Today has become Facebook day, whether we like it or not, it seems. If you're sick of the social network, but still like the idea of having a floating app to message your friends, Ninja SMS may be what you need. This app commandeers your text messages when you receive them, hovers over whatever you're doing, and lets you roll up the conversation when you're not in the midst of a message.
We just saw updates to Facebook and Messenger that were preparing for Facebook Home to arrive on Android. Now, the app is rolling out to the Play Store, albeit slowly. As of right now, links to the app here are pulling up the entry on some devices. We've been trying it out here at AP and some of us can get the app to come up, some can't, but it's clearly on its way.
Today, both of Facebook's current apps have been updated to prepare for the arrival of Facebook Home. The main app merely added an extra permission that Home will eventually use. However, the real fun came to Messenger, which now has the ability to pop out Chat Heads, regardless of if you're using the replacement launcher.
As you may recall from the Facebook Home launch event, chat heads are little bubbles that float over whatever you're doing and allow you to jump straight into a conversation no matter where you are in the OS.
Since the introduction of expandable notifications in Jelly Bean, the shade has increasingly become the home for widgets and easy-access controls. StatusAgenda brings this concept to your calendar, creating a persistent list of upcoming events accessible from anywhere in the operating system.
At the moment, the app is pretty barebones, but it doesn't need too much fluff. You can choose from either a larger or more compact layout, and the list of events can be collapsed with the regular gestures you use to open and close expandable notifications.
A few months ago, Microsoft announced the SmartGlass app for Xbox, a companion application that allows you to navigate and control your console from your phone or, up until recently, 7" tablets. Now, version 1.5 has rolled out that adds support for larger slates. Including 10" devices like the Nexus 10, which is kind of great.
On a larger tablet, the UI actually doesn't look much different from the interface on the TV itself, so it's extremely intuitive.
Facebook Home, the company's trumpeted home screen replacement effort, has been a popular point of discussion since before it was announced.
For those who missed the announcement, Facebook is looking to replace your device's normal launcher with a continuous in-your-face social bonanza, featuring a huge news feed on your lock screen, a new pop-up chat called Chat Heads, and pretty complete integration with the social network, allowing for status, photo, and other updates on the fly.
Talkray, from the makers of the incredibly popular touch-talk app TiKL, is an ambitious app – it looks to be your one-stop shop for mobile communication on the go, communicating through text, pictures, videos, and voice all for free. Until now, though, the app has had a fatal flaw – its design. While not the worst design we've seen, Talkray had, shall we say, unfortunate looks. Inconsistent styles, gradients mixed with flat elements, and Gingerbread-style tabs abound.
Today, Google launched a couple new features for developers that will give them a lot more flexibility in storing data associated with apps. For starters, using what's called "app data folders," a developer can store important files in a user's Drive storage space. This is huge news as, up until this point, the main method for backing up data has been the Backup API, which is great for small things that are 1-2MB or so, but isn't really sufficient for larger files.
Today, Google rolled out an update to the YouTube app (v4.4.11) that will allow frequent users to get easier access to their favorite content producers with the 'My Subscriptions' feed. In the slide-out panel on the left side of your device, you can now tap on this section to get a list of all the most recent videos from your favorite directors in one place.
Additionally, channels that have signed up for One Channel, which allows more customization of your channel and a better branding experience, will now see their tweaks within the app.