament to progress in the games and win rewards in the form of credits, tuning kits, tokens credit and, obviously, cars.

Check out the update in Google Play Store and Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Box for Android now lets you upload folders into your Box account.

We never have enough of storage, be it on our devices or in the Cloud. The latter being extremely useful after we've filled up our devices' on-board storage with pictures and videos and with the holidays season upon us, additional storage is more than welcome. In addition to whatever cloud storage you have, and if you haven't considered it yet, Box is also an alternate choice if you're looking for some free gigs of storage. 

Box has been updated to allow its users to upload folders to your new or existing Box account. Current users will need to update the app on their Android device to easily upload their pics. New users will also get to enjoy this new feature and also get 10 GB of free storage and a limit of 250 MB of files upload. A nice offer in my opinion.

Head over to Google Play Store to update or download Box for Android.

Share a personalized holiday message with Skype for Android.

The holidays season is almost upon us and I assume we're all looking for ways to share the festive mood with our loved ones. While there are dedicated sites to send our wishes with e-cards, we must not forget that we also have apps to do that and in most cases, apps that already installed on our phones. With that in mind, Skype for Android has been updated to allow you to send a video message to people you care from your phone at any time. 

In the update published this week, Skype added a snowflake themed holiday card to share a personalized messaged to your Skype contacts. Simply update from the store using the link at the bottom of this post. Then start Skype and you will see a new "+" button labeled "Holiday card". Tap on it and Skype will launch video with falling snowflakes. Record your video and share it with your loved ones. You can use both the front and back camera. A nice and easy way to wish your loved ones a happy holiday.

The update also lets you mention (@mention) your contacts and bots in a group chat. Microsoft also fixed a sign inn issue for users with multiple accounts.

Check out the update in Google Play Store and Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Opera VPN for Android updated.

Not every VPN app require a paid subscription, so if you are searching for a good VPN solution for your Android device, Opera Free VPN is the app you need. It's free and will let you change your virtual location to enjoy more content. Opera Free VPN works very well, but not in every condition and I have Netflix in mind here. Other than letting you access websites and apps, Opera Free VPN is also a good ad blocker, but here again, some sites will know you're using a blocker and outright deny you access to their contents.

Opera free VPN has today been updated with two useful features. Check out the change log and head over to Google Play store to download:

  • You can now choose whether or not you want Opera VPN to turn on whenever you restart your Android device.
  • You now also have the ability to allow Opera VPN to be more persistent in remaining active (helps with Android versions where the Systems kills active VPN processes. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Mauritius Holidays app for Android released.

Back in July I started learning Android app development on Udacity and during the learning process I started building an app of my own. After a lot of effort, I came up with Government of Mauritius, an app that tells you who's who in the government of Mauritius and how to pronounce their names. For the latter feature, the idea came up after chatting with an expat who couldn't say the names properly and with the help of my wife, this should not be an issue anymore. 

After this first app was published and pursuing my training, I developed "Mauritius Holidays", an app that is a listing of official holidays observed in Mauritius. The holidays can be added to the calendar individually or in one click. A feature I'm particularly proud of as it required weeks of work and thinking. It also made me realized that taking a course, free or not, will not make you a developer outright. It's like learning a new language, only practice helps you get better. Now comes the second issue, you have to have new app ideas in order to practice. With publishing my second app, I was able to determine how much my knowledge has improved, so much that I'm looking back to my first app and planning on rewriting it. Only laziness will hold me back. But we'll see.

Anyway folks, my second Android app is available free for download in Google Play Store. While it's a local app, you may want to check it out if you do business in Mauritius or planning a travel here for vacation and get to learn a bit of Mauritius along the way. The app is ad-free.

Thanks for the download and enjoy.

Amazon fixes "Go to Amazon home" error on Android.

With the holidays season already upon us, you want to make sure your shopping apps are working flawlessly and online retailers like Amazon also wants you to enjoy the best experience when using their apps. According to Amazon, a "small number" of users have been experiencing an error in their app for Android asking them to "go to Amazon home". To fix that, they are asking that these users update Android System WebView app on their devices. They also need to update to the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app in Google Play Store.

There are two versions of the app in the Store:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

BBC News for Android gets full screen portrait videos.

The official BBC News app for Android has been updated today with a new video tab that offers a curated list of "videos of the day". Additionally, the app will give users the ability to watch full screen portrait videos. The update also includes an "improved navigation with clearer sections and style."

