Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Acrobat Reader for Android updated with Dropbox integration.

Back in October of last year, Dropbox and Adobe announced a partnership with the goal to help users be more productive and "let you work the way you want with PDF documents-accessing them from a range of devices at home, in the office, or on the go." Today, both companies are announcing the integration of both apps for Android devices which will let users open PDF files within Dropbox to annotate, sign and save changes back to Dropbox. In addition users will be able to share Dropbox files directly from Acrobat Reader. Check out the full change log below and download or update Acrobat Reader and Dropbox in Google Play store.

Connect your Dropbox account to Acrobat Reader so you can:
- Browse and open your files.
- Annotate, edit and sign PDF files.
- Save changes back to Dropbox.
- View file listing for linked accounts.
- Share Dropbox files directly from Acrobat Reader.
- Manage linked accounts.
Go full screen when reading on smaller devices with Immersive mode.
Improve text handling with new selectors and enhanced touch sensitivity

Updated version No.: 16.0

Microsoft adds Send as PDF, Convert table to a range & Morph transition to Word, Excel & PowerPoint.

I currently have 14 Microsoft apps installed on my Nexus 6 and being a Windows Phone user, it does make sense that I use them most. Same goes for apps installed on my work provided iPhone. And trust me, I have tried the resident document editors and other apps, but old habits are just hard to get rid of, and it’s mostly because Microsoft has worked hard to make the user experience almost, if not, the same across platforms. This is still work in progress, but they are surely getting there. Add the cloud to the mix and you get easy access to your documents whenever you need them with that familiar look and feel. 

I started writing this article in Word on my Nexus and will finish on Windows 10 powered Lenovo flex 3 when I get home. I very rarely use my phones to write articles because my previous devices screen real-estate did not provide much comfort to do that, whereas the Nexus 6  5.7” screen is another story, albeit it’s one that I probably won’t reiterate soon. Unless there’s a need for it. But I digress.

Microsoft has updated Word, Excel and PowerPoint, its three most popular productivity apps for Android. This update contains some features common to all thee apps and some unique ones as the change logs below show. The most noteworthy features is the ability to open .RTF files in Word, Send as PDF and the ability to insert pictures directly the camera. Excel will let you convert a table to a range. In PowerPoint, the ability to morph transition is only available to Office 365 subscribers. 

Open RTF Files: You can now open rich text format (.rtf).
• Send as PDF: Quickly share your document as a PDF file for easy viewing.
• Insert Picture from Camera: Open the camera directly from Word and take a picture. Presto! The picture is in your document.

• Send as PDF: Quickly share your document as a PDF file for easy viewing.
• Insert Picture from Camera: Open the camera directly from Excel and take a picture. Presto! The picture is in your document.
Convert table to a range: Easily convert a table to plain rows and columns when you need more flexibility and customization.

• Send as PDF: Quickly share your document as a PDF file for easy viewing.
Morph: Apply the Morph transition to easily move several objects at once. (For Office 365 Subscribers)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chromecast for Android renamed to Google Cast.

Chromecast, Google's media streaming device, has been updated today and while not much has changed besides the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, the app has been renamed to Google Cast. I don't know the reasons for the change but the app will now show under G in your app drawer after downloading the update. You can still use the term 'Chromecast' to search for the app in the Play store. In the end, it is just a matter of getting accustomed to the name change. 

Download the update on Google Play store.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Google adds support for more file formats in Google Sheets and Slides for Android.

No doubt Google is hard at work adding features to its productivity suite. A new update is available for Google Sheets and Slides Android apps after last week's update that brought expiration dates to shared documents.

In Sheets, users will be able to send a copy or save a spreadsheet as an HTML web page and this can be done right from the Share & Export menu. The saved files are provided in a .zip folder. Google also made it possible to save a sheet as Comma Separated Values (.CSV) and Tab Separated Values (.TSV). Google Sheets will also let you view Google Drawings in your spreadsheets, except that those drawings won't be visible if you happen to have frozen rows and columns on your sheets.

Google Slides only got one useful update which let users "send a copy  of or download the slide you're currently viewing as a .JPEG, .PNG, or .SVG file from the Share & export menu."

Both Google Sheets and Google Slides are available free on Google Play.

Source: Google

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Microsoft Garage updates Sprightly for Android with new Flyer and Catalog templates, Export to PDF.

Last month, Microsoft, through its Garage division launched Sprightly for the Android platform, an app to help businesses quickly create marketing contents. The app does indeed let companies quickly creates business catalog to describe or show off their products or other company information right on an Android device. There's also a little something for users in that Sprightly also lets them create E-Cards for special occasions to send to loved ones. 

