Monday, June 26, 2017

Yahoo Mail on Android updated with easy access to Smart Views.


Yahoo Mail users are in for a treat today with an update to their favorite email service on Android. If you belong to this group, head over to Google Play Store to update the app and see how the Search bar inside the app has been improved on.

After applying the update, Yahoo Mail users will have easy access to Smart Views and their recent searches right beneath the Search bar. As shown in the screenshot above, the app makes it easier to filter the searches by category without having to manually navigate to the default folder category: People, Travel, Shopping, Social, Finance.

Check out the update in Google Play Store.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Readers can now read left-aligned text (ragged right) in Amazon Kindle on Android.


Amazon just made it easier to read books in Amazon Kindle on Android. In an update published recently, the Kindle app adds the ability to read books using left-aligned text. The default was justified text, that is text aligned on both left and right margin. Most, if not all books are left justified while the right margin is either ragged or justified too. For the latter, this is commonly known as centered text, which can create awkward spaces between words.


The new alignment option is not enabled by default and may not apply to every books in your library of the Kindle store. To enable left alignment, tap the Aa settings at the top of the screen inside books that support Enhanced Typesetting.

It's great that Amazon added this feature and give the choice to readers to enjoy the best reading experience. Personally, I'll stick to the justified layout. I've grown so accustomed to that layout. Download the update in Google Play Store.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Periscope lets users buy Super Hearts for broadcasters to redeem for cash.


Periscope, Twitter’s live video service, has been updated today and this new update should appeal to the service's fans as it introduces a feature that will allow them to show their love to their favorite broadcasters with Super Hearts.

Super Hearts, as described in the change log, “are new, sparkly, animated hearts, and some are even personalized with your profile pic.” So if static hearts are not enough, get ready to shell out some money  to send Super Hearts. Users will be able to purchase coins by visiting the coin store during a live broadcast to show their love or appreciation of the broadcast.

Periscope also have something for broadcasters. They will be able to join the Super Broadcasters Program and earn some cash. When users buy Super Hearts, broadcasters will accrue a star balance which they can redeem later. The program is currently only available in the United States and will roll out internationally soon. Learn more about the program here.

Periscope broadcasters and users can download the update in Google Play Store.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Apple Music for Android fixes an issue that may prevent listening to downloaded music while offline.

Tomorrow most of the world will be celebrating music day and Apple has issued an update for its Apple Music app on Android, surely unintentionally, to fix an issue that prevented listeners from listening to downloaded music while offline. The update also includes the usual “minor app and performance improvements”.

Apple Music on Android brings over 40 million songs for users to listen online or offline and the app has been downloaded over 10 million times. Which is not bad considering how antagonistic Apple and Android fans are. And the reviews in Google Play Store are quite positive. I cannot compare how Google Music fares against Apple offerings since the former is not available in Mauritius. However, Google Movies is open. Go figure.

If you’re a hardcore Android fan, or not, and would like to give Apple Music a try, go to Google Play Store to download the app and you can sign up for a free three months trial. An Apple ID account is required.
  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Apps update: Dropbox supports CSV file previews; Inbox by Gmail gets undo action inside notification.

A few apps in Google Play Store got minor updates, so I’m gathering the story for each update under one post. 

First in the list is popular Cloud storage service provider Dropbox. This is more of a fix in that the app can now handle CSV files preview within the app itself. This is all there is to this update, at least according to the change log. Get it in Google Play Store.

Inbox by Gmail also received what sounds like a nice feature. The change log states that “You can now undo an action taken inside a notification”. I have yet to give this a try. But basically, if you selected to delete an email in the notification tray and want to get it back to your inbox, an undo button will let you do that. Get Inbox by Gmail in Google Play Store.

Happy update.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Pocket Casts update for Android builds more hype until the version number after 6.2.9.

The good folks behind the great Pocket Casts app are currently building some hype around version 6.2.9 of their excellent podcast app for Android. And they are aware of that since the “the suspense” is killing them too and me, as a matter of fact. To keep users excited about that mysterious update, today they published version 6.2.8 to Google Play Store. The one thing I don’t get is why so much hype for what seems to be a minor update. A major update in my opinion would raise the version number to 7.0. but let’s wait and see.

Todays update adds the following features and fixes:

New episode notifications now include Play next and Mark as played.

Fixed some playbacks errors, especially for shows like WTF with Marc Maron. Never heckle comedians people: you'll be one that walks away with philosophical egg on your face. Trust me on this one.

Until version 6.2.9 lands, check out this update in Google Play Store and enjoy your podcasts.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

SofaScore for Android now lets fans report confirmed player transfers.

SofaScore Live Score for Android has been updated to version 5.40.3 today and sports fans are going to love it. With most soccer leagues being on vacation and it is the transfer season, SofaScore wants to keep fans excited and this update brings some interaction in the sense that fans will be able to report confirmed player transfers. If fans spot a confirmed transfer in the news, they post about it within SofaScore by tapping on the pencil icon in the top right corner of the app of the player page and select "New transfer". They will be able to provide details as shown in the screenshot below, including the source of the information.


Eager to provide some breaking news to your favorites sports app? Head over to Google Play Store top update SofaScore to keeps tabs on transfers.

Emirates app on Android lets you access boarding pass offline and initiate a live chat for assistance.

Emirates Airline app for Android has been updated today with new features that make it easier for travelers to do much of the travel-related chores right on the device and having recently traveled by Emirates, I can say the experience is very good compared to the local airline app. One of the new features make the boarding pass available offline, which is very convenient as it avoids having to enable mobile data in order to access it. A minor thing, but a time saver.

The app will also allow travelers to establish communication with Emirates customer desk should they have any query. Another nice touch which speedier than being put on hold until an agent is available to take your call. To initiate the live chat, simply tap the three vertical dots in the upper right corner and select "Contact us". Then tap "Talk to us now". On doing so, the app will switch to the Chrome browser and pressing the "Start chat" button will establish communication with an Emirates employee. A quick and easy to get any issue resolved.

If you're a frequent traveler aboard Emirates Airline, make sure you download or update the app in Google Play Store to take advantage of these useful features. Bon voyage. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Google Calculator updated with text editing and new icon.


Today Google has updated the Calculator app on devices running Android Marshmallow or above. Owners of these devices will be able to edit the formula. 

After upgrading the Calculator app, users will see the cursor blinking in the text box, a visual indication that the text box is now editable. The cursor can be dragged around or a double tap on part of the formula will have it selected. A long press also will achieve the same result. Highlighting a formula will bring up a context menu with the option to cut, copy, paste, select all and MS (Memory Store).

Google added another small visual change to an existing feature. The Calculator has a drawer to the right side of the app. Slide the drawer to reveal more math operators. In this update, Google added a little arrow as yet another visual indicator.

Previous icon
New icon













Finally, the app icon has changed with the equal sign less prominent. Get the update in Google Play Store.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gboard for Android now lets you draw emojis and does phrase suggestions.

Gboard is quickly becoming the goto keyboard on Android devices as Google keeps adding new features to it. Gboard has always been my default keyboard on my Android devices and today it has been updated, again. 

The first noteworthy feature happens in the emoji search box. Users can now tap the emoji handwriting icon and start drawing an emoji. Gboard's machine learning will automatically recognize the drawing and retrieve the results from its emoji list. See the GIF below to see how it works.



Gboard has also improved suggestions when typing text. The new update will predict what you plan to type and suggest phrase. Only English is currently supported, but Google said more languages will be rolling out soon.



There's more in this update, so check out Google's blog post. Head over to Google Play Store to get the update Gboard. The update may not be available yet in your region.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

English Premier League official app updated in preparation for 2017/18 season.

The start of next English Premier League season is two months away and the League's app on Android has already been updated for the 2017/18 season with the app showing the league table. Currently, Arsenal is at the top followed by Bournemouth, Brighton and Burnley. Last season champions, Chelsea, stands at number five. 

The next season starts on Saturday August 12 and concludes on Sunday May 13 2018. Will Chelsea raise the trophy again? Will Manchester City Pep Guardiola or Manchester United Mourihno or Liverpool Klopp finally be champions? One thing for sure, next season promises to be exciting. The fixtures for the 2017/18 season will be published on Wednesday June 14.

Head over to Google Play Store to update the Premier League - Official App and activate the notifications in the app settings to learn everything there is about the upcoming season.  

Friday, June 9, 2017

TuneIn introduces offline listening of audio-books for premium users.

Not everyone has unlimited data on their devices, so it is nice to see developers consider this important aspect of life when making apps for our devices. Today TuneIn, the online radio and music app for Android has been updated to allow premium users to download audio-books for offline listening. A download button is now available in the audio-book profile for users to download their favorite audio-books for listening on the go. Since audio-books are large files, the device must be connected to Wi-Fi to download. Remember, this new feature is available to premium users of TuneIn only. 