Grab the update in Google Play Store.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Shifty Jelly fixes bug affecting Motorola devices in new Pocket Casts update.

Do you know how a fax machine sounds like? I don't, but according to Shifty Jelly, the developer of podcast app Pocket Casts, Motorola users and probably other devices were experiencing an issue "with variable speed playback in version 6 sounding like it was 1996 and someone was sending you a fax." Version 6.0.3 fixes that issue. For the rest, so as not to feel left out, Shifty Jelly made some performance enhancements and crash fixes.

I want to believe that no facsimile users were harmed during the development of this fix. Check out the update in Google Play Store.

Duolingo for Android updated and they're hiring an android developer.

Learning a new language can be challenging, but thanks to apps like Duolingo, the task is made easier and playful. My daughters use it regularly to learn English and Duolingo helps me keep tabs on their progress through a dashboard on the web and with daily emails. And progress they are making, unlike their dad. But that is another story. This post is about Duolingo's latest update to their app for Android.

The app was updated this week with a few features. Personally, I like the feature that allows opening the app from a link. Say, you are on a website using your device browser with a link to the English lesson in Duolingo. Click that link and Android will give you choices to launch the app in Duolingo itself or the browser. I think more and more apps should implement this.

Check out the change log for other features:

  • New colored monument images for switching courses.
  • Image placeholders.
  • Support for links to open the Duolingo App directly.
  • We're hiring an Android developer.
Check out Duolingo on Google Play Store for free and start learning English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto and Turkish.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

TuneIn now lets you listen to podcasts offline.

TuneIn Radio app for Android is your one stop-shop to listen to your favorite radio stations online for free. The app offers over 100, 000 stations with a wide selection of choices of sports, news, music and more. TuneIn also lets you listen to your favorite podcast. And TuneIn, in version 17.0.1, now lets podcasts listeners to download episodes to listen while offline. Downloading requires Wi-Fi and will not work through data. Once downloaded, the offline episodes will be accessible from your favorites.

TuneIn is available free in Google Play Store for your listening pleasure.

Microsoft updates Skype for Android with new quick call options and dialer button.

Microsoft has published an update to Skype for Android that improves the Calls tab interface with quick call options and a new dialer button. The Group call feature has also been improved and will now indicate the current active speaker. In other words, the picture of the speaker will get highlighted, making it easier to spot who's talking in the group. Finally, Microsoft says they "resolved audio issues when playing voice messages."

Get Skype for Android free in Google Play Store

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Microsoft adds Undo and Redo to OneNote for Android.

Microsoft has updated OneNote for Android with some new features that will make your note-taking habits a lot easier. The most noteworthy addition is the ability to Undo and Redo things in OneNote and, as Microsoft puts it, "rewrite history". Additionally, this update lets users rename sections, re-enables support for auto-correct on the Google keyboard and the usual bug fixes and performance improvements.

Grab OneNote for Android for free in Google Play Store.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Quickly reply to Google Allo messages from your computer with Pushbullet.

Pushbullet is a nifty app that lets you reply to messages on your computer and it supports popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Kik etc. Today Pushbullet was updated with support for Google Allo. Users will be able to quick-reply to messages from their PCs.For that to work though, users must have the latest version of Allo, version 2.0, on their devices. Google has updated Allo on October 26th and it hasn't shown up on my devices yet. The quick reply feature means that you will only be able to reply with text, thus missing out the library of emojis and other features Allo has to offer in the app.

You can download the update for Pushbullet from Google Play Store even if you do not have Allo 2.0 yet.

Pocket Casts for Android now supports split-screen and icon shortcuts on Android Nougat.

My favorite podcast app for Android was updated today, adding support for Android Nougat split-screen and icon shortcuts. Owners of Nougat powered devices will be able to run it alongside other apps. Unfortunately, Pocket Casts still does not support split-screen on Samsung devices running Marshmallow and that is a bummer, considering Samsung is the market leader of the Android world. So if you have Nougat on your device, and that is currently limited to Nexus and Pixel devices, you're in luck. I don't really use the feature on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, so I'm not missing anything.

This update also allow users to share their list of podcasts with other people. The change log states that you want to "pick out Rusty's Top 5 Rowing podcasts, or Jenny's Top 12 Jogging ones and share that with the world, you can now!". The last new added feature lets you use audio effects when streaming. This update also contains some Chromecast and playback fixes.

Download Pocket Casts in Google Play Store to enjoy your favorite podcasts.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Microsoft Arrow Launcher for Android lets you choose your favorite search engine.

Seriously folks, if you haven't tried Microsoft Arrow Launcher yet, you are missing what probably is the best launcher around. This thing knows me better than I do. Arrow is not just a launcher. It brings your digital world within your fingers reach and constantly tracks your habits and adjusts to it. So your apps, friends, messages are there where you want them to be so you do not have to open apps to start a conversation. Again, try Arrow Launcher for at least a week and see it get better and get ready to just love it.

Microsoft is always updating the app and the latest one does add new features and improvements. The first one adds choice for your favorite search engine. Bing was the de facto search engine and with this update, Microsoft lets you choose your favorite search engine. 

Users of the launcher have enjoyed the ability to access our conversations through the Recent page without firstly launching the messaging app. Microsoft has improved this feature by adding support for more messaging apps without mentioning which ones.

Arrow Launcher also received some performance optimization making it "faster" and bug fixes for the badge notification count.

Again, give Arrow Launcher a shot. It is free for download in Google Play Store.

Evernote for Android updated with note statistics and camera auto-focus improvements.

I have been slowly gravitating away from Evernote and that move started before they implemented their new terms of service that only allows for the app to run on two devices and you have to go premium to enjoy Evernote across all your devices. I believe this move won't help Evernote gain more adoption when users can and have been migrating to Google Keep for its simplicity or Microsoft OneNote for its robustness. I use the latter on all my devices and have been happy ever since. With that said, let's see what Evernote has for its users in its new update.

Evernote was updated two days ago and it took its time to show on my Samsung. It's finally here with a new feature that gives users count statistics on their notes for words, character, line and paragraph. This is the only new feature.

The team also made some improvements to the camera auto-focus and squashed some bugs. 

Download Evernote for Android in Google Play Store.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Google Clock update lets you set alarm and timers from your Home screen.

Google Clock for Android is a very simplistic app presented by Google as a "beautiful alarm clock for Android". Sure they haven't tried and used Timely, which in my opinion, is the most beautiful app of its kind. If you haven't tried Timely or simply never heard of it, get it in the store for free. You will love the beautiful UI and the smart rise feature. 

Google acquired Timely two years ago and I was thrilled thinking Google was going to use it to beautify its own apps or, at the very least, its own Clock app. While Timely is still available in the store, I can't remember when it was last updated nor has Google built stuff based on the beautiful design.

In today's update Google lets users use shortcuts to set an alarm  or start a timer right from the Home screen. The timers and stopwatches will also "keep running" after you restart your device.

Download Google Clock in the Play Store.

Google adds Android Nougat, multi-window support to its Calculator app.

How often do you use the Calculator app on your device? I don't use it much, but it's good to know it's right there should the need for it arises. Google has updated its Calculator and while it doesn't bring much in terms of new features, the very fact that it got an update is worth mentioning. Calculator app for Android has been updated with support for Nougat, Google's latest Android iteration which the company still refers to as "Android N" in the change log. With this update, Calculator joins the ranks of those apps that supports multi-window, one the new features added to Android Nougat. Google also added digit grouping for large numbers. As a side note, the Calculator app only has 5 million downloads in the store.

Grab the update in Google Play Store.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

SofaScore sports app adds all match statistics for NFL and Shoot map for NBA.

My favorite sports app on Android has been updated again with features that will please fans of the NFL and NBA. This update provides a lot of info, most of them statistics in regards to touchdowns, first downs, passing, and rushing. SofaScore also introduces team rosters, with player details and seasonal statistics.

On the NBA front, SofaScore added Shoot map, a graphical representation of positions players scored during a game. Certainly a feature that can be improved upon and become more lively.

Download SofaScore free in Google Play Store.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Udacity app gets offline learning on Android.

Udacity is my favorite online learning platform. I started a Google Nanodegree course with them and I'm currently working on my first app for Android, but more on this later. The Udacity Android app contains a full listing of courses and lets you learn wherever you are, provided you have a decent internet connection. That can be an issue if, like me, you do not have an unlimited data plan. Sure free Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere these days, but the low speed makes the experience frustrating. All that is to change now.

