Thursday, June 29, 2017

Microsoft updates OneNote on Android with Web Clipper and simplified navigational controls.

OneNote is my go-to app for note-taking on my devices. Thanks to cloud sync, my notes are available to me no matter which device I use and that and the fact that the app is free and full-featured, does not need any second thoughts.  Besides note-taking, I use OneNote mainly for recording my family health records, which proves handy when visiting our doctor. But Microsoft wants OneNote to be more than just a note-taking app. Today’s update is just another proof of that.

Microsoft updated the app today “to simplify navigation controls and enhance usability for users who use assistive technology.” I cannot comment more on this as I’ve not downloaded and installed the update as I’m writing this. But there’s more.

The web version of OneNote lets users save an entire website with OneNote Web Clipper. Microsoft is bringing this feature to Android for users to easily save websites on their Android devices just like on the desktop.

Android users can get the update free in Google Play Store

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.