You get in, you check your email, and you get out. That's the plan anyway, and Yahoo doesn't like it. That time spent using other apps is valuable time that could be spent using its own. To tackle this issue head-on, the company has updated its Yahoo Mail app with the goodies (read: distractions) from the Yahoo homepage that people know and love. Now instead of just the mail, users will have access to the latest current events, weather reports, sports scores, popular videos, and other non-mail related attractions.
Yesterday, Google began rolling out a small update to the Newsstand app, bumping it up from 3.2 to 3.2.1. While the version number suggests this was only a bug fix -and it mostly is- there were still a couple of interesting additions discovered during a teardown.
Google is adding a helpful walkthrough for people who are new to Newsstand. Until now, the app has lacked a proper "onboarding" step for the first time an app is run.
The Sonos Android app has been long overdue for an update, previously sporting a UI that looked out of date four flavors of Android ago. When version 5 hit beta, it brought about a much needed refresh, introducing a UI that looks just fine on KitKat devices. Now the app has exited beta and is ready for anyone with a Sonos sound system to download and fire up.
Instapaper is a popular service for saving web pages to read later, one that competes with the likes of Pocket and Readability. Today the app hit the big 3.0, so I'm going to take a moment to highlight what's new. The headlining feature is text highlighting, the ability to save a section of an article to read or share with others later. The app groups all of these snippets together in an accessible location.
The Amazon Android app has just received an update that should affect more than just your shopping. Now the company's apps support single sign-in. When you log into one, you're automatically signed into the other ones that are installed on your device. This works with the main shopping app, Amazon MP3, the Amazon Appstore, and the Kindle app.
Upon my extensive hands-on testing of this complex feature, everything seems to work just fine.
Facebook's entry into the alternative SMS game has quickly reached its fifth release. This update doesn't contain a huge visual overhaul, but it does have some impressive new additions to the main chat window that will make it easier to send all your non-textual communications. The update should be live for everyone now - check the Play Store if you want it immediately, or just wait for the alert or auto-download.
The changes that Google made to the way that Android uses external storage (read: MicroSD cards) in KitKat have been contentious to say the least. A few of the more widely-used file explorer apps have utilized a loophole in the Media Scanner service to restore at least some of the more widely-used functions for accessing and modifying files, and now the popular Solid Explorer has done the same.
According to the changelog for version 1.6, the work-around should function for Samsung devices that have been updated to Android 4.4, though the new Galaxy S5 is a notable exception.
The first notable update for the new Android version of Mailbox adds a spiffy, time-saving feature: action buttons in the app's email notifications. Users should now see a "Reply" button on the expanded Mailbox notification, as well as "Archive" and "Snooze" buttons, which are activated via swipes while in the app itself. These should help achieve the app's stated goal of making email organization faster and easier for time-strapped mobile users.
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.