Udacity has been listening to users feedback and added a offline feature in its app that will let users download courses to their devices and learn offline on the go. In case you're wondering, there is no time limit on how long you can keep the videos. Delete the videos after you're done to make space for new ones.

Checkout the updated Udacity app for Android in Google Play Store.

Microsoft brings Collage template to Sprightly for Android.

I blogged about Sprightly getting updated at the beginning of the week and today, Microsoft issued another one that brings Collage template to the apps. Microsoft says "they're designed to make your pictures stand out and look gorgeous." Sprightly will let you add filters to personalize your images and then convert them to collages and videos. 

In each of my blog post about Sprightly, I stress how this Microsoft app makes easy the creation of catalogs, flyers, marketing materials on the go. Get it for free in Google Play Store.

Amazon app for Android gets a redesigned icon and bug fixes.

New icon
Old icon
It's not often that Amazon issues an update for its shopping app on Android. While this one does not contain anything major, the new icon is still newsworthy. The iconic Amazon logo with the arrow underneath are still there, but the basket is not in full view anymore as can be seen in the images above. I don't know what message this change is supposed to convey, but it certainly isn't going to change my shopping habits on the site. And of course there's more in this update. Amazon says they made the app better through bug fixes and performance improvements.

Grab the update in Google Play Store and happy shopping.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Sprightly for Android updated with support for video magazine creation and sharing.

If like me you lack artistic talents, Sprightly might be the app you need to create catalogs, flyers, e-cards on the go. Sprightly is one of a couple of projects from Microsoft Garage which was created to make people like me creative. The app was designed to help folks with no design skills create professional looking designs thanks to the templates provided by graphic experts working on the Sprightly team. Of course the app lets share your creation to social networks or send print ready PDF files to your friend or customers.

The Sprightly team has published an update today. The change logs states that "an exciting new Video intent is shipping with Sprightly. Create a video magazine and share in seconds". The update also brings pinch and rotate for images and adds image filters.

If you are a designer, a marketing person or just want to unleash your creativity, checkout Sprightly for Android in the Google Play Store. It's free.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Microsoft adds instant messenger preview support in Arrow Launcher for Android.

Today Microsoft has updated its Arrow Launcher for Android, an app the Redmond folks want you use in place of Google Now launcher. I joined the beta recently to try new features before they get released to the public. I can't tell if today's update is public or a beta release, but the new features are quite nice and focus on Instant messaging. 

Microsoft made it easier to access our conversations in one place in the Recent page without having to launch the app itself. This feature is not enabled by default, so users will have to tap the three vertical dots at the top right of the Recent page to enable the IM preview. Once that is done, conversations will be listed for easy and quick access.

Microsoft also lets users improve performance if they wish to by turning off background animations and blur settings. A feature that owners of low end Android devices will find useful. Still in the performance chapter, Arrow launcher is now faster in terms of page swipes, app launches, memory usage and more. Microsoft doesn't specify what more tweaks they made though.   

Check out the new update in Google Play Store.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Vine for Android lets you share channels and profiles with followers on different social networks.

The last time I blogged about Vine was on its release and now that video apps/functions are seeing a rise in popularity these days, it's an opportunity to write about Vine's latest update. As a quick note, most social networks now let their users use videos to broadcast themselves live for the world to see. Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat have recently added videos to their service. But if memory serves me well, Twitter was the first to bring a standalone app in the form of Vine. I have no statistics to share about its popularity, but given Twitter's trouble with attracting new users, I doubt Vine is the ultimate video app out there.

Today, Twitter updated the app so users can share their favorite profiles and channels with their followers on Vine itself and added support for sharing to Facebook, Tumblr and, of course, Twitter. If you are a Vine user, head over to Google Play Store and get the update. If you happen to be an absolute fan of Vine, they have a beta channel to which you can signup to test new features before they get released to the official app. You can signup here and help make the app better.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

SofaScore for Android updated with filter by goals scored and conceded.

Last weekend, Liverpool, my favorite Premier League team took an expected 2-0 defeat at newly promoted Burnley. A damning performance considering the 4-3 win against Arsenal the week before in the opening game of the league. Liverpool has a trend of performing well against the league's top teams and very often to lose easy games. However, I doubt they will be able to reiterate their first game performance against Tottenham this weekend. We'll see.

