Samsung Pay is on a roll. After launching in South Korea and the US in 2015, it has expanded to China in 2016, started a trial in Singapore last week, and now it's deploying in its first European market: Spain.
And Samsung Pay is starting with a big advantage in Spain: it's the first mobile payment service to be offered in the country [Edit: Samsung said it's "the first of its kind," which apparently doesn't mean it's the absolute first. As readers pointed out, several mobile contactless payment solutions already exist in Spain], giving it a huge lead and potential for growth, especially considering the penetration of debit and credit cards among the country's working age population. Read More
Google+ is hitting v8.0. But don't let this major version jump trick you into thinking that you should expect big changes in the app. It's still the same Google+ you've grown to know since it was last redesigned, but with a few small changes here and there. Even Google's own Luke Wroblewski is quick to downplay the modifications.
So what should you expect in version 8.0? The usual fixes and general improvements along with three new features. First, you'll start to see a prompt to make a new post at the top of your home feed, encouraging you to contribute your own musings to the site. Read More
Direct Reply, which was introduced in Android N, aims to help you act on some notifications right away, without having to head into the app first. Its benefit is easily felt in communication apps and we've seen it so far implemented in Hangouts and a couple of other messaging apps. It's now making its first appearance in Facebook's own Messenger, in version 18.104.22.168.65 which is only available to beta testers of the app (or through APK Mirror).
If you're on this latest beta, you'll see a Reply button right beneath the notification, allowing you to type and send an answer to your contacts instantly without having to switch to the app. Read More
Wow, there have been a lot of 8-inch LG tablets. There was the original LG G Pad 8.3, with various carrier and Google Play variants. The G Pad II came in both 8.0 and more premium 8.3 varieties. Then there's the G Pad F 8.0 on AT&T and T-Mobile, plus the G Pad X 8.3 on Wi-Fi and Verizon. All of them have some considerable variations in specs and features (LG can't seem to decide whether it likes styli and full-sized USB ports or not), but the G Pad X 8.0 is the one coming to T-Mobile today. Read More
Hangouts for Android version 10.0 is now available for download - the big feature add? Direct share support, allowing you to share content directly to your commonly-used Hangouts contacts straight from the share menu. For big Hangouts users, this is a huge convenience when sending things like photos, videos, or even just simple links.
The version 10.0 APK doesn't contain any other major changes that we've yet found. We did notice, as in the right-hand side image, that the send button now has a drop-shadow when it's grayed out. So that's something. But direct share appears to be the big update for now, with Hangouts for iOS also having been updated to v10 today. Read More
It's not often that we have cause to praise Verizon for, well, anything, but credit goes where credit is due. In the last month the carrier has upgraded its branded versions of the LG G Pad X 8.3, DROID Maxx 2, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Tab S2 to Marshmallow. Never mind that they've come more than half a year after Android 6.0 AOSP code became available, we're just happy to see the updates at all (especially for those oft-neglected tablets). The latest device to get a version bump is the faux-leather-clad Galaxy Note 4. Read More
Google's Keep had humble and simple beginnings, but it's become one of my go-to tools for organizing my life (such as it is). Today the web and desktop extension version of the service gets a revamp, with a new interface that takes more than a few hints from the Inbox layout. There's a brand new left pane to the UI that includes quick links to Notes, Reminders, user-set labels, the archive, and trashed items. It's dynamic, too: resize the window and it will hide in a pop-out dock, mobile app style. Read More
Inbox has proven itself to be an invaluable tool for people that haven't got the time or patience (or a crazy set of filters) to deal with a constant barrage of incoming mail. Not only that, but it has been progressively gaining features that make it reasonably competent as a to-do list and time management tool. In the latest update to Inbox, there's evidence that Google is about to take this another step in this direction by adding an "assistant" to help with keeping emails and tasks readily available.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
The original Sky Force came out in 2014, and it was hugely popular with more than 5 million downloads. It was free, but had reasonably gentle IAPs. Now, the sequel has arrived. It too is a free-to-play game, and the way in-app purchases are structured is, again, not terrible. Read More
Earlier this year we reported that Vivendi, a media mega-corporation headquartered in Paris, was attempting to take control of prolific mobile developer and publisher Gameloft. It appears that they've succeeded: today the company announced that it has purchased a 61.71% share of Gameloft's public stock, giving it more than half of the voting rights for the corporation. The company offered 8 euro per share to existing shareholders in February in a conventional hostile takeover attempt. Read More