Version 18.0 of TuneIn also fixes an issue for a crash on Android TV; a fix for a crash on device rotation on Home; a fix for a bug that was occurring on deep links.

TuneIn brings over 100, 000 stations to your device for your listening pleasure. That's quite a large selection of sports, news, music and talks. Check out TuneIn in Google Play Store.

The free version of TuneIn can be downloaded here.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Udacity for Android now supports offline videos subtitle.

Learning new technologies nowadays is made easy thanks to sites like Udacity and I, for one, Know how beneficial such online learning sites help in my every workday and with internet connectivity continuously improving, that makes learning on the go a definite advantage. I remember the days when I was lugging around thick and heavy Microsoft official curriculum books. Fortunately, all these books now fit on my devices. Udacity, among others, brings learning to another level and today, Udacity published an update to improve the learning experience.

A few month ago, Udacity updated their Android app to allow downloading videos within their app for offline learning.  Today, the builtin video player now supports subtitles while in offline mode. This new feature can be disabled in the Settings page should users not want subtitles in offline mode. This update also includes the usual bug fixes and some small UI tweaks. The change log does not provide details about the latter.

Udacity is a great app for those who want and need to continue learning. Check it out in the Google Play Store.

Monday, June 5, 2017

SofaScore now provides list of missing and injured players for selected matches.

SofaScore Live Score app for Android received a minor update that brings additional data that will please the sports fans among us. The app will now show "missing and injured players below the lineups in selected matches." The change log does not provide any details about the selected matches but we can guess it will apply to the top of the leagues clubs.

The update also adds personal information on Cricket player as well as career statistics. Again, this is a minor update that raises the version number to 5.39.9 and can be downloaded or updated in Google Play Store

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Google Photos AI-powered archiving is rolling out now.


Google just made archiving photos a tad easier with a feature update rolling out now for Android, iOS and the web version of Google Photos. We take pictures of memorable moments and also of receipts, notes and other file types. However, we don't necessarily want to see them all mix up together. The new Archive feature will help handle all that and put some order in Google Photos.


The manual archiving is still there should users want to remove some pitures out of the main display. The new feature will use machine learning to find those photos you most likely would want to archive. Of course, users will still be able to review the suggestions and remove any photos they don't want archived. Archived photos can still be found under Archive in the app or on the web or when searching for them.

The feature is already available for Android in Google Play Store. Give it a try and keep your Google Photos main display neat.

Source: Google Photos

Friday, June 2, 2017

Google Sheets easily builds charts with a simple question thanks to machine learning.

Google Sheets on Android received some major improvements today. Thanks to machine learning, Sheets is now capable of manipulating data and displaying them in a meaningful way without much effort from the user. For example, creating tables in spreadsheets requires several steps, but thanks to machine learning and a simple question, and without the use of formulas, Google Sheets is capable building a chart for you. By a simple question, I mean something like "what are average sales on Sundays?". Just take a look above the Gif to get an idea of how it all works.

Google also improved the synchronization mechanism between Sheets, Docs and Slides. If you copied a table say between Sheets and Docs, a simple press of an update button will keep the two files or data source in sync.




This update also some more features to improve users' experience and efficiency:
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Change default shortcuts in your browser to the same spreadsheet shortcuts you’re already used to. For example, delete a row quickly by using “Ctrl+-.”  
  • Upgraded printing experience: Preview Sheet data in today’s new print interface. Adjust margins, select scale and alignment options or repeat frozen rows and columns before you print your work.
  • Powerful new chart editing experience: Create and edit charts in a new, improved sidebar. Choose from custom colors in charts or add additional trendlines to model data. You can also create more chart types, like 3D charts. This is now also available for iPhones and iPads
  • More spreadsheet functions: We added new functions to help you find insights, bringing the total function count in Sheets to more than 400. Try “SORTN,” a function unique to Sheets, which can show you the top three orders or best-performing months in a sales record spreadsheet. Sheets also support statistical functions like “GAMMADIST,” “F.TEST” and “CHISQ.INV.RT.”
Learn more over on Google Blog.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Amazon Kindle for Android now displays the clock right in the book or magazine you're reading.