In its two first games, Liverpool has scored four goals and took in 5. I know this thanks to the new update for SofaScore, my favorite live scoring app. Version 5.25 of the app brings goal filtering scored or conceded home or during away games. The developer also added info about players transfer for teams with latest arrivals and departures. 

The update is available for download in Google Play store. SofaScore is a free app that is compatible with Android Wear.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Evernote explains how the Basic accounts two-devices limit works.

This year Evernote changed its subscription plan and caused some confusion for those who chose to subscribe to the free basic offering. Evernote stated that Basic users can access Evernote on two devices only, prompting long time users to validly ask how devices are actually counted. And Evernote kindly obliged by sending out a short explanatory email to its subscribers.

Evernote made it clear that the app can be installed on as many devices users own. However, Basic subscribers can only access the note-taking service on any two devices at a time. If a user is already logged on two devices and wants to launch Evernote on a third one, the user will first have to logoff on one of the previously logged on devices. If that is too cumbersome, users can always access Evernote Web on any device with an internet connection.

Download Evernote for your devices: Apple Store | Google Play Store | Windows Store

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Google releases its video calling app Duo to the world.

Announced and demoed during its developer conference, Google finally made its Duo video calling app available to the public yesterday. The app is being gradually released and thus is not immediately available for all to download - It is still not available in Mauritius yet.

Google is presenting Duo as the simplest to use video calling app. The app is launched on Android and iOS: "Video calling is the next best thing to being with someone in person, but too often it can be a frustrating or complicated experience." Duo aims to make 1-to-1 video calling as natural as regular calls with all what is needed is a phone number.

Duo will use both data and/or Wi-Fi to handle calls without dropping calls. Should the network be choppy, Duo will adjust to that too by reducing video resolution. Google wants to make sure users enjoy the best video calling experience. Google also introduces a feature called Knock Knock "which lets you see live video of your caller before you answer, giving you a sense of what they're up to and why they want to chat. Knock Knock makes video calling more spontaneous and welcoming, helping you connect with the person before you even pick up."

If you're concerned about security and privacy, Google has you covered. Duo supports end-to-end encryption.

Google Duo is available for download in the Play Store. However, if it still shows as coming soon, hit that register button to get notified when it becomes available.

Source: Google

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Microsoft makes Arrow Launcher "Apps" page fully customizable on Android.

If you joined the Arrow Launcher beta program, you should check out the update that Microsoft posted in the Play Store. They made the launcher's home page fully customizable based on popular demand. Users will be able to put whatever apps and widgets they want on the Apps page. The double tap screen to lock is also back.

Microsoft also added Bing search, which is accessible with a swipe up on the dock and the Bing search box will appear at the top.

Collage feature. Hold down on any photos to hide, annotate or share. Microsoft also added live wallpaper support.

Again, these features are available in the beta version of Arrow Launcher, but it should take long before they make their way to the official app. Check it out in the Google Play store.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Apple Music for Android drops beta moniker.

Just a quick note about Apple Music app for Android that has dropped its beta moniker yesterday and thanking users for their feedback. The app already has over 5 million downloads in the Play Store. This update includes an equalizer settings and "a variety of performance, playback, and stability improvements."

Apple offers three memberships subscription you can choose from:

Individual Membership
For $9.99 per month > For less than the price of most albums, you get access to the full Apple Music library, expert recommendations, our take on the best music and on-demand radio stations.

Family Membership
For $14.99 per month > The whole world of music for the whole family. Up to six people can enjoy unlimited access to Apple Music on their devices.

Student Membership
For $4.99 per month > Get the complete Apple Music experience with personalized recommendations, the best new music, and more at a price designed for students.

Get the update from Google Play store for free.

Google improves file previewing of Microsoft Office, PDF and images file in Google Drive on web.

Like most cloud storage apps, there is a feature in Google Drive for previewing several file types within the app and today Google has improved this feature in Google Drive on the web. The preview feature supports Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat or photo editors available in Gmail, Inbox and Google Drive.  Its very useful if you do not have these files installed on your device.

Here's what is improved:

  • Cleaner interface: Buttons and toolbars stay out of the way when you’re not using them.
  • Spreadsheet zooming support: If you preview spreadsheet files in Drive, you can now zoom in and out to inspect specific cells. This complements earlier launched improvements where we added support for frozen rows and columns, and the ability to switch between sheets.
  • Simpler zooming for document files: Zoom buttons are now easier to find and make images and documents larger than you could before.

