Hangouts version 4.0 has been released, to both relief and derision among the Android faithful. We're still finding some of the cool stuff that it can do, but at least one member of the /r/Android subreddit beat us to the punch. "Tutsumi" noticed that if you should happen to change between mobile and Wi-Fi networks while you're in an active video call, the connection won't drop out like it used to. Read More
Music creation on Android has been given a major boost as of Lollipop 5.0 thanks to latency reduction, and IK Multimedia (best known as the manufacturer of the popular iRig series of professional musical adapters for phones and tablets) has decided to take advantage of it. The company has released two new Android apps, iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano, meant to give players a portable and highly technical way to create the sound of famous brand-name pianos.
That experience won't come cheap: each app is a whopping $20, and they don't even include the full range of simulated pianos and keyboards (20 are included with each app, and you'll have to use in-app purchases to buy the rest). Read More
The saga of WhatsApp's Google Drive backup option is only rivaled by the app's epic voice calls invite feature that we all had to endure for months. It's there, then not there, then it's back, only to disappear again, then wait it's hiding and only shows when it's time for a backup... but Rita, it's not working for me, and now it's gone for everyone, oh-oh look I got it with root and a few commands, and now it's on for everyone finally. We swear. Read More
Tonight the Google Play Store is giving US customers a lesson in delayed gratification. Would you rather have a free album of music in about two months, or a cheap album right now? That's the choice being presented between the self-titled Jaime Lawson and Ed Sheeran's X: the former is available for free if you pre-order it, and the latter is just a dollar, but all the songs are available right now. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from taking both of them.
Both artists are from the United Kingdom - according to his Wikipedia page, Lawson was recently signed to Sheeran's label, Gingerbread (which may have something to do with the discounts). Read More
We've seen a possible early look at the next version of Motorola's Moto 360 watch earlier today, and now it looks like there are new indications of multiple models for the Android Wear line. Anatel, Brazil's federal telecom regulator (the equivalent of the FCC in the US) has listed two new Motorola devices for certification: the 360S and 360L. The product names obviously point to new watch models, but it's the batteries that should really pique your interest. The listing was spotted by 9to5 Google.
In addition to standard radio documentation for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Anatel lists the 360S with a 270mAh battery and the 360L with a 375mAh battery. Read More
In their latest testing releases, Mozilla has launched two ambitious efforts to improve upon two areas where Firefox seeks to set itself apart: privacy and security.
To address privacy, they have changed the way their "private browsing mode," which is akin to incognito on Chrome, protects users. Rather than keep your info away from other people using your computer, which is more or less the intent of the feature, new versions of Firefox will also try to keep you more anonymous to web-based trackers.
In addition to not saving history, the previously-hidden Tracking Protection feature is enabled by default when private browsing. Read More
Some electronics are quick to dip in price. Sure, a game console may cling to its original cost for years after launch, but it's not uncommon to get lucky with smartphones. Last month T-Mobile wanted $780 to sell you a Galaxy S6 Edge. Now it's willing to do so for $100 less. Read More
Buried in the flags of the latest release of Chrome Dev, v46, is a toggle that allows you to tweak the progress bar animation that you see when loading webpages. The default setting is equivalent to "disabled," but you can try it out and see how it looks.
There are now 4 different options: disabled (which is default), linear, smooth, and fast start. Disabled just leaves things the way they have been for a while. Fast start is like smoother but is set to work faster in the first portion of the page load and slower as it completes.
Smooth, as you might expect, is basically the default animation but at a higher framerate that will look more appealing. Read More