One can easily lose track of time when reading and Amazon Kindle is aware of that. In their latest update to Amazon Kindle for Android, they introduced a clock that becomes visible at the top left corner of supported books or magazines after enabling the feature in the app settings. According to the change log, the same feature can be toggled on or off by tapping the upper, left-hand corner of the page. And I confirm that this useful feature just works.

In addition, Amazon also added a new font dubbed the Amazon Ember Bold in the Display Settings. A heavier font Amazon says may make reading easier.

Go check these new features by downloading or updating the app in Google Play Store.

CNN reintroduces Darth Vader's "This is CNN" in its Android app.

CNN completely redesigned their Android app back in February with a card-like view that required a lot of scrolling as one piece of news almost entirely filled the screen. After that first overhaul, CNN, probably listening to users complaints, brought changes by introducing a reading mode in May that let users remove the pictures to display only the news titles, thus requiring less scrolling.This has since been my default layout. Today CNN has again updated its app by bringing back the iconic James Earle Jones' "This is CNN" as in the previous version of the app, users will be able to activate or deactivate this feature in the app settings. The app also includes multiple bug fixes.

So if you're a fan of Darth Vader saying "This is CNN", go into the app settings to enable it. But first, head into Google Play Store to download or update the app. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

YouTube gets a new design, moving the tabs to the bottom.

Today Google has updated YouTube to make it identical to the iOS version by moving the tabs from the top of the app to the bottom, thus making them easily accessible to our thumbs without over-stretching them anymore when using large screen phones. But that is not the only change. The account tab is gone and is replaced by a Library tab which contains the Offline videos, History, My videos, Purchases, Watch later and the videos users liked. Google also got rid of the three vertical dots at the top right of the screen that gave access to the app settings among other things. All these are now behind the users account icon or avatar alongside the search, camera and - if you own one - Chromecast icon.

Besides the similarity in design with YouTube for the iPhone/iPad, YouTube for Android makes the top of the app look thinner and cleaner, and the tabs more accessible on big phones. The update is gradually rolling out, so be patient if you do not see it yet.

Here's the full change log:
A new design makes it easier to use YouTube:
• Find your watch history, uploads, purchases, and playlists in the new Library tab
• Reach tabs more easily and switch between them from any screen
• See more videos with a smaller navigation bar
• Switch accounts, view notifications, and manage settings by tapping your avatar

Check out the update in Google Play Store

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Microsoft brings file transfer from/to PC & phone to Arrow Launcher for Android.


Microsoft has updated Arrow Launcher for Android yesterday adding new cards and support for more features to the built-in backup and restore tool.

The first card is the is the Arrow Hub card, a feature for transferring files from PC to mobile. For this feature to work, users are required to sign in with their Microsoft account. After that, the file transfer card will show a upload button to send files to other devices. Tap the button reveals a menu with four choices of file types: Image, video, Document, Clipboard. Tap the one file type you want, then tap once to select the file you want to upload or press and hold on one file and select more than one file. The next step must be done on a device with a web browser and access the Arrow Files website to view and/or download the uploaded files. Accessing the site requires login in with the same Microsoft Account used in Arrow Launcher on the Android device.  The website also have a add button at the bottom right that allows uploading a file from a PC to the phone. All in all, it's quite a quick and easy way to instantly share files between your devices.

This update also adds a new MSN News card with the option to select a category of news you want displayed and remove those you do not want. By default, the card will show three latest news headlines and Microsoft included a "Show All" button for a full list of news.

Version 3.5 of Arrow Launcher improves the Backup and Restore tools:
Widgets/icon pack and more settings;
  • Voice input for Reminders & Notwes
  • Search experience upgrade (voice & QR)
  • Option to turn off recent apps in app drawer
  • Stability and bug fixes.
That's quite a nice update and I'm particularly enjoying the file transfer feature. Check out the the update in Google Play Store or download Microsoft Arrow Launcher.





 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gmail lets you reply to emails quickly with Smart Reply.


I'm a longtime user of Inbox by Gmail, another Gmail client by Google for both Android and iOS. One of my favorite features is Smart Reply, which comes in very handy when replying to emails on the phone while on the move. Google says that Smart Reply "already drives 12 percent of replies in Inbox on mobile." If you haven't made the move to Inbox, as from the today, you will be able to take advantage of Smart Reply in Gmail. 