    The new features will be rolling out in the next 2 or 3 days.

    Source: Google

  • Saturday, July 30, 2016

    Google Translate includes transliterations in Tap-to-Translate.

    Technology took down language barriers thanks to app like Google Translate. Other apps like Skype for example took that to another level by translating conversations on the fly, which is great to do business with partners without the need of a translator. And its awesome how such apps keep getting better and better with time.

    Google Translate helps translate between 103 languages simply by typing and supports offline translation of 52 languages as well as camera translation. Another great feature is tap to translate where copied text within any app gets translated within the app through a pop up. So no need to switch back and forth between apps. This feature has been improved further.

    In an update published by Google today, the company added support of transliteration in Tap-to-Translate. Transliteration is the ability to convert a text from one script to another. The update also includes some minor bug fixes and support for Android Nougat, Google's next iteration of Android to be released soon and that I have been testing on my Nexus 6.

    The update should be available for download in Google Play store.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    Opera Mini browser for Android updated with video download.

    Opera Mini has been updated with the ability to download videos for offline viewing. Unfortunately, YouTube videos are not supported, probably due to restrictions imposed by Google. Microsoft made a YouTube client of its own for Windows Phone, which Google called for its removal from the Windows Store because it included a download tool. I assume Opera stopped short of adding this feature to avoid Google's wrath. 

    Uploaded videos can be downloaded from social media or other video platforms and saved to the device internal storage and SD card. Check out the new feature in Opera Mini latest update in Google Play store. Watch the video below to see how it all works:

    Twitter for Android gets Night Mode.

    I have been enjoying Twitter dark mode on Windows Phone for a while now and it really plays nice on the eye in dark places, like when in bed at night - A practice I do not recommend to you readers. But that is to say that I use my Windows Phone most at night to check my Twitter feed because of that night mode feature that Android does not have. Until today.

    Twitter took to Twitter to announce an update to their official Twitter app for Android that brings a dark mode to it which lets you "see your Tweets when the lights go out." That is all there is to this update, but I for one can say it is a big one for its effect on your eyes and your partner's mood. Let's see how to enable dark mode in Twitter after you downloaded the update.

    After you've downloaded and installed the update, close Twitter and restart it. To enable dark mode, tap your profile picture and you will find the new Night mode toggle in the list. Toggle to enable it and Twitter will instantly switch to dark mode. By the way, the latter is not black, but dark gray. I'm enjoying the dark mode.

    Get the update in Google Play store.

    Saturday, July 16, 2016

    Android Keyboard updated with new color palette and more.

    Up until today, Google Keyboard for Android devices did not offer much in terms of customization besides switching between light and dark themes. An anomaly for a platform that is known first for being the most open OS to customization. Google has been working to fix that for a while and you would know if you signed up to join the Android Nougat beta program,because the new features in today's update are already baked into Nougat. Let's see what's in there for non-Nougat devices. There is a few minor updates for Nougat as well. See the bottom of this post for the change log.

    With this update you will get more than the light and dark themes to choose from. As can be seen in the screenshot of my Nexus 6 keyboard settings, you'll get a new palette of colors to pick from and make your keyboard all colorful. And there's more there for you as Google lets you use an image as your keyboard background. A feature I suspect will be very popular for users. Now, if only Google could make this setting easily accessible in the device settings, that would be awesome. It's kind of buried right now, though I doubt that will be a deterrence.

    The update also brings new gesture typing and suggestions in a bunch of new languages, new layout support, bug fixes and Android N support. See the detailed change log and head over to Google Play store to download the Keyboard app. Happy customization!

    • Themes: Customize keyboard with favorite photos or colors
    • Gesture typing & suggestions in: Albanian, Arabic, Basque, Bosnian, English (Australia), English (India), Esperanto, Irish, Javanese, Mongolian, Montenegrin (Cyrillic, Latin), Nepali, Portuguese (Africa), Sundanese, Tajik, Tatar, Zulu
    • Layout support: Burmese, Southern Sotho, Turkmen, Urdu, Welsh, Xhosa
    • Add recent emoji to suggestion strip
    • Bug fixes, including passwords with Talkback and missing key labels
    • Support Android N

    Thursday, July 14, 2016

    Google adds multi-window and Direct Boot support to the Clock app for Android N.

