Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WhatsApp announces real-time Live Location sharing coming to Android and iOS.


Recently I blogged about Telegram bringing live location sharing to Android and today WhatsApp on Android and iOS is following suit with the gradual roll out of the same feature. Once the update reaches users’ devices, they will be able to share their location in real time. WhatsApp posted about this: “Whether you’re meeting up with friends, letting loved ones know you’re safe, or sharing your commute, Live Location is a simple and secure way to let people know you are safe.”

And this new feature is fully encrypted, keeping it hidden from prying eyes. Like Telegram’s implementation, WhatsApp users will be able to stop the sharing at any time or “let the Live Location sharing timer simply expire.” The blog post does not give any details about the default time the sharing stops and I haven’t got the update on my phone yet to verify this.

Live Location sharing works for one person and groups. According to the blog post, users can do this by tapping “"Location" in the attach button, there's a new option to "Share Live Location." Choose for how long you want to share and tap send. Each person in the chat will be able to see your real-time location on a map. And if more than one person shares their Live Location in the group, all locations will be visible on the same map.”

As I said above, the update hasn’t reach my device yet and WhatsApp said that the update will be rolling out in the coming weeks. Check it out on Google Play Store.

Source: WhatsApp

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Google Photos now groups your pets photos alongside humans because they're family.

Hey pet owners! Google is rolling out an update for Google Photos that will let you easily search and group together photos of your beloved pets. These photos will now show alongside people photos in the app. You will no longer have you use search terms to filter out your pet photos as they will all now be grouped in one place.

Google is making it even more easier for you. Like with people photos, you will be able to label your pet photos by name “to more easily pull up their photos in the app, or create albums, movies or photo books using their pictures.” Additionally, the update will let you search by breed or by emoji.

Back in May, Google started rolling out a new feature that automatically made a movie out of your pet photos. Today’s update will allow users to create their own movies and use “six pet-inspired” songs available in the movie editor.

Google has started rolling out the update to most countries today. Show your pet even more love by downloading or upgrading Google Photos in Google Play Store.
Source: Google

Sunday, October 15, 2017

OneNote for Android now supports password to sections, fingerprint unlocking. Read this how-to.


Today Microsoft has updated OneNote for Android to support password-protected sections with the goal to secure your notes, sensitive or not, “from prying eyes”. Securing notes is a feature that is already available in the Windows version of the app and it’s great to see Microsoft porting it to Android as part of its mobile strategy. Let’s see how to use the new feature on Android after installing the update.

After starting OneNote on your device, open a Notebook that has the sections you want to lock with a password. Tap and hold on one of your section and tap “Protect Section” in the menu to bring up the screen below where you’ll type your password twice and tap OK. After entering your password, OneNote will take you back to the Sections screen where you’ll see an unlock padlock next to your section name. Yes, OneNote does not lock the section right away. You’ll have to close and re-open the app for the password to come into effect. But wait, there’s more.


The update also includes support for fingerprints on devices with fingerprint scanners built-in. This feature does not appear right away. You must first setup a password as explained above and the next time you unlock a section, OneNote will have a toggle to enable “Unlock with fingerprint next time” you access your section. Users will still be given the option to unlock their sections with a password.


OneNote does not let you have more than one section unlocked. It will automatically lock a section after you navigate away to open another section. Which makes sense from a security perspective. However, I don’t get it why Microsoft added a “Lock All” feature in the context menu of a section. Tap and hold on an unlocked section and you will see “Lock All” there. Again, not sure why it’s there, but I may be missing a point.

This context menu also lets you change or remove the password. The former requires you enter the old password before entering your new one. To remove a password, type your password and you’re done. Note, you can do all this only after unlocking a section. These options won’t appear if you tap and hold on a locked section, obviously.


One very important detail: At the bottom of the unlock screen - see screenshot above -, there’s this very important note that says: “Important: If you lose or forget the password. OneNote can’t recover your data.” There does not seem to be a limit on the number of logon attempts. During my test, I typed a wrong password 10 times without any consequences. So, if you forget or lose your password, your notes will remain, you just won’t be able to access them anymore. Unless you remember your password. You’ve been warned.

