I'd be lying if I said this story didn't just make my day. According to Business Insider, Facebook employees are being strongly urged and in some cases required to use Android phones instead of their smartphone platform of choice. Why? Because the Facebook for Android app sucks. Of course, this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever used it. Despite a string of tiny, incremental, minor updates—or worse updates that add features nobody wants only to remove them almost immediately—the app has remained largely the same for the last six months at least.
Users of the app can now browse their song history if they want to find a track that they liked in the past, and those tracks can be reviewed, rated, or bookmarked whilst browsing.
If you love a particular track, you can now dive into the information associated with it to find a full bio of the artist, as well as tracks and artists similar to the song that you're currently listening to.
A bunch of new fun stuff is coming down the pipeline, Google-fans! Your favorite search giant has just pushed several updates to some of its headlining properties, including Play Music, Play Magazines, and Google Goggles. We've got the full rundown for you.
For starters, Google Music has added expandable notifications to its repertoire. It doesn't look like you'll see much more info if you expand it, but Play Music continues to be one of the best examples of how to make notifications robust and useful.
Movies by Flixster has a very interesting design history. The developers behind this app are usually among the first to adopt new Android design guidelines—they had a Honeycomb-style action bar back when the Xoom was the only Android tablet around—and today it got another new refresh. The good news is that now it looks better on the Nexus 7, as opposed to the broken mess it was before. Now, for the bad news.
The most noticeable addition in the latest version is that users can now hold 4-way video calls right from their phones, taking advantage of fast Wi-fi and LTE connections to display multiple video streams all at once. This gives the service a big advantage against competitors such as Skype, which only allows free users to chat with one person at a time.
The football season may have technically started already, with League Cup games being played in mid-week, but the Premiership kicks off this weekend. Luckily, Sky has released the Sky Sports TV app for Android just in time for those wanting to catch all the action on the go.
For £4.99 a month, you can access all 6 Sky Sports channels, including Sky Sports F1, as well as ESPN on your smartphone so that you don't miss a kick of the action.
Google Maps received an update yesterday, making it a lot more friendly for users who rely on public transport to get from A to B by adding departure times for railway stations, among other new features.
Unfortunately, the new update is causing a few issues for HTC Rezound owners, who have found that the app causes their phone to reboot itself after using it for a few seconds. Users on forums such as XDA, The Milk Milk and AndroidCentral have all been complaining about the issue, so it looks to be pretty widespread.
There seems to be quite a lot of movