Snapchat is now the latest prominent app to start using the Play Store beta testing mechanism to get new features in front of users sooner, something we've also seen from Facebook. If you haven't already heard of Snapchat, think of it as a service that could have saved Anthony Weiner a great deal of headache. Users use it to send photos, videos, and text messages that automatically delete from the recipient's device and the server after a set amount of time.
There are any number of photo editors on Android already, but Repix brings something slightly different to the table. This app isn't about getting the colors just right or removing red eye – it turns your boring regular pictures into snazzy art. What? You don't like snazzy things?
There are 16 filters, 17 frames, and over 30 brushes available in Repix. There's not a lot of messing around with settings here – you just pick a tool and have at it.
The built-for-kids tablet market is growing at a pretty rapid pace, with companies like Fuhu and OLPC leading the pack – until now, anyway. Samsung just announced the newest member of the Galaxy family: the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids. This is Samsung's first real foray into the world of children's tablets, but judging by the included software features, it looks like the company is coming out swinging.
The GT3K will come pre-loaded with "top ranked" children's apps and a Kid's Store filled with specially curated software to "drive the educational possibilities of technologies for kids." Like with Fuhu's Nabi line of tablets, parents will be able to select all of the apps that they want to be available for their kids – the rest will be hidden.
Relying on crowd funding is inherently risky. Regardless of whether a project's on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, some never get a fraction of the funding they aim for. Others fall slightly short or, if they're lucky, barely manage to crawl over the finish line. Still, a select few completely blow the doors off. The Canary, pitched as the first smart home security device for everyone, has now successfully acquired just shy of two million dollars in funding, far exceeding its goal of $100,000.
It's not often that you'll see executives of multi-billion-dollar international companies speak frankly about unannounced products, but The Korea Times managed to get a few gems of information out of Samsung Executive Vice President of Mobile Lee Young-Hee. She confirmed that the Galaxy Note III will be unveiled at the upcoming September 4th "Unpacked" event (which is hardly a surprise), and also that the often-rumored Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be in attendance.
A couple of weeks ago, Play Store users started receiving frustrating errors when downloading or updating apps. The bug flashed a dialog reading "Package file is invalid" after refusing to download an app. It seemed to affect people and apps randomly. Google marked the issue as "resolved" on the Play support page on August 13th, but it has been moved back into the Known Issues list.
A casual search on the social networks reveals that more than a few users are still experiencing the issue, though it doesn't seem to be as widespread as before.
In case you haven't heard yet, there's this thing in Berlin next week. It's called IFA. It's a bit of a big deal, been going for about 90 years now. And between now and then, every single major manufacturer is going to remind you that they have new stuff to show off in Germany. Today it's Sony, teasing what appears to be the Xperia Honami (AKA the Xperia i1), the successor to the Xperia Z, in a short but sweet sizzle reel.
As announced on Google+ earlier this morning by the Android Developers page, app devs can now distribute their [free] wares to users in Iran. Paid apps and all apps with in-app billing will have to wait, possibly indefinitely. The complex and restrictive embargoes the US has placed on doing business in the country, particularly when it comes to accepting Iranian currency or working with Iranian financial institutions, probably are something of a hurdle in that regard.
How many times has this happened to you: you're out for a day of shopping/running errands and get home only to find out about a handful of good deals that you drove right past throughout the day? That seems to happen to my wife and me nearly every time we go somewhere; fortunately, there's a new app that aims to keep that from happening again. It's called Clipless, and it essentially runs in the background, just waiting to alert you of a nearby deal.