This new feature will provide three responses based on the email you received, thus helping quickly and easily reply to emails. "Once you've selected one, you can send it immediately or edit your response starting with the Smart Reply text. Either way, you're saving time." As almost every Google app these days, Smart Reply relies on machine learning technology to give you the best responses the more you use it. Smart Reply for Gmail will start roll out in English first, followed by Spanish in the coming weeks.

Download or update Gmail in Google Play Store or Inbox by Gmail.

Google renames Android's "Device Manager" to "Find My Phone".


The late Windows Phone had an app called "Find my Phone" and the iPhone has a similar app called "Find iPhone" or "iPad", but on Android, Google chose the name "Device Manager" for an app that lets you geo-locate your lost or stolen device. You will agree it is not a descriptive name. I, as a systems administrator, thought the app was meant for systems admins to manage their pool of devices in their enterprise. Add to that that I started learning developing apps for Android last year in order to better understand how software works - I developed two apps in the mean time - "Device Manager" was confusing. That is to say that "Device Manager" was really a poor choice of name. Yesterday, Google changed that.

"Device Manager" is now "Find My Phone", a simple and meaningful name. Google also redesigned the app to adopt its Material design and added some useful data such as battery and WiFi status. This info can be very useful as you will know how much time until your battery dies and to which network it is connected to. Additionally, "Find my Phone" will display the last location of your phone, which should prove useful in your quest to recover it.

Make sure you download Find My Phone in Google Play Store.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

CNN app for Android gets new reader mode and support for Chromecast.

Reader mode enabled
Reader mode disabled

Back in February of the current year, CNN updated its Android app with a new card based design that I described as terrible for a news app. The new layout required a lot of scrolling with one news item taking most of the screen property. Today CNN has pushed another update that, unfortunately, does not replace the big cards layout, but includes a new reader mode that will remove the huge pictures and all associated links from the news-feed and instead keep only the news titles that make it easier and quicker to consume news on your device. Reader Mode can be enabled in the app settings by tapping the gear icon at the top right and use the toggle to activate.

CNN also added support for Chromecast so you'll be able to throw videos to your TV while doing something else on your phone.

If you have not tried the CNN news app for Android yet, you can download it free in Google Play Store.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Pocket Casts for Android fixes issues with clean up apps deleting artwork.

Pocket Casts, the popular podcast app for Android got updated with some fixes today. Check out the change log below:
Sometimes in life, you gotta clean up before you renovate the place:
• Fixes issues with clean up apps deleting all our artwork (umm thanks guys, but really, leave it alone). As a side effect of this fix though images now load far faster and update quicker than ever before :)
• Fixes issues playback resuming, video playback not ending correctly, metadata causing playback crashes, Up Next and Android Auto.
• Yes we crammed a lot in. Thanks for noticing! You peeps are the bestest most awesomest.
Pocket Casts is available for purchase in Google Play Store.

SofaScore for Android update brings referee profile page and search for managers.

My Favorite sports app got updated today. The app now provides a referee profile page with the picture of the referee and a list of their past matches. I'm not sure how that is useful, but it's there should this be of any interest to sports fan. SofaScore also adds the option to search for managers with all the details o their career.

Version 5.38.4 of SofaScore also includes the following features:

  • Reply to someone in chat. Use "Reply" option in dropdown menu of their message, or tag them with "@nickname".
  • Matches in tournaments without rounds, like NBA, NHL, and MLB, are now divided by days .
  • You can now suggest corrections for teams.
Grab the update in Google Play Store.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Opera Max introduces new mobile data savings feature for Facebook.


Mobile data costs money and, unfortunately, some apps on our phones do not quite play nice when it comes to using data appropriately and Facebook is one of those apps that is a resource hog. Fully aware of that, Opera Max, a data savings tool made by the same company that built the Opera browser, is today introducing a new feature aimed at helping users save data when accessing the social network on their Android device.

In order to take advantage of this new data savings for Facebook, users will have to sign in to Facebook within Opera Max itself, a requirement that may make many uncomfortable with. In the event you're inclined to do so, tap the hamburger menu at the top left of the app or swipe from the left and select "Savings for Facebook", enter your credentials and you're done. The app will use a built-in browser to access Facebook mobile site.  Opera Max will also give you information on the data you saved. For that, tap the three vertical dots at the top right of the screen. This menu also give users control on quality of images, videos and music compression etc. 

If yu are on a limited data plan and a frequent Facebook user, give Opera Max a go. But if you feel uncomfortable signing in to Facebook through a third party app, you may as well use Facebook Lite for Android made by the social network giant.

