It's been a rough start to the day and boy do I need a cup of coffee. Hey, let me open up that Starbucks app and see what's new. Oh yes, I have a new gift because I'm a very loyal custo... damn, the app crashed. Alright, I'll try again.
This is what will probably happen when you try using the new Starbucks 4.0 Android app. The update was uploaded to the Play Store two days ago and we've been watching in awe as the bad comments started spilling and all the heads started fuming at the buggy experience. But putting that aside, once the devs manage to clean out those pesky unexpected bugs, there are some cool features to discover in the new app. Read More
Opera Max isn't a browser, but it utilizes the company's well known data compression prowess to save you a lot of bandwidth and Megabytes, regardless of the app you're using to sip through your data. However, prior to today, Max was only optimized for phones and didn't work well, or at all, on tablets.
With version 1.7.5, Opera Max is adding a tablet layout that utilizes the bigger screen estate to display more of your monitored app usage, data compression results, and settings. You can enable Opera Max on your data network, your WiFi connection, or both. You can blacklist some apps, allowing them to use as much bandwidth as they want, or go drastic and prevent an app's background data usage if you don't like what it's doing when you're not using it. Read More
Android's notification system has gone through some pretty intense work since the start of the platform, but that doesn't mean that third-party developers can't improve it even more. Case in point: Floatify, a customization app that's been floating around (sorry) for the better part of two years. The latest version is number ten, and it adds a couple of features from the new Android N Developer Preview. If your device isn't invited to play with the Nexus crowd (or you just don't want to deal with the instability), you can back-port some of those neat touches. Read More
If you're not using Google Maps as your navigation assistant, your choices of accurate and updated mapping solutions are varied, but OpenStreetMaps (OSM) remains one of the top contenders thanks to an open-source user-generated approach. There are many OSM apps on Android, but the choice is much more limited for apps that also allow users to edit and contribute data right from their phones. There's the simple OSM Contributor which is just an editor, Bertel's favorite OsmAnd which is a full-fledged navigator and editor, and now MAPS.ME is getting updated to allow for OSM editing.
With version 6.0, MAPS.ME is adding a new editor to allow its 40M+ users to add and edit places right from the app, without having to wait until they're in front of a computer to use the online OSM tools. Read More
Chrome Remote Desktop had been stuck on version 44 since July 2015, until an update rolled out today to version 49 (it follows Chrome's version numbers). With it come a few interface improvements that make the app a lot more Material and a new touch mode that creates a new interaction method with your remote desktop.
First things first, the main interface has now gotten a better title bar, a spec-compliant side-menu, and the color scheme has switched from a mix of blue and green to a more unified blue. You will also notice from my screenshots that computers now show their status if they have been offline for a while. Read More
One of the most requested changes in the comment section of each WhatsApp article we post is an updated camera interface (well, beside GIF support). The app has been through lots of Material changes over the past year or so, from a complete UI overhaul to small icon and element modifications, but the built-in camera has always looked the same as it did several years ago. That's finally changed in version 2.16.4 of the app, and no, this isn't an April Fools.
Gone is the big Holo-blue shutter button and the old flash and switch camera icons, also gone is the upper box that said, Send to (Contact). Read More
If you listen to a lot of podcasts, you probably spend at least ten hours or more every week getting through them. A common feature of podcast playback tools is the option to speed up playback, allowing at least some users to get through these almost entirely spoken-word programs more quickly. Popular Android podcast manager Stitcher now includes this option... but oddly, only for devices running Android 6.0 or later. The tool can speed up playback to 1.25x, 1.5x, or 2x (which is insanely fast). It can also slow playback by half.
Other changes in this version (3.5.5 on my Nexus 6) are mostly bug fixes, notably including a major bug for Wi-Fi detection on Marshmallow phones and tablets. Read More
Anyone who's been hanging around Android Police knows that AirDroid is one of our very favorite tools. And a big part of what makes it so great is that the developers are constantly improving both the core file transfer functions and adding brand new stuff more or less constantly. The latest additional goodie is a photo backup system, more or less like the ones featured in Dropbox or Google Drive and their imitators, but minus the online cloud storage element. Read More
YouTube Music, the app built specifically for the YouTube Red music subscription service, is still somewhat in its infancy. There's plenty of room for improvement, and version 1.16 adds a couple of small but notable changes to better the listening experience. First, the standard Watch page (the one with the actual video on it) now has a "More from..." button, with the ellipses replaced with the relevant artist for each video. It allows users to find more music from that specific artist. Makes sense. To see the button you may need to expand the viewer in portrait mode. Read More