The ability to lock sections in OneNote is a nice update for users who are security-minded. Check it out in Google Play Store.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Telegram 4.4 for Android gets live location sharing and a redesigned media player.


Today, the popular Telegram messaging app for Android has been updated to version 4.4 with a new Live Location feature that will let users share their current location to any chat in real time. Telegram writes in a blog post that this feature is “useful when you are on your way to an appointment or are trying to coordinate with friends at a large event.

The Live Location feature gets its name from the fact that users can share their location and choose how long other users in a chat can see their them. Three choices are available: 15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours. To start location sharing, simply tap the attachment icon and select location. Tap Share My Live Location for… and select the length of time convenient to you. It is also possible to share Live location in groups and “if other members of the group do the same, you’ll get an interactive map of everyone’s current coordinates.” A bar at the top will remind you that location is still active and users can stop sharing with two taps.

Redesigned media player

Telegram also redesigned the built-in media in this update to “better support the playback of MP3s and other music files you send and receive.” The blog post even offers a channel where users can experience the new media player. The channel is @cctracks. There, users will be able to download some audio files to listen to. 

Language and community-driven translation.

With the addition of French, Indonesian, Malay, Russian and Ukrainian, Telegram now supports 13 languages that can be changed in-app. In order to improve the translation, Telegram is inviting users to use their localization platform and help with proper translation. Should users find a “specific element” that is not properly translated, they can suggest “alternative word or phrase.

Check out Telegram 4.4 for Android in Google Play Store.


Monday, October 9, 2017

App Review: K-News app for Android brings Mauritian news to your fingertips.


If you’re out there looking for a local news aggregator, there is an excellent app in the Google Play Store developed by a local developer. K-news has it all in place for you. When you open the app, it provides content from popular newspapers of the country. Currently, it’s showing news articles from L’Express and Defi Media news groups. The lazy among us will appreciate that they won’t have to go out hunting for news source to add to the app and you don’t need to sign in with any of your social network accounts to pull content from the above-mentioned news source. That’s a great plus for those who value their privacy.

Interface

When you open K-News, you see a card-view layout and you swipe up and down to scroll. Swiping down from the top will refresh the news feed and pull new contents if available. You can also tap the Refresh button at the top next to the Search icon. The latter will bring up a Search screen and bar. Type in a word or phrase you’d like to search and the app will display all articles related to your search. Tap the X in the Search field to clear it and do another search. After you’re done, tap the back button on your phone to return to the app main screen.



The developer published an update today that brings some nice changes to the UI. I’m posting some pictures below that shows the old and new UI. The cards now show the news category as well and a reader counter that shows the number of times an article was read. By default, the app shows the news making the headlines first. And there is an option in the menu to show the most read ones. There’s also a Video option that pulls video content from L’Express, Defi Media and IoN Video. These filters can be found under the hamburger menu – the three horizontal bars – in the upper left corner of the app. You can also swipe from left of your screen to access them.

Old UI                                       New UI

Articles

Each card in the newsfeed shows the news tile and the beginning of the article. Tap the card to display the full article. The full news page has a picture at the top and the title right underneath it. I’ve noticed that those loads very quickly, but the article took longer to load. The text is left aligned which, in my opinion, makes for easy reading and the font size makes the text easy to read.

Each article has the sharing icon in the upper right to share to social networks or in emails. If you find a news of interest but you don’t have time to read it, you can choose to read later provided you have apps like Pocket installed on your device.

Conclusion

K-News is currently in beta, meaning the developer is still working on it and may have some bugs. But it is publicly available for download without the need to sign up and despite being a beta, it is very stable. I haven’t experienced any crashes. Sure, there are a lot of features that the developer can choose to add, like giving users the ability to choose the category they want to see more or support for notifications. But again, this is work in progress and I’m sure he will add more features. As of now, K-News is the best local news aggregator you will find in Google Play Store.




