Several years back this company called Square produced a product that let people accept credit card payments on their smartphones using this portable swiper-thingy that plugs into the device's headphone jack. PayPal saw this and decided that it wanted in on this action, so it produced a similar offering known as PayPal Here. The solution worked with phones, but many businesses relying on such products for point-of-sale like to use tablets instead. Read More
Before today, the official Starbucks app was perfectly serviceable - in fact, I'd say it was better than most retail apps. You can store pre-paid Starbucks cards in the app and pay with them, see your rewards for being a loyal customer, and find coffee shops with the built-in map (in case you can't see one by turning your head from side to side). But today's sizeable update from version 2.4 to 2.7 adds some neat stuff, most notably the ability to tip your coffee minion. Read More
In addition to a handful of new Chromecast-supported apps announced by Google, Sling Media is getting in on the action. According to this blog post, the Slingplayer app for Android smartphones now has Chromecasting capability. Though the latest update for the app itself was way back in July, Chromecast support is often enabled via a server-side switch, so it should be working now. Compatible Sling hardware includes the Slingbox M1, 350, 500, and SlingTV. Read More
Here's a Google app that few people would judge you for not knowing about. There's this thing formerly known as Maps Engine that lets people create custom maps and share them with others. Now it goes by the name of My Maps. And, put bluntly, it's a change that makes sense. This conveys to users what the app actually does. Map Engine? Not so much.
To go with the name change, Google has changed the app's icon as well. Read More
Pandora is currently rolling out a redesigned version of its Android app that may just cause more than a few double takes. The Internet radio service has looked largely the same on Android for a few years now, but the UI introduced in 5.5 is strikingly different - at first, at least. This change is stark, but it's only surface deep.
The Pandora app has been stripped of its blue gradients. Read More
Nifty language learning app Duolingo is expanding on its usefulness by adding another course for English speakers. Android users can now click on the green birdy app to learn how to say new words in Dutch. The option is accessible along with all of the other courses, which you can see in the screenshot below.
For people who aren't at all interested in learning this particular language, the latest Duolingo update still comes with an added perk. Read More
Alarm.com is one of those ubiquitous home security companies that sells home safety packages, and like a lot of their competitors, they had an Android app simply as a check mark for comparison shoppers. Before today, the previous version of the security system's mobile component looked like it hadn't been touched since 2010. Yesterday's update fixed that primary problem with an extensive user interface refresh, granting easy access to all the security and automation features installed in a home. Read More
eBay has rolled out an update to its Android app that gives the UI a spiffy touch up. Pictures are bigger, there's more white space, and animations are smooth. I'd tell you the update makes everything look better, but that's for you to decide. Read More
Although Facebook recently passed the 500 million download mark with their semi-detached Messenger app, it looks like they're not content to rest on their laurels. After adding full Android Wear support and video uploads to the app, Facebook's latest adjustment gives users the power to edit photos before sending them to chat contacts. Well, sort of - it's the kind of editing you can do with a Polaroid photo and a Sharpie marker. Read More