Like many apps from Microsoft Garage, Sprightly is a free app to download and it was updated today with the following features:

  • New Flyer and Catalog templates.
  • A festive E-Card template.
  • Export to PDF and send an email.
  • Reposition and zoom on preview images.
Get Sprightly in Google Play Store.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Brave Browser update hides bubble on scroll down, and makes bubbles smaller.

Previously known as Link Bubble, Brave Browser uses a floating bubble when you click on a link. The webpage loads in the background inside that floating bubble while you keep using your current app uninterrupted. If you haven't heard of Brave Browser before, I strongly recommend you give it a try by clicking the download link at the end of this post. And the app is regularly updated with new features and improvements and the latest version has quite a few:
IMPROVEMENT: Hide bubbles on scroll down and show on scroll up.
•IMPROVEMENT: Made bubbles smaller.
•BUG FIX: Fixed back button behaviour.
•BUG FIX: Made URL bar's autosuggestion less aggresive.
•BUG FIX: Fixed crashes.
•NEW: Added rsbrowser/rbrowser, lightning to fallback browser list.

Download: Google Play

Customize your Home and Work addresses in Google Maps with stickers.

Who has never dreamed of owning and living on board a pirate ship, a castle, a Clark Kent-like farm house? While your dream might not ever materiliazed, Google will help with the addition of a bunch of colorful stickers in Google Maps to represent your home and work. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use the stickers for anything else, like using a pizza sticker for your favorite pizza restaurant or even having Maps automatically applying a sticker based on the places you visit. Now, if the app does that that, we'll end up with Maps buried under a sticker layer.

Google also added a new tab to Maps for taxi hailing services for users to compare pickup times and prices of the various taxi service companies before you make your choice.

Check out the full change log below before heading to Google Play store to update Google Maps.

• New dedicated ride services tab. Compare pickup times and prices of Uber, 99Taxis, Ola Cabs, Hailo, MyTaxi and Gett.
• Give your home and work a personalized look with new customized icons.
• See how much you’ve walked or how far you’ve driven in your timeline

Friday, March 18, 2016

Microsoft Apps updated to help you find more Redmond apps in Google Play store.

You cannot possibly ignore that Microsoft has been porting a lot of its app onto Android. Microsoft is aware of that and to make things easier for you to find its app offerings among the 1.5 millions apps in the store, Microsoft made the Microsoft Apps available in Google Play store. And Microsoft regularly updates its apps in the store and today's update has the following features:

  • Updated banners.
  • Added text description when no new apps/updates available.
So, any PC users will want to replicate their PC experience on a mobile device and Microsoft Apps for Android will help. It is available free in Google Play store.

Opera Mini browser beta updated with a stop button button in navigation bar and more.

Android does not lack browsers. There are aplenty in the store even if we all tend to use Chrome as the default on our Android device. Besides Chrome, you have the likes of Firewall and the diverse variant of Opera. Today, Opera Mini browser beta for Android has been updated and if you're the ones who like to test pre-release software, this verion of Opera has a bunch of new stuff for your consumption. Just check out the change log below and click the link at the end of this post to update or download Oper Mini browser beta for Android:

  • Stop button in the bottom navigation bar (classic mode only).
  • New extreme mode settings location. Now they are moved under the main settings menu.
  • Using Storge Access Framework to save to an SD card (lollippop and Marshmallow).
  • Updated news feed layout.
  • Various stability and usability improvements.
If you want to be the first to try out new features before public release, download Opera Mini browser beta in Google Play Store for free.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Google will soon let you set expiration dates on files in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides.

As a System Admin, I get to work with various people internally and externally, the latter being either colleagues from other regions or contractors, but in both cases accounts must be created and access to company resources granted to outsiders. It can be tedious for contractors working on a particular time limited project because it is so easy to forget to remove access after the projects is complete. Enter expiration date.

In an upcoming update to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides, Systems Admins will be able to set expiration date for specific user access to files in one of the above-mentioned apps. The scenario is quite simple. If a project lasts a month, you will be able to grant access to contractor for the duration of the project. After completion of the project, access to the file will be automatically denied to contractor if he/she tries to access it again. However, according to Google, "you’ll only be able to set expiration dates for users with comment or view access; you will not be able to set expiration dates for file owners or users with edit access."

Note that this "expiration date" feature is intended for business only and will not be available until mid- to late Q2 2016.