Saturday, October 7, 2017

Live sports score app SofaScore gets new Android 8 notification features, now covers Cycling & FIFA rankings.


Cycling fans rejoice. SofaScore, the popular live sports score app on Android, has been updated today and the team added Cycling to the app. I must admit I am not a fan of cycling, so there’s not much I can write about that sport. The change log itself does not provide any details. If you’re a cycling fan, grab the update in the store to learn more.

This update also makes SofaScore compatible with Android 8.0 Oreo and will provide a completely new notification settings experience. I expect SofaScore to take advantage of the new notifications features Google added to Android 8.

Soccer managers are always the least talked about, unless they’re fired or are Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United coach. In this update, SofaScore is introducing a history chart for managers showing average points and time spent with teams.

SofaScore now also covers FIFA games and will give details on international matches and national teams.

This update, version 5.44.3, also includes the following:

·       More odds are now available in app.

·       ATP series information for tennis tournaments.

·       Information about matches played on neutral ground.

Check out the update in Google Play Store.

Friday, October 6, 2017

YouTube for Android gets a new Activity tab with two sub tabs: Shared and Notifications.

I just noticed a new Activity tab has appeared out of nowhere in the YouTube app for Android. The new tab has two 'sub tabs' under it: Shared and Notifications. The former got replaced by the new tab and got relegated to a sub tab. Notifications got promoted from users profile. In the end, it's two features of the YouTube app that are made easily accessible. No more fiddling around to find the channels you follow closely. I'm not sure though if this update is available worldwide. The YouTube app on my other Android device still does not show the Activity tab. Just check it out and with some luck, you may find it there.

Technically, this appears to be change on the server side, so I don't expect an update to appear in Google Play Store. Or maybe it will eventually and I'll keep you posted if it does.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Emirates partners with Flydubai for easy check in and booking on Android.


The Emirates app for Android has been updated today and if you are a frequent traveler or not, you might want to check this update especially if you are a customer of the low cost Flydubai airline.



The Emirates app now lets travelers of Flydubai search, book and check in for Flydubai flights within the app for a “seamless booking experience.”, and this is possible thanks to the partnership between Emirates and Flydubai.



The app also includes the usual performance improvements and bug fixes. Check it out on Google Play Store and enjoy.


Microsoft renames Arrow Launcher to Microsoft Launcher with new design and features.


Today Microsoft has rebranded its launcher app for Android. Arrow Launcher is more, make place for Microsoft Launcher. A change that makes sense as the previous one was no indication that the launcher was developed by the software giant. And of course, there is more to it as Microsoft Launcher gets a new logo, a redesign and some new features.

Top on the list of new features is the addition of “Continue on PC”. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s a useful feature that lets users easily share files from a phone to a PC running Windows 10, obviously.

Microsoft Launcher also includes support for gestures. For example, users can double tap to screen lock or swipe down to do a search, etc. Users can re-assign these gestures to perform other tasks in the app settings. The launcher also supports pining contacts to the Home screen, in folders or on the dock.

The launcher also brings an improved personalized feed which you can access by swiping from the left on the Home screen. The personalized feed can even be set as the default Home screen, bringing everything you like on your main screen for quick access.

Long time Arrow Launcher user will notice much of the change that the new Microsoft Launcher brings. For those looking for a new launcher on their Android devices, check out Microsoft Launcher in Google Play Store.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Video sharing is now faster in Google Photos for Android.

Google just made it easier and faster for us to share our videos through its excellent Google Photos app for Android. The frustration of not being able to share your videos right away due to a slow connection is now an experience that the new update to Google Photos promises to get rid of. As of now, uploading videos is not the best of experience.

The updated Google Photos will make that faster by uploading a low-res version of videos, small enough for quick sharing. The app will later replace the low-res video with the high-res video you recorded once your Android device connects to a good enough internet connection.


No more waiting to share videos with your family and friends. Wait no more and go grab the update in Google Play Store.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

CNN re-introduces swiping on articles in its Android app.

Here’s a small but useful update to the CNN app for Android that flew under my radar. CNN completely redesigned their Android app back in February and since, they have been gradually adding new features to the app. Actually, they are re-introducing features that were present in the old version into the new one.

This update re-introduces side-by-side swiping between articles so you don’t have to navigate back to the app’s main page to get to a new article. Simply swipe to go to the next or previous article.


This small update raises the app version number to 5.7 and can be downloaded in Google Play Store.

Apple fixes an issue that prevented users from adding to their library.

About a week ago, Apple brought an important update to Apple Music on Android. The company added a feature for users to follow their friends to see the music they are listening to and the playlists they shared. To enjoy this, users are required to create a profile to “discover music with friends.” In addition, Apple also included Voice Search powered by Google. Users can “touch and hold the home button or say “OK Google” to use your voice to play artists, albums, songs, and Beats 1 on Apple Music.” That was it for version 2.2.
Today, the Cupertino company released another update, albeit a minor one which raises the version number to 2.2.1, which fixes an issue that “may prevent users from adding to their library.

That’s all there is to it, so head over to Google Play Store to download this update.

Friday, September 22, 2017

SofaScore for Android now lets you change language in-app, provides heatmap for players and more.

SofaScore, the sports live score app for Android, has been updated to version 5.43.0. Users will now be able to change the language in the app settings independent of the device language. The list of supported languages is quite extensive.

This new version also includes a new feature for soccer fans where they will now get a player heatmap. I am not sure what that is, but if I were to make a guess, it sounds like app users will get a map showing players positioning on the field. The area where they spend more time will be showed in red, yellow or orange. The image below kind of says it all. 


This update adds vROI to the app which SofaScore says is a value which “is now visible on the table (value in orange). This is the actual value by which we sort our predictors.” Does that make sense? vROI is also available in user profile.

The news page has been replaced by SofaScore forum in the navigation drawer. Should you want to access the forum in your browser, go to forum.sofascore.com.

The last item in this update provides the “number of titles won by a current title holder and location of the host in tournament details.”

Sports fans can get the update in Google Play Store

Microsoft fixes Yammer crash on devices running Android 8.0 Oreo.

Yammer, Microsoft’s social network for the enterprise, has been updated on Android. The update does not add new features to the app, but includes some fixes that make it compatible with Oreo, the latest iteration of Android. This version of the popular mobile OS is also known as Android 8.0 and was released last month. However, the update is available on Google’s remaining Nexus and current Pixel devices. No other device manufacturers have released the update yet, but some, like Motorola and HTC have already announced the upgrade will be made available for some of their devices without specifying any dates.

That said, Microsoft has published an update for Yammer on Android that will prevent the app from crashing. In other words, Yammer is now Oreo friendly. Microsoft also fixed a crash on Android 5.1 and below version when downloading an attachment.

If you’re a Yammer user, grab the update in Google Play Store.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Telegram 4.3 adds the '@' badge for users to never miss messages in the chat list and more.

Earlier this year, Telegram allowed its users to create groups with up to 10,000 members from 200 initially. Tracking messages in a large group can be quite tedious and irritating. Telegram is adding a new feature today that will let users easily keep track of mentions and replies thanks to a ‘@’ badge in their chat list. The badge will disappear after they’ve read the messages.



This update contains a bunch of other features. Telegram allows users to create and upload stickers into the app and this update will let users who uploaded 5 or more stickers will be able to add individual stickers to their favorites, making them easily accessible at the top of the sticker panel in the ‘star section’.




Telegram is also introducing stickers for groups. “…large groups with 100 members and more can now choose an official sticker set for all the members of the group to see and use while they’re chatting in the group without the need of adding it to their panels.




The ‘Invite Friends’ feature has been revamped. Basically, invitees with contacts in Telegram will appear at the top of your list.



And there’s more:
Twitch videos are now supported in the Telegram in-app player, so you can watch Twitch streams in Picture-in-Picture mode while chatting with your friends.
When on a Telegram voice call, you can now check the signal strength thanks to the new indicator.
On iOS, you can edit any photo you pasted directly to a chat from clipboard before sending.
On Android, when forwarding a message, you can long tap to select multiple recipients.
On Android, when viewing photos in Shared Media, you can go to the place in chat where the photo was posted.
On Android, if you have many new messages in many active chats, synchronization will happen much, much faster.

If you’re a Telegram user, make sure you download version 4.3 in Google Play Store.

Friday, September 1, 2017

View Instagram Stories in mobile web browsers.

Instagram Stories lets you "share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile." Basically, you're sharing multiple photos and videos in a slideshow format and they will disappear after 24 hours. Up until today, Stories were only visible through the Instagram app on mobile devices. Well no more.

According to Instagram, 250 million users use Stories every day. Instagram will, in the coming weeks, make Stories available to users who use Instagram on the web. Stories is indeed coming to mobile web browsers. Another thing. Stories will be available for viewing only in mobile browsers. But Instagram said in a blog post that users will be able to post Stories from mobile web in coming months.

Until then, point your favorite mobile browser to instagram.com to view Stories when they become available. Otherwise, use Instagram for Android in Google Play Store.

Source: Instagram

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New Skype update for Android lets you change app language and share panoramic photos.

Skype for Android picked up an interesting update today, with Microsoft now letting users switch languages within the app settings. By default, Skype will use the default language that users initially chose for their phone and with this update, they will be able to select from an extensive list of language, independent of the phone’s default language. 

As stated above, users can make the change in the app settings by tapping their avatar at the top, then the gear icon at the top right corner of the screen. Scroll down to language and select one from the list. This feature is nicely implemented as it does not require a restart of the app. Should you want to revert to the default system language, go back to the list and tap the first option, which in English is “Reset to system language”.

This update also let users share panoramic photos with friends via chat or highlights and contains the usual performance and reliability improvements.

Head over to Google Play Store to download this update.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Microsoft OneDrive for Android makes viewing photos faster.

Microsoft OneDrive was updated today. In version 4.15 of the app, the company improved the scan feature. The change log says all scans “will be cropped, cleaned up and polished thanks to the power of Office Lens.” Microsoft also improved performance and that results into viewing of photos faster. 

Get this update to Microsoft OneDrive for Android in Google Play Store.

New Periscope update improves the Super Hearts leaderboard.

Back in June, Periscope launched super hearts that broadcasters can redeem for cash. 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. And super hearts are not just any static emojis for users to show their appreciation, they’re rather sparkly, animated hearts.

Today Periscope has been updated and here’s what is in the change log:

Improved the Super Hearts leaderboard to make it easier to see who contributes to your broadcast.
When contributors appear, tap on their avatar to reply.
Producer bug fixes.

Whether you’re a broadcaster or not, get the update in Google Play Store.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Microsoft Office Lens on Android finally supports scanning multiple images.

Microsoft Office Lens is very useful to me. I use it to scan receipts after a doctor's visit among other things and having the app on all major mobile platform is a great plus. However, I have been using Office Lens uniquely on my Windows Mobile and there's is a simple reason to that: The Windows Mobile version offers the ability to scan multiple images and store them in one file. A feature that makes sense, but which was strangely absent from the Android version of the app. Until today.

Responding to a most requested features from users, Microsoft today published an update that adds support for multiple scans on Android. Scanned files can then be saved as a single file in various supported format such as PDF, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote or a regular image to the local device, your favorite cloud storage service.

This is definitely a welcome addition and one that makes my Windows Mobile device even more irrelevant. 

Grab the update in Google Play Store to finally enjoy scanning multiple images.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Google launched Allo for desktop today and it's not perfect.

Some tech companies just don't get the concept of what a desktop app is and how with the Cloud, apps on mobile, the web, desktop can all work together. At least Facebook's WhatsApp and Google still don't get it. The latter just brought its Allo messaging app to the desktop via the Chrome browser. Don't try with Microsoft Edge, it won't work and Google will invite you to download Chrome - no surprises here. If you've used WhatsApp desktop before, the concept is the same and just head to Allo website and scan the QR code to get started. Otherwise keep reading on.