Download Opera Max in Google Play Store.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Facebook releases Messenger Lite in over 130 countries.

Today Facebook is making Messenger lite app available to more that 130 countries. Facebook Messenger, along with the Facebook app, have long been criticized for being resource hogs on Android devices. In response, Facebook has made Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite available for devices with limited processing power.


The new Facebook Messenger Lite does not all the bells and whistles of the original Messenger app. For example, phone and video calls are missing. In addition, the app will keep you connected should you be in an area where data coverage is poor. Facebook Messenger Lite is pretty much a simple messenger app that's been designed to quickly send a message to your families and friends on any Android phone you have without the frustration you can sometimes experience with its full featured bigger brother.

Facebook did not post a list of countries where they made Messenger Lite available, so just go to Google Play Store and you should see it if it is. Otherwise, you can still search the web for the APK. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SoundCloud for Android now supports saving songs to a storage card for offline listening.

SoundCloud is available on Android in three packages with the first one being free and giving access to 120 millions songs "from emerging and established artists." If you subscribed to the free offering, you will not be able to listen to your music offline as opposed to SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+ packages. If you subscribed to the latter two packages worth $4.99 and $9.99 per month, you will be able to download your songs to the storage card if your device supports it.  

Check out the complete SoundCloud offers below before heading to Google Play Store to download or update the app:

SOUNDCLOUD FREE:

- Over 120 million tracks from emerging and established artists
- Get suggested tracks based on your likes and listening habits
- Discover incredible music in each genre with SoundCloud charts, from all-time greats to the newest and hottest tracks
- Connect with friends and interact with your favorite artists directly
- Create playlists for parties, workouts, on the way to work, or whatever mood you're in

SOUNDCLOUD GO:

- Discover, stream, and share a constantly expanding mix of music – anytime, anywhere
- Over 120 million tracks from emerging and established artists
- Take your collection offline, everywhere you go
- No ads, for an uninterrupted listening experience
- Support artists – a percentage of all revenue from SoundCloud Go is paid to creators on the platform
- All for just $4.99/month*

SOUNDCLOUD GO+:

- Upgrade to Go+ for a fully expanded catalog of over 150 million tracks, including superstars from major labels and indies
- Take your collection offline, everywhere you go
- No more 30 second previews — all music on SoundCloud, including premium Go+ tracks, is fully accessible to stream and save offline
- No ads
- Support artists – a percentage of all revenue from SoundCloud Go+ is paid to creators on the platform
- 30 days free, then $9.99/month**


Unfortunately, the 30 days free offer is limited to users in the United States.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nova Launcher beta makes it easier to disable dynamic badges.


If you're part of the Nova Launcher beta, there's a new update for you to try. Nova Launcher recently added dynamic badges to the launcher and this update expands this feature a little bit with the ability to disable dynamic badges per-app and while that might sounds like no big deal, and it is the case, except that users won't have to navigate through several layers of menu in the app settings to do so. A simple long press on an app icon followed by Edit-Show badges is enough to disable dynamic badges. This update will also "respect system level themes on Samsung and Huawei devices."

This update will take a few days to make it to the official version which is available in the Google Play Store. If you want to get your hands dirty, join the beta program on Google+.


Friday, April 21, 2017

SofaScore provides details about the type of surface in Tennis match.

You're a sports fan and away from a TV set while your favorite sport is live, SofaScore is the app you need on your Android device to follow the games and should the name be any indication, SofaScore will bring live scores to your device as well as short videos of the actions. Since SofaScore covers pretty much of any sports, I strongly recommend you download it.

SofaScore pushed a minor update for tennis fans today. Besides the usual games statistics, Tennis fans will get information on the type of surface in the match details. Hard core fans won't necessarily need that, but it might make sense for casual fans. Not everyone knows that Monte Carlo's surface is clay - That's where the ATP tour is at right now. In addition, users will be able to filter Tennis games by surface and will find a link to qualifications tournaments from the details of the main tournament.

Check out SofaScore 5.37.5 in Google Play Store and enjoy the games.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Google Earth lets you orbit the world in 3D right on your Android device.

Google Earth is making the headlines again these days and the last time I blogged about it was way back in 2011 when Google made the app available on Android tablets. There has been updates since then, but nothing noteworthy. This week Google released a major update of the app and its something.