Source: Google

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SofaScore for Android adds MotoGP, Superbike, Moto2, Moto3, Rally, DTM and Nascar to its list of motor sport.

I love sports and keeping tabs of games scores used to be tedious. But that was before and now with all the gadgets we have, getting live scores from games is something we take for granted. The Play Store does offer quite a wide choice in that category and I had to try a few before picking SofaScore as my favorite. Besides live updates for sports like soccer and basket-ball, I was drawn towards SofaScore for its cross-platform availability and support for wearables, which lets me follow score for other games without having to pick up my phone.

Last year, SofaScore added Formula 1 to the list and that made me a happy man. By the way, Formula 1 season starts this weekend, so make sure to tune in. So, since Formula 1 was added, SofaScore received numerous requests from users to add other moto sport and they were glad to oblige with this update that adds MotoGP to the list of automobile sports and they did not stop there. Also included are popular sports as well - Superbike, Moto2 and Moto3, Rally, DTM and Nascar.

Every sports fan should give SofaScore a try as it is, IMO, the best in its category and the available sports list is very extensive and the app is optimized for Android Wear smartwatches. Get in Play Store for free.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Microsoft brings auto-save, version history and more to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android.

You don't always have the time to save your files when disaster strikes, that is what makes the auto-save feature extremely useful in Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the desktop. You can even configure auto-save to save every x minutes. Today, Microsoft has brought this feature to its productivity suite for Android. Installing the update will automatically activate the auto-save feature, but this can be turned off by taping Save in the apps menu. Unfortunately the mobile version of auto-save does not include the save interval like its desktop version but it's better than nothing.

Another useful feature that Microsoft added is version history, another feature ported from the desktop world. Version history actually saves a snapshot of your document and future edits you make to the document do not overwrite the previously saved version. This is handy if you want to go back to a previous version and not having to shuffle through multiple version of the same documents on your device. Finally, Microsoft added Collaborative authoring to Word for Android, a feature that lets users work together on the same document at the same time.

Some of the features Microsoft added are specific to their respective apps. For example, Excel gets the Fill Handle that lets users drag the handle to automatically fill up cells with data.

PowerPoint for its part lets users take pictures right within the app. PowerPoint Mobile for Android also supply high quality pictures based on pictures that users supply for their slides.

Grab these updates in Google Play store:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Export your Google Docs to EPUB format.

In an update coming soon to Google Docs, users will be able to export documents to EPUB publications "allowing people to consume long-form content in their preferred apps on a diverse range of screen sizes and devices, including smartphones, tablets, and eReaders.

EPUB is short for Electronic Publication, an open eBook standard that is widely supported and one of its features is support for reflowable document, which adapts text when a "page" is resized. In comparison, a PDF file page is fixed and cannot be re-sized and is kind of a pain to read. 

Exporting a file as EPUB in Google Docs is very easy. Simply go to File menu > Download as > EPUB Publication (.epub).

Head over to Google Play Store to verify if the update is available for you to download.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Brave Browser (formerly Link Bubble) gets 3rd party cookie control and bug fixes.

You very likely use Facebook Messenger on your Android device, therefore you're familiar with the chat heads that float around your screen while you're busy with other apps. These chat heads let you quickly read and reply to messages no matter where you are on your phone. This feature is not limited to Facebook Messenger though. Microsoft also has implemented a similar functionality in OneNote and Bing Search. And since 2014, there's a web browser too.

Previously known as Link Bubble, Brave Browser also uses a similar floating bubble when you click on a link, should you choose to read an article later and continue browsing. The webpage loads in the background inside that floating bubble while you keep using your current app uninterrupted. If you haven't heard of Brave Browser before, I strongly recommend you give it a try by clicking the download link at the end of this post.

Brave Browser received a new feature that adds a new setting within the app to control third party cookie blocking. By default this feature is enabled. Alongside this, the app got a slew of bug fixes:

  • Fix loading articles on
  • Fix loading indicator and theme colors not getting reset when the URL changes within a bubble.
  • URL input view now respects theme preferences.
  • Fix crashes in native libraries. 
Brave Browser is a free browser that supports ad blocking  ans is free for download in Google Play Store.

Google Sheets now lets you convert text to columns.

Google just made life easier for Google Sheets users with a new feature that allows them to copy and separate comma delimited text neatly into columns. This is only possible if the data is separated by commas, then a contextual menu will appear after the data is pasted into the sheet and the user can choose to split text into columns. This new feature will be a real time savior for heavy Sheets users. The update may not be available just yet, so make sure you check Google Play Store over the next two weeks.

Source: Google