After you've updated and started Google Allo on your Android device, launch Chrome on your computer and go to g.co/alloforweb. The site will display a QR code. Open Allo on your phone and tap the three horizontal bars - also known as hamburger menu - at the top left hand of the app and tap "Allo for web" > Scan QR Code. From there just point your phone to the QR code on your computer screen and Chrome will load all your Allo messages. Put your phone away and start messaging your contacts. A little hiccup though: Your phone must remain online for Allo Desktop to work. Otherwise you get a message in your browser that your phone is unreachable. 

That's it. Google Allo now works on your desktop. It's not perfect and I can't believe it took Google so long to come up with this.

Download Google Allo in the Play Store.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Comment threads are coming to Instagram soon.

Today Instagram announced a new feature that is not yet readily available but will be deployed in the coming weeks on Android and iOS. The new feature is something that should have been into the app since its inception, but no. So today, Instagram has announced that they will soon bring threads to conversations; real threads like the ones that will group together a conversation by slightly increasing the indent to the right. Instagram says comment threads "help you keep track of conversations and make it easy to respond to a specific thread. This update will make your feed an even better place to share interests, get inspired and connect with others.

It's about time.

Instagram made the announcement on the company blog and you can read the full post here. Download Instagram in Google Play Store.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Google Calendar lets you easily reschedule events with drag and drop.

Google Calendar got a little bit better today with a new feature that will let users quickly and easily reschedule events, reminders and goals directly from Day, 3 day and week views by dragging and dropping. Simply press and hold on an entry in the calendar to move it around. 

That’s certainly a quick way to get things done in the calendar. However, I did not get it to work with any of my events and reminders – I do not have any goals. On the other hand, it worked perfectly with the English Premier League reminders from ecal.

How do like the new drag and drop feature? Let me know in the comments.

Update or download Google Calendar in Google Play Store.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Learn to code with SoloLearn on Android with your friends.

Learning to code takes time and a lot of practice, but that shouldn't deter you from trying. It's similar to learning any spoken language, the more practice you have, the better. And I believe any kid and adult today should learn coding. Now, if you're asking yourself where to start, I have an easy answer for you. Android has a lot of learning apps in store and there's two that I can recommend and SoloLearn is one of them.

SoloLearn gives you a wide choice for you to pick from as a beginner. You can easily pick among various coding languages such as C++, C#, Java, SQL, HTML5 etc. With SoloLearn on your device, you can learn wherever you are and compare your progress with other members of the community and exchange ideas them, making the learning experience fun and engaging.

The community is what's going to get you going and SoloLearn is well aware of that. In the last update to their Android app, they added the search functionality for you to quickly search your followers and following list.

This update also includes a fix about a wrong round bug in the Play section. I'm not sure what that means, but it's been fixed. So that's a good thing. The update also includes the usual bug fixes and improvements.

So, whether you're a kid or not and want to start coding, SoloLearn is your starting point. The app will track your progress and even deliver a certificate at the end of the course that you can print out and add to your CV.

To get started, download the app free in Google Play Store and enjoy coding.

Friday, August 4, 2017

How to add emojis to Telegram messages on Android with keywords?

Version 4.2.2 of Telegram on Android lets you search or add emojis by typing the ':' keyword followed by the type of emoji you want. For example, if you're feeling relieved, type ':relieved; feeling satisfied, type ':satisfied'. I don't know about you, but I find this tedious. I'd rather browse for the emoji, which, to me, is way faster and easier

This update also lets you find messages from a particular user in any group. According to the changelog, to achieve this, tap '...' in the top right corner when in a group. Tap 'Search' and the new 'Search by member'. Then select a user to browse through all of their messages.

That's it for this update, which you can download in Google Play Store.

Switch between light and dark theme in Skype for Android.

