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.

Instagram on Android will now translate your follower's bios and feed posts.

The last time I blogged about Instagram goes back to October 2015. It's not that I deliberately ignore it, but Instagram rarely publishes a detailed change log when they post an update to the store. Today is one of the rare occasions when they do so. Even f it's a minor update, it is worth mentioning, especially if you have among your followers friends or unknowns that speak foreign languages. 

In my opinion it is a feature you expect to see in any modern apps, but not all apps are equal. Thankfully, and finally Instagram chose to bring some modernity after recently redesigning their app icon. In this update, Instagram added the ability to translate profile bios and feed posts written in different languages. They invite you to "see translation" without giving any details about support languages.

Check out the update in Google Play Store.