Duolingo is one of the most simplistic, visually appealing language learning experience someone can come across, and the fact that it's a mobile app they can take anywhere is just one heck of a perk. Today's update doesn't shake things up for existing users, but it has what it takes to bring in many more. Now English courses are available for people who speak Hindi as their native language, Russian speakers have the option to learn German, and German speakers are welcome to learn French.
With all of the video streaming options out there these days, it wouldn't surprise us in the slightest if Redbox isn't the first app that comes to mind when the movie-watching mood strikes. But a new app update has rolled out that freshens things up a bit for anyone who just really likes the feel of a physical disc. Now there's a wish list in the sidebar for the media that is best saved for later.
The Hulu Plus app is perfectly capable of pumping out videos on its own to a small screen. With a Chromecast plugged into your TV, it's even able to cast content out to the big screen as well. Now the app is gaining a feature that will give it even more control over your viewing experience. Starting with the latest update, Hulu Plus is capable of becoming a remote control for Hulu content streaming from the Xbox One, PlayStation 3, or PlayStation 4.
Smartwatches get all the credit, but they're largely nothing without the companion app calling all the shots from a nearby smartphone. So when said companion receives a pretty substantial update, it breathes new life into the accessory it's paired with. Today Sony has rolled out such an upgrade for its Smartwatch 2 companion app, introducing a brand new watch face editor.
From this interface, wearers can choose which watch face and widgets (weather, calendar, etc.) that they want on their watch.
For anyone who likes a nice structured itinerary for their weekend Vegas bender, TripIt is a handy app that combines flight, public transit, hotel, and restaurant info in to a tight little scheduling interface. And to make said interface even more tight, TripIt has revised the UI in the latest build. Well, at least some of the UI - from what we can tell, you'll only see the spiffy new blue-tinted screens if you're using a phone.
From the beginning the Chromecast has been able to handle the basics such as Netflix and YouTube. More compatibility trickled in, with services like Hulu jumping on board, and apps like BeyondPod and Flex throwing in their support. Now Chromecast icons can be found all over the place. But the offering is still weak in one area - sports. Today Chromecast is knocking that issue out of the park (at least for baseball fans) by finding its way into the MLB.com At Bat app.
House hunting can be tedious, but the tools you use on your search don't have to be. The Homesnap app lets users look up information about homes and neighborhoods just by snapping photos of locations of interest. When it came to Android nearly a year ago, it arrived with an interface stuck somewhere between Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich. Now, with version 3.0, the app is ready for life on KitKat.
Talon was one of the more attractive and full featured Twitter clients available right out of the gate, and it has been getting updates frequently ever since. Today it's being updated with support for multiple images, kind of like the official client is going to do soon. That's just the start, though.
Music discovery app Shazam has always been a bit stylish by Android standards, but today's update adds both some more modern visual polish and notable usability upgrades. In particular, the auto-scrolling lyric function has been improved in version 2.6: it now supports a more natural portrait layout and much more readable text, doing away with the funky word art. Auto-scroll isn't universal, but when it works it's pretty neat. That should be a boon to your impromptu karaoke sessions.
Time keeps marching forward, and Google keeps improving the mobile version of its Chrome browser. Those who want to see the new goodies before everyone else can check out the official Chrome for Android Beta, which updates to version 35 today. The official changelog mentions some interesting additions, including at least one that was there already: support for Chromecast on HTML5 videos.
Videos on your device have gotten better too, with better HTML5 controls and subtitle support (for those clips that include them).