Emoticons are nothing new for Skype or any other instant messaging client. Why, then, are they worth mentioning in version 5.3's changelog? Because now they're big. If you send a message containing only an emoticon, Skype will display a large version, complete with animation. Expressions appended to the end of a sentence, on the other hand, will continue to show up tiny.
While you're checking out these screenshots, also note the app's bubble style chat layout, which has now made its way over from other platforms to Android.
Saturday mornings during my childhood were all about three things: a couple hours of freedom from parents, sugary cereal, and awesome cartoons. One of the best cartoons was DuckTales, the story of a cranky old duck, Scrooge, who liked to swim in a pool of gold coins and yell at his nephews as they tried to solve a mystery or rewrite history. There were a lot of race cars, lasers, and aeroplanes, along with villains and exotic locales.
Remember when we used to play games with people who were actually in the same room? Rookie Play Store developer Seabaa does. They've created DUAL!, an Android game that positively demands you play it with friends. DUAL is basically a top-down space shooter in the style of Galaga, but the structure has been modified to allow two people to play across two Wi-Fi connected devices, either competitively or cooperatively.
The primary game mode pits two players against each other.
Mobile payments app Venmo has been around for years now, but without two-factor authentication, security hasn't been as good as it could be. Fortunately the company is now getting around to changing that. Today it announced that it has added two-factor authentication to its mobile apps (Android and iOS) as well as the web.
When you attempt to sign into Venmo from a new phone, the service will send you a 6-digit code that you will need in order to get inside.
Office Lens is an app that lets you capture notes, business cards, reciepts, and any other scrap of paper as a digital file. Microsoft released a version of Office Lens for Windows Phone last year, and now it's coming to Android as a beta. It's free, but you need to do the usual beta program song and dance.
The Amazon Echo, as a sort of physical embodiment of the functionality that voice-controlled services like Google Now offer, is an interesting idea. But without a screen or much in the way of direct input, its utility is limited by the number of services that it ties into. For example, before today the Echo could only access music from iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon's own cloud music service. The latest software update enables much-needed support for Pandora.
Steven Universe is one of the four Crystal Gems that fight to keep the world safe from evil. Except in this case, Steven kind of screwed the pooch, accidentally unleashing a huge monster that threatens the exact planet he's trying to keep safe. So now, in a new mobile game available on Google Play, he and the other three Gems (Amethyst, Garnet, and Pearl―but you can think of them as people) must journey forth to defeat it and the light creatures they've inadvertently summoned.
It should come as no surprise that Android is due for a v5.1.1 release at some point, even if only to fix a particularly well-known memory leak. Now, thanks to an SDK update, we've got good reason to anticipate the new version is probably due out in the very near future. If developers check the SDK Manager for updates, they should see a new revision to the Platform SDK with a product description that reads "Android SDK Platform 5.1.1."
Now that the 5.1.1 version number is out there, it stands to reason Google has finalized the code and is either running some final tests or preparing for a release.
OK, so maybe HTC's 2015 flagship isn't exactly sizzling hot (in the figurative sense, anyway). If you're in Europe, you'll soon have a less expensive option that has a lot in common with last year's model. HTC has announced the One M8s, a re-heated (sorry) take on the original One M8 from 2014. It's almost identical to its predecessor, both inside and outside, save for two major changes: the processor and the camera.