As we hit the last few days before Christmas, app updates from Google have gone from a firehose to a slow trickle. It's only natural that most of the developers don't want to ship any major updates right before their holiday plans for fear that they might be called in to fix a catastrophe. Hey, I've done it too. Nevertheless, there's a new version of Google Duo rolling out today. It probably comes as no surprise that this one isn't taking any unnecessary risks either. There are a few very minor tweaks to the interface. However, there is a little bit for a quick teardown, so let's get into it. Read More
One of my main problems with 'smart' assistants is that they aren't great at delivering information. Yes, you can ask "will there be storms," but having your Echo or Google Home proactively inform you about dangerous weather would be far more useful.
Amazon today announced that it is working on notification support for Alexa, which will allow skills to send notifications to the user (if allowed). Read More
When you create an event in Google Calendar, you have multiple options for how you want to be reminded. Google can shoot you an email or text, though if you know you will be at your desktop, a pop-up notification may be better. But those things can also be pretty intrusive. Read More
If you have more than a dozen friends on Facebook, odds are pretty good that at least one of them has started tagging every person on Earth with suspiciously misspelled advertisements for knockoff Ray-Ban sunglasses. Facebook would really prefer that this not happen, or at least not happen quite so often. To that end the company introduced the Security Checkup feature to the web version of the social network, and now it's available on Android as well. Maybe.
Security Checkup does a few things. First, it examines your password and suggests changing it if it's not strong enough. Second, it sends you alerts if someone logs in to your Facebook account from an unfamiliar or suspicious location. Read More
Pushbullet Channels are the headlining feature in the app's latest update. In short, these are feeds that can push out notifications to subscribers whenever something new happens. Want to keep up with our APK downloads? You can simply subscribe to the channel to get notified whenever we have something fresh to send your way.
This functionality may sound familiar, especially for veteran IFTTT users who know how to use the site's tools to get notified of just about anything (including Android Police APK downloads). Pushbullet isn't quite as versatile in this area, but it does give people the option to create their own channels as well. Read More
An update is rolling out to the Lookout security app with a new feature tucked away exclusively for premium account holders. This feature is theft alerts. After the alerts have been enabled, Lookout will send phone owners an email automatically when the phone starts engaging in behavior that indicates it could have been stolen. This way you get notified as soon as shenanigans begin, rather than having to manually check for the device's location yourself. Lookout defines said shenanigans as follows.
Lookout will now send out Theft Alerts when:
- Your passcode is entered incorrectly
- Your SIM card is removed
- Airplane Mode has been enabled
- Your device has been turned off
- Someone removed Lookout as the device administrator
Some of these actions aren't really all that suspicious, especially for travelers who may regularly power down their phones entirely rather than switch to airplane mode. Read More
Back in 2011, Google added the ability to keep up with live transit updates to Google Maps. After all, commuters in big cities that require cars to get around (like my own Atlanta), have traffic info for highways. Why not people who primarily use the subway to get around? One glaring omission from that service, though, was the New York City subway system. Today, that problem is rectified.
Starting today, seven lines of the MTA will show live arrival and departure times for stops along their routes. Additionally, public transit users in Salt Lake City can get the same information for buses and trams in their area. Read More
Hey, did you guys know there's an election coming soon? I know, it's been a pretty low-profile thing, but it's true. Of course, we want to be a well-informed electorate, right? One source of information that should probably be watched to achieve that goal is the White House. Today, the administration of the most powerful office in the country revealed a newly-designed app that will allow mobile users to watch live presidential events, search its stable of blog posts, videos, and press releases, and in a forward-thinking move, makes all this content available on tablets.
In a rather surprising move from the political arena as a whole (though not unheard of, given the current President's affinity for modern technology), the White House app is actually extremely well designed. Read More