Saturday, February 27, 2016

Microsoft makes it Arrow launcher faster on load & reduces crash by 20%

If you've joined the Arrow beta program, Microsoft needs your help again to test some performance improvements they made to the launcher for Android. The app is another Microsoft Grage project. If you are not a beta user and want to participate, just join the official Arrow community on Google+ and join the party.

Here's the list of features Microsoft wants you to test:

  • Apps page loading: force stop Arrow and load up Arrow again to see if the Apps page is loading fast enough for you. We have improved the performance of this by 50%.
  • Scrolling in App Drawer, especially in the Widgets tab - we have greatly improved the scrolling performancce there.
  • Crash and memory usage. We have reduced crashes by 20% in this version and improved memory usage.
Grab the update in Google Play Store and send your feedback to Microsoft Garage via their Google+ community.

Google adds new snooze features to Inbox By Gmail.

I made Inbox by Gmail my favorite default email client on my Nexus 6 shortly after it was released and one of my favorite features that motivated the switch is email snoozing. When you thought that snoozing was limited to calendar events and reminders, Google brought it to the Inbox so you can be reminded to read it later because not all emails require your immediate attention. Originally Inbox By Gmail included 4 snoozes: Later today, Tomorrow, Next week and Someday. Two more snoozes have been added, bringing the total to 6 that Google hopes will help you save more time: Later this week and This weekend.

The second feature that improves the snoozing experience is the ability to snooze to specific weeekend days and these include Thursday - Friday, Friday - Saturday, Saturday - Sunday. These new options come in handy for those countriers where the weekend are not Saturdays and Sundays.

The update is already available in Google Play Store for you to download. Happy snoozing :-)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Outlook for Android lets you set Mondays & Saturdays as first day of the week; brings tinted background to flagged messages.

Microsoft Outlook for Android keeps getting better and better and as a Windows Phone MVP I can tell that Outlook for Windows Phone has a lot of catch up to do. But that's not the point of this article. This is about the update that Microsoft published to Google Play store today with some quite nice  and simple features.

Top of the list is the ability for users to set the first day of the week to Saturdays and Mondays instead of just Sundays. Not everyone has the same routine or maybe this is intended to meet some religious needs. The first day of the week can be changed in the app settings.

Microsoft also made it easier to spot flagged messages in your busy and cluttered Inbox. In addition to the little flag icon, Microsoft added a tinted background to help find those flagged messages easily.

The last feature in the change log is about email scheduling. This is not a feature I use at all on my devices, but the change log says that "more options are now available when scheduling an email, including schedule to this weekend or next week."

Get the update from Google Play store and enjoy the great Outlook experience Microsoft has to offer on Android.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Here Maps for Android calculates offline public transit routes faster.

Here Maps is my favorite offline map and really useful when I'm travelling. Thanks to it being cross-platform, I do not have to worry about running out of juice on my devices, nor having to spend a lot of money on data fees. The offline map previously owned by Nokia got better today with the app able to calculate offline public transit faster in big cities, "and with updated transit info for 69 regions worldwide...". The need to sign in has also been removed. Previously signing in was required to download offline maps. 

Grab the update in Google Play store for free.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Glide for Android brings live videos to your wrist for watches with speakers.

Owners of Android Wear watch have been able to watch Glide videos on their wrist and today the experience has been enhanced with the ability to watch LIVE videos. For those watch with speakers, namely the Huawei and Asus Zenwatch, thanks to Google's recent Marshmallow update, you will be able to listen to your Glides right from the watch without the need for your phone or headphones.

The update will also give you full access to all your recent chats and respond to Glides with voice recording, dictated text or fun emojies.

If you are the lucky owner of one of the watches I mentioned above and received the Marshmallow update, head into the Google Play store to get the update and enjoy live videos on your wrist.

Google lets you enable/disable notifications settings in Docs, Sheets & Slides; view named ranges in Sheets.

Back in November, Google introduced a new mobile notification feature for when files on Google Drive were shared with you or someone requested access to a file you own. The notifications can be enabled/disabled with the settings of Drive. With today's update, Google now lets you change the notifications  in the settings of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides for Android. The notifications settings still applies to all of the Google productivity tools and cannot be toggled individually.

In addition to notifications, Google is bringing Named Ranges to Sheets for Android. Don't get too excited as you will only be able to view those named ranges that you created in Google Sheets on the web. Just in case you don't know, named ranges let you give a name to a range of cells for easier tracking or when creating formulas.

Check out the updates in Google Play Store. They may not available in every region yet.

Source: Google 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

SoundCloud introduces Stations as a new way to discover tracks.

SoundCloud today announced the debut of "Stations" which it presents as a "new way to discover the tracks you've never heard anywhere else." In other words, users will create stations based on their search term, content stream or collection to generate an endless stream of "awesome audio" from over 100 million tracks, according to SoundCloud. The Stations are then accessed in Collections along with Playlists and Likes.

The update is already available for download in Google Play Store.

Source: SoundCloud