Google is continuing to shine a brighter light on Hangouts users who are currently online. A few months ago the company brought back the green dot that used to mark online contacts in the days of Google Talk (which was replaced with a subtle green line in Hangouts). Going forward, the messenger in the web version of Gmail will contain a new tab that puts online contacts at the top. It's still possible to message friends who are offline, they're just tucked at the bottom where they're out of the way.
Dear football fans. Remember that makeover that you were too insecure to get? Well one of ESPN's many sports apps is getting it done for you. Not only does the network's College Football app look like a whole new person, it has a new name to boot. ESPN Championship Drive, despite being version 4, wants you to view it as a separate individual.
Google likes to have a laugh from time to time, even though sometimes the jokes are too geeky for non-programmers to grasp. Still, the teapot error page is fun even if you don't get the reference. Go to google.com/teapot and feel free to pour it out. It works best on a phone or tablet.
The world is rife with cloud storage providers who would be happy to hold on to your data so you can share it with others, but you have to give up a little control to keep your files on a server you don't own. BitTorrent's Sync service offers an alternative "cloud-free" solution, and the Android app has just been bumped to v1.4 with a number of new features.
TeamViewer is a go-to tool for users who, well, remote access into things enough to have a go-to tool. The software lets someone in location A beam into a smartphone or tablet running the app in location B. It's the kind of thing enterprise support teams can use to keep their coworkers or clients happy. Likewise, it's what that techy person up the street uses to help out all of their confused family members.
Update: An update to the News & Weather app posted yesterday, September 8th, seems to have fixed some of the compatibility errors people have been seeing. At least here in the United States, the app is compatible with every Android 4.0+ device for all of our writers. There doesn't appear to be any other significant update just yet.
Google's News & Weather app, AKA the "Genie" widget (after the APK name), has been more or less unchanged for years.
In a game in which getting a single point is a brain-numbing task of Sisyphean repetition, every little bit helps. So it is with Swing Copters, the second game from the infamous developer of Flappy Bird. The version 1.1 update to the Android release includes "tuning gameplay," reportedly making the back-and-forth motion much easier to predict, and thus lowering the challenge. Well, that's what a lot of players are saying, anyway.
Even if you don't talk on the phone a lot, VoLTE is going to be a thing that you want. Replacing the old 3G standards for voice will mean one less radio always sucking down power in your device when you're in an LTE area. Verizon (as well as other carriers) is already testing VoLTE on some of its devices, and it apparently also intends to build video calling into VoLTE-capable phones as part of its so-called "Advanced Calling 1.0" initiative in the coming weeks.