    I don't use the Android default Clock and I doubt anyone does. But it is an undeniable fact that alarm clocks are one of the most important tools on our phones. Without it we would end up late at work among other things. I personally use Timely as my alarm clock for its Smart Rise feature and colorful design. Bitspin, the company that developed Timely, was acquired by Google in 2014. Google, despite acquiring Timely, has kept the default Clock on Android along with Timely in the store and today, the company has updated Clock with some nice features that very few will take advantage of.

    In this update, Google added support for Android N. The company made the name of the next version of Android public a few weeks ago and it's still referring to it as N instead of Nougat, the official name. With support for Nougat, Google added multi-window support. But the most important interesting feature in this update is Direct Boot support. If your phone restarts during the night, your phone running Android Nougat will still deliver your alarms. That's basically what other alarm apps do.

    The last item in the change log is a feature that will warn you when your alarms are somehow silenced by device settings. All in all this update brings some nice features to an ordinary clock app. The only problem with that is they are available only to users running Android Nougat Beta on their devices, which currently are Nexus phones and a Sony Experia device.

    Download Android Clock app in Google Play.

    Saturday, July 9, 2016

    Apple Music for Android update fixes a playback issue and albums appearing in unexpected order.

    Apple Music is still in beta on Android and you might want to give it a try as Apple is still offering a free three months trial before you decide to pay for a subscription plan and enjoy all the music you like among the 30 million songs in the catalog.

    Apple offers three memberships subscription you can choose from:

    Individual Membership
    For $9.99 per month > For less than the price of most albums, you get access to the full Apple Music library, expert recommendations, our take on the best music and on-demand radio stations.

    Family Membership
    For $14.99 per month > The whole world of music for the whole family. Up to six people can enjoy unlimited access to Apple Music on their devices.

    Student Membership
    For $4.99 per month > Get the complete Apple Music experience with personalized recommendations, the best new music, and more at a price designed for students.

    As stated above, the Apple Music app is still beta and Apple is regularly offering updates ta make the experience as enjoyable as on iOS, the OS that powers their iPhones ad iPads. The update they published today does not introduce anything new but fixes a few things like a playback issue where songs skip over the first two seconds of music. There is also a fix "where albums added to a playlist appear in an unexpected order."

    Grab the update for Apple Music Beta in Google Play store.

    Source: Apple

    Wednesday, July 6, 2016

    IMDb for Android gets a new look in honor of Comic-Con.

    With the Comic-Con only a few weeks away, IMDb for Android has been updated to look more à la page in honor of the popular event and added a new section dedicated to it. As a FYI, the Comic-Con is set to to begin on July 21 to July 24 in San Diego

    While IMDb is celebrating the Comic-Con with its dedicated special section, not all new features related to the event are actually live in the app. Most of them, if not all, will become available mid-July, which is about a week away. Then, users will have access to the following:

    • IMDb trending visualizes currently popular titles and stars.
    • Fan IQ lets you test your knowledge and challenge your friends.
    • Follow breaking Comic-Con news in our special Comic-Con section.
    The update also includes the usual bug fixes and framework enhancements and is available in Google Play store for download.

    Amazon Kindle for Android updated with new navigation experience called Page Flip.

    Amazon is offering a new navigation experience to its Kindle app for Android and iOS, including its Kindle family of e-readers. Called Page Flip, the update is already available in Google Play for download. However, I'm am not seeing any of the new features in the app though.

    Here's what's new with Page Flip. Besides the obvious flip gesture we're accustomed to thanks to FlipBoard, the updated Amazon Kindle makes it easier to "save your place" and pin your pages.
    Say you want to reference a page, a chart or a picture on another page, Page Flip will pin your page to the side of the screen when you swipe away. Tap the pinned page again to get back to where you stopped reading. 

    Page Flip also includes a bird's eye view feature that makes looking for a picture or passage easier and quicker to find.

    Check out the video below to see Page Flip in action before heading to Google Play store to get the update.

    Saturday, July 2, 2016

    Netflix on Android gets a new icon and that's it.

    Old Icon
    New Icon
    What do you write about when the most popular movie streaming service updates its app on Android with just a new icon redesign? This is what Netflix did with its latest update. A new icon that changed from "Netflix" with a white background to a simple "N" with a black background. Add to that some bug fixes and you get a change log.

    Grab the update in Google Play Store and enjoy the new shiny icon, courtesy of Netflix.