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