I haven't used it yet, but based on the change log, all I can say for now is that it's definitely worth a look. As Google pointed out, Google Earth is a "major upgrade with brand new features." See the change log below and travel the world without leaving your home couch.

* Choose your own adventure with Voyager
Experience interactive stories from around the world.
* Discover new places with Knowledge Cards
Flip through cards and learn about local landmarks.
* Orbit the world in 3D
Use the new 3D button or tilt the map with two fingers.
* Snap and share a Postcard
Capture snapshots of locations and share them with your friends.
* Feeling Lucky?
Roll the dice and see where the world takes you.

Head over to Google Play Store and download Google Earth.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Instagram on Android to get offline mode soon.

Instagram will be launching a new feature soon that will allow its users to access their content without an internet connection. Currently, Instagram requires an active data connection to work properly. Without one, the app is just useless. That will change soon as Instagram is set to introduce offline mode for its Android app.

Users will be able to view previously downloaded content in their feeds, leave comments, unfollow people and like friends' post. Instagram will sync any offline activity back to its servers once the user connects to the Internet again. 

Surely such a feature should attract more users in developing countries where data connection can be unreliable in some areas or help users with limited data to access Instagram at any time. Instagram did not announce a release date, but according to a Techcrunch report, "more will come in the following months."

Source: techcrunch

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Apple makes it easier to enter verification code when Two Factor Authentication is turned on.

Apple has issued an update for its Android Music app today that "makes it easier to enter a verification code when your Apple ID has Two Factor Authentication turned on." I use Apple Music on my Android and iPad, but I never activated two factor authentication, which is a bad idea. I do not recommend you follow me on this, especially now that Apple is making two factor easy for its subscribers. The change log also mentions another fix that "resolves an issue where text may display incorrectly for certain languages you choose in Android Settings."

Get Apple Music in Google Play Store.

Viber for Android now lets you watch YouTube videos in-chat.

Users of Viber for Android are in for a treat in the last update as they will be able preview and view YouTube videos in a chat message. While this update is nothing major, it's more like Viber catching up with competition from WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. So when Viber users will receive a link to a YouTube video, Viber will show a preview of the video and users will get all the options to play, pause, forward or rewind the video within the app.

Another addition to Viber is the ability to know whenViber "contacts were last seen online." Of course, like any updates, Viber also gets some bug fixes and improvements.

Viber Messenger is free for download free on Google Play Store.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Anyone can draw with Google AutoDraw, even me.

My Spider...
...converted by AutoDraw

I can draw!!! In school I never managed to score anything above zero in arts class, so much so that my teacher, recognizing a desperate cause, just let sit in a corner of the class and do my own thing. Years later, I still suffer from this severe lack of artistic skills. But that is all about to change thanks to Google's AutoDraw, which turns your scribbles into something meaningful and pretty.

AutoDraw is a web-based tool that works in about any browser on a PC or phone "that pairs machine learning with drawings created by talented artists to help you draw." If you're reluctant, I strongly encourage you to go ahead and give a try. I did and look at the drawings above I made with AutoDraw. There are builtin tools you can use to make your drawings prettier, such as adding text, fill you drawing with colors and finally save it to your computer or device.

Make sure you watch this nice video from Google about AutoDraw.



To try AutoDraw, point your browser to autodraw.com. It's free.

Source: Google

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Netflix replaces 5-stars ratings with thumbs to improve personalized suggestions.


In an update rolling out today, Netflix is retiring the familiar five-star rating system and replacing it with the much simpler thumbs-up and thumbs-down mechanism. In other words, you will either like or dislike a movie, with nothing in between. The five-star rating had the advantage of letting users moderately like something. However it was more of an indication of what customers in general liked or disliked, not really helpful to improve your personal experience. With the new thumbs rating mechanism, Netflix will use your ratings "to help you get better suggestions" and push those suggestions to your homepage within the app.


The new rating system will, according to Netflix, tell them "that you like something and want to see similar suggestions. A thumbs-down lets us know you aren't interested in watching that title and we should stop suggesting it to you." Furthermore, "using thumbs helps us learn more about your unique tastes so we can do a better job suggesting stories we think you'll love.", Netflix said in a blog post. The streaming company also claims they saw a 200% increase in ratings activity when testing thumbs rating.



I never rated anything in Netflix. Will the thumbs mechanism get me started? We'll see with time. 

You can download Netflix in Google Play Store.

Source: Netflix