Volvos often get a bad rap. The running gag in the 80s and 90s was that the Swedish automaker known for some of the highest safety ratings on the road made boring cars for boring people. But these days Volvo offers a wide range of cars and SUVs, from mid-range to sport to luxury, with styling and features that meet or beat most competitors - all without sacrificing safety. That makes Volvo pretty cool in my book... Read More
The standalone Photos app was released to the public during last month's Google I/O conference, finally completing the separation with Google+ as rumors (and facts) had long suggested. While the new Photos app was widely accepted as an improvement in many ways, it also lacked many of the enhanced editing features that had made the old version so useful. Unfortunately, installing the standalone Photos app effectively hid access to the version built into Google+. Read More
If you want to do absolutely everything from the "OK Google" voice prompt in Android... well, you can't. You can't, say, fire a rocket at the moon, or end world hunger, or have a dachshund puppy delivered to your doorstep. But developer João Dias is trying his darnedest to make all of that happen, and with the latest update to his AutoRemote app, it's getting closer and closer. You might even be able to make that rocket thing happen if you know someone at NASA. Read More
Facebook's Hello dialer is an interesting extension of the social service into core telephony functions. That said, the original release was a bit barebones and left a lot to be desired. Version 2.0 (which has come just a couple of months after the initial release) adds some important features and a tweaked interface that should win it a few more converts from the stock dialer app. Chief among these are the ability to filter the contact view to just those contacts with phone numbers, and notifications for missed and blocked calls. Read More
The more seat bound and satisfied among our readers may be surprised to know that there are no shortage of Android apps out there that want to track how you run. Actually, maybe not. All that time spent on the computer probably means a greater likelihood of running across this post and the many like it than someone who's out running. Either way, the Nike+ app has managed to reach version 1.7 without spraining something, and it has picked up a few new features along the way. Read More
About three weeks ago the beta version of Opera for Android added a handful of new features. Today most of them graduate to the standard version, marked as v30.0.1856 on my phone. The biggest change (at least according to Opera's official blog) is that the sites saved to the "speed dial" homepage will sync across Android and desktop versions of Opera. That's provided, of course, that you're logged into your Opera account on all devices. Read More
The PBS Video Android app has gained support for a cheap little media stick that frees shows from mobile devices and sticks them on something bigger. This way users can go back to viewing shows like Frontline, NOVA, and PBS NewsHour the way they've been watching them for decades.
Chromecast support works the way you're likely already familiar with. You open up the app, you locate the icon in the top-right corner, you select the dongle you want to cast to, and you watch your show. Read More
Another version of Snapchat has arrived, and if you blink, you might miss what's new (though you could always take a screenshot). This release makes an addition to protect your account. Snapchatters can now find the option to enable login verification and require an SMS code when signing in. Read More
WordPress went material in version 3.5. Now in 4.1, the app has undergone what may be an even larger design change. Say goodbye to the navigation menu you're used to sliding out from the side of the screen. Now everything you need is tucked away inside four tabs spread along the action bar at the top.
The first tab, which also serves as the landing screen, provides just about everything you'd expect in the side menu. Read More
Android's default video capabilities leave a lot to be desired, so the Play Store has a small but thriving industry of third-party video players. MX Player has been one of the most dependable among them, and the latest update fixes a few bugs on Android 5.0+ devices and adds a few new features. The most notable is probably the new ability to upload and download subtitle files from the web. That's a big deal if you often watch videos in a language you can't speak - anime fans, ahem, accessing unavailable shows come to mind. Read More