I hope you made peace with the new skype. The new Snapchat-inspired design of Skype has provoked a kind-of over-reaction from users. At least, this is what I think because I like it for the simple reason that I grew tired of the Skype design of old. Sure Microsoft made mistakes, but well, at least they are listening. Take the new ‘activity indicators’ for example. Microsoft omitted this feature in the new release. Now, with this update, users will be able to see who’s currently active in chat list again. And there’s more.

When Microsoft redesigned Skype, it was all white. Not a wise choice knowing that a totally white screen puts pressure on the battery and on the eyes. So Microsoft added new themes where users will be able to switch between light and dark theme. This feature is available in the settings. To get to it, tap your profile picture, then the settings icon at the top right of the screen. Scroll down to theme and tap the Light or Dark buttons according to the preference. I always switch to a dark theme in apps when I can and Skype is no exception. I’m not sure that saves battery, but it does make it easy on my eyes. In case you’re wondering, I have no problems with my eyes. 

So, make sure you download Skype on your Android device via the Google Play Store to take advantage of these new features. I nearly forgot, Skype will also let you reorder your chats by recent, unread or active.

SMS in Android Messages can now be marked as read in notifications.

I still use SMS sometimes, but I've long transitioned to messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. And for the rare times that I use it, it's good to see Google keeps adding new features to Android Messages.

The latest update allows users to mark a message as read right in the notification area. A feature that I find particularly useful. Before this update, 'Reply' was the only option available in the notification area and swiping the message away after reading did not remove the unread badge on the Android Messages icon. The 'Mark as read' option fixes that problem. So thanks for that Google, but there's another feature I think you could add up there: A delete button.

Many online services still sends out SMS messages with code for authentication and since messages can be read without opening the app, a delete button in the notification area would make perfect sense. 

Do you think a 'Delete' button in the messages notifications will be useful?

Grab the update in Google Play Store.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dailymotion on Android finally gets Chromecast support.

Compared to YouTube’s 1 billion downloads, Dailymotion’s 10 million downloads is measly in comparison. Just so you know, there’s other apps in the store for video lovers and Dailymotion is one of those.

The app has been updated today which finally adds support for Chromecast. Yes, you read that right. It’s been one of the most awaited features and Dailymotion users will finally get to watch their favorite videos on a big screen. I’m not sure that will help increase the number of subscribers though.

Download Dailymotion in Google Play Store

Version 3.8 of Microsoft Arrow Launcher for Android is now rolling out to the beta channel.

Hey folks, version 3.8 of Microsoft Arrow Launcher is out through the beta channel and while there is nothing much to it in terms of new features, Microsoft is introducing the “Me avatar”, a sort of Me tile which former or current Windows Phone users will remember. 

Users will need to sign in with their Microsoft account to have their profile picture displayed at the top of what Microsoft calls the -1 page – you swipe from the right to the left on the home screen page to access it. Tapping the profile picture takes you to a Microsoft page where users can manage their accounts and services they’re subscribed to and obviously change their profile picture.

Here’s the rest of the change log:
1. News: the redesigned News card.
2. People: See your Outlook contacts in People card and let Arrow help you merge duplicate contacts.
3. Calendar: Redesigned Calendar card shows your upcoming appointments.
4. Setting: Reset Arrow settings to default settings.
5. Folder spacing/layout improvements.
6. Additional bug fixes.

Again, this update is available to those who are in the beta program. Check the Google Play Store page of the Arrow Launcher to join the beta program to get the latest features before they go public. Just bear in mind that these updates may contain bugs.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

WhatsApp on Android lets you quickly search for emojis.

WhatsApp published another update today for users to search for emojis while in a conversation. Users simply have to tap the emoji icon which will reveal the emoji search icon. From there, type anything you want and WhatsApp will retrieve it for you. For example, the screenshot above brought up rabbit emojis after I typed rabbit. Just type anything you can think of and WhatsApp will show all the emojis related to your query.

For heavy emoji users out there, make sure you check out the update in Google Play Store.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Adobe Acrobat Reader now lets you quickly edit and change font when reviewing documents.

Adobe Acrobat is the de-facto standard for viewing portable documents on mobile and desktop devices across platforms, so it’s one of those apps you need to download on your devices to view such documents as, say your bank statement, utilities bills, etc. Those documents sent by your bank are not editable for obvious reasons but if you subscribe to Adobe’s services you get to create your own or even edit those sent to you provided you were given the required permissions from the author. 

In a collaboration environment you get to share your thoughts about the contents. And todays update allows users to quickly edit and change the font when reviewing documents. This update comes in handy when you want to make your comments stand-out right on your device when on the go instead of having to wait when you get back to the office. In this update, Adobe also added accessibility support for bulleted lists.

To get the job done wherever you are, make sure you download this latest update from Google Play Store.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Microsoft Apps is an app that lets you easily browse all of Microsoft's offering on Android.

With their “Mobile First” strategy, Microsoft has a lot of apps on the Android platform. So much that it can be daunting to keep track of them all. Aware of this, Microsoft built an app called Microsoft Apps that provides an easy way to find all of Microsoft’s offerings on Android in one place. The app will even notify you when an update is available.

Microsoft has updated the app today, which raises the version number to 2.2 and while it does not introduce new features, Microsoft worked to reduce the app package size and memory usage. It is always good to see developers continuously working to make their app less resource hungry.  That’s it in this update. But do check this app as it is really useful to keep tabs on Microsoft slew of Android apps.

You can download it free in Google Play Store.

WhatsApp adds support for sending documents of any type and text formatting in latest update

If you are not in the WhatsApp beta program, you should check the latest update that was published to the store earlier today. As a member of the beta program, I have been using these new features for a while now and it is great to see WhatsApp finally bringing them to the masses. And if you want to be among the first to try these new features, I strongly advise you join the beta program. You can do that in the apps page in Google Play Store. Let’s see what’s new in this update.

WhatsApp will now let you send files of any type as attachment by tapping the attach icon within the app. Prior to this update, and if I’m not mistaken, WhatsApp only supported PDF files. With this update, WhatsApp supports any file type you have stored on your device.

WhatsApp also improved the camera feature in that users will be able to swipe up to see all their photos and videos on the device. A quick and easy way to attach these files to a message with less navigation.

Since WhatsApp is all about messaging that involves mainly text, users will be able to format text to make them bold, strikethrough or italicize. To do this, users must tap and hold to select a word or more and select whichever format they want from the contextual menu.

Finally, WhatsApp made some design improvements for voice and video calls. 

Make sure to update WhatsApp on your device to enjoy these new features. It is a free update in Google Play Store.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

SofaScore now lets you jot down notes in match details.

SofaScore has been updated today as it prepares itself for the next season of the English Premier League - and maybe for other leagues across the globe, but I'm a fan of EPL. 

In this update, soccer fans will be able to jot down notes within the app. An icon has been placed next to the sharing icon in the match details page. This feature could prove useful if you need to remember something related to the game.

The other feature is about TV broadcast. When the latter is "available in a certain country, this will be showed directly on TV channels country list (green dot)."

SofaScore is available free in Google Play Store and contains some in-app purchase.

Pocket Casts for Android updated to version 6.2.9.

Shifty Jelly, the company behind the excellent podcast app Pocket Casts, has posted an update which raises the version number to 6.2.9. The company has been kind-of building some hype as they gradually published new updates until. “Will the next update deliver the crazy version number or tank the ending like LOST (ugh! Still hurts).” I did not watch the show, but I trust Shifty Jelly will release something exciting. 

In the meantime, check out what’s new in this update:

1. The end of episode sleep timer option now stops right at the end, and won’t delete or mark the episode as played.

2. Podcast title sort now ignores ‘The’. You might think that’s _meh_but wow you people wouldn’t stop emailing us about it!

3. Added Ireland, Netherlands, Poland and South Korea to discover countries.

4. Fixed crashes on some lower end phones.

Grab the update in Google Play Store.