If you're taking care of a little one and updates to the YouTube Kids app are actually opportunities for excitement, you've probably been feeling a little let down by the last few version bumps. It's not that anybody really needs it to keep up with the likes of Google Maps or the core YouTube app, but a few big features are surely welcome. This version doesn't actually come packed with anything notably new for users today, but it comes with promises of some things to come. A teardown shows that kids will be able to enjoy videos in VR and parents will be able to block videos and channels right from within the app. Read More
While Facebook has around 1.7 billion users worldwide, not that many of these are teenagers, with most 13-19 year olds preferring Snapchat or Instagram (for, in my mind, obvious reasons). In an attempt to combat this, Facebook released Lifestage for iOS devices back in August, and now the Android app has just arrived.
Lifestage encourages users to upload pictures and videos based on their likes, dislikes, or feelings. These are then turned into video profiles which others can see. There is no privacy whatsoever on Lifestage - everything is public. Facebook is aiming the app at school communities - once a school has more than 20 users, other profiles are visible. Read More
Current Android standards have changed massively in the last few years, going from the days of no real design language in Gingerbread, to Holo in Ice Cream Sandwich, to material in Lollipop. It's startling, then, to see an app that has been languishing in the dark ages get a big update. PayByPhone, a leading pay-with-phone parking app, has just been updated with a major redesign and Android Pay support, giving it a much needed boost into this era of app design. Read More
Android 7.1 has only been available a short time, but developers are already adding the new stuff to their apps. One of these developers is Alexey Vasilyev, better known as the developer of the popular tinyCam Monitor app. For the uninitiated, tinyCam is a viewer for most standard format video cameras, which can be then be used for remote surveillance, among other things.
The biggest addition in the update is playback speed options for video playback. The choices are 0.1x - which is designed to play timelapses at the original speed - 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 3x, so that should please everybody. Read More
Google Photos is great (speaking personally, it's one of my favorite Google products), but there's always been one thing wrong with it: albums were not included in search results. Say I search for "cats" (I have a lot of photos of my cats). The photos in the albums would be included, as well as items found by object recognition, but the album with my cat photos would not be included. Google has now fixed this anomaly, causing the album itself to be included.
After force closing the Photos app and clearing data, this comes up on my Nexus 6P. It's pretty much that - if you search, Google will bring up relevant albums as well as relevant photos. Read More
The competition in the world of drones is getting fierce these days, and to edge ahead, companies need to come out with innovative features. To compete with the DJI Mavic Pro's stunning abilities, GoPro announced an app called Passenger, which allows one person other than the pilot to see what the drone's onboard GoPro is seeing and control the camera. Now, Passenger is available for download in the Google Play Store. Read More
While I personally don't play much Minecraft anymore, it remains one of the most popular games of all time. In fact, it's currently in second place for best-selling game of all time, only bowing to Tetris. Mojang has released yet another Minecraft: Pocket Edition update, titled "The Boss Update."
First up, this update brings official mod support to Pocket Edition in the form of 'Add-ons.' These Add-ons are essentially textures and JSON files, so developing them is extremely easy. You can even share the Add-ons you make with others. Read More
Chrome 54 was just released, bringing a substantial amount of changes for both users and developers. Now the first Chrome 55 Beta has been released for all platforms, and there are some exciting changes in store for Android users.
Chrome's built-in download manager first appeared in Chrome Dev early last month, but only now has made its way to the Beta channel. The Download Manager doesn't just serve as a simple list of all your downloaded files (or dozens of APKs, if you're like me), it's also how you get to saved pages.
By tapping the new Download icon in the overflow menu (where the back/forward buttons are), you can save a page for offline use. Read More
Google hasn't been shy about ingratiating itself and its services with the people of India and similarly data-constrained markets – and it should take a bow because some competitors certainly aren't trying very hard to keep up. Last month Google announced a number of initiatives for the Indian market designed to cut down on unnecessary data costs. Among the announcements was a change to the News & Weather app adding a so-called "Lite Mode" that intelligently reduces the amount of text and images that ultimately reaches a phone. Now it looks like the Google app itself will be sporting the same options. Read More