Pocket Casts is one of the finest podcast apps around largely because it's always been quick to take advantage of new Android features. In the latest update, the developers are already using the Nearby API to make podcast discovery easier. Just fire up the Nearby feature, and you can see what those around you are listening to. Read More
The Android Auto app is getting an update to v1.2, and there are some notable changes this time, mostly revolving around the home screen. Google has posted a changelog in the Play Store, but it only tells part of the story. Read More
In their latest testing releases, Mozilla has launched two ambitious efforts to improve upon two areas where Firefox seeks to set itself apart: privacy and security.
To address privacy, they have changed the way their "private browsing mode," which is akin to incognito on Chrome, protects users. Rather than keep your info away from other people using your computer, which is more or less the intent of the feature, new versions of Firefox will also try to keep you more anonymous to web-based trackers.
In addition to not saving history, the previously-hidden Tracking Protection feature is enabled by default when private browsing. Read More
The latest updates to Microsoft's OneNote app have taken advantage of an ability granted to it by the openness of Android OS: the ability to place an overlay on top of other running apps. Similar to Facebook Messenger's chat heads UI, OneNote now has an opt-in feature called "floatie" that remains accessible while you use non-OneNote apps. The idea is that inspiration for notes may come at any time and you may not want to leave the app you're in to do it. And in spite of the silly name, my first impression of floatie is that it serves its purpose well. Read More
Keeping to their normal rapid release schedule, Mozilla published v40 of the stable release of Firefox to the Play Store today. The biggest user-facing change in the update is one that was also present in the beta version of v40, allowing you to long press the forward or back buttons to see a list of your recently visited pages. Here's a quick look at how that works:
This is the sort of thing that only catches your attention when there aren't any other major changes, but this is one of those times. I don't think mobile browsers generally make going back very easy and sometimes the system back button isn't ideal when you plan to go back multiple pages. Read More
Most remote access apps just beam your computer's screen to the phone, but Parallels does a bit more. It has a handy app launcher and full-screen rendering of desktop apps. It's not free, but maybe the latest update will entice you to pony up some cash. Read More
You can't deny that Pushbullet is insanely useful, and it gets more so with each update. However, Pushbullet does see a lot of your data in plain text, and there's been growing demand for better security. As of today, Pushbullet supports end-to-end encryption for SMS, notification mirroring, and universal copy-paste. Read More
QKSMS, an SMS replacement app that boasts material design, customizable colors, and Android Wear support, has made all its paid features free. And no, that doesn't mean that the developer has just added some new features and made them pay-only instead. The app is simply 100% free from now on, according to its creator. Among the features that once required an in-app purchase of QKSMS+ are:
- Respond from Android Wear
- 150+ additional color combinations
- Automatic night mode
- Per-contact notification settings
The app's developer, Moez Bhatti, said in a Google+ post that he didn't make the app with the intent to earn money and felt that there wasn't any way to commercialize an SMS app without making for poor user experience. Read More
Motorola just "gets" Android. Rather than cover Android with a custom interface and countless add-ons, it has developed a handful of really focused, useful features for its devices. One of these features is Moto Assist, and an update to the Moto app in the Play Store has made it even better with the addition of location triggers.
HBO Now finally came to Android recently after a few months of Apple exclusivity, but it lacked Chromecast support. That's not a problem anymore as of the new v1.1 update. HBO Now can beam video direct to the Chromecast, and there are a few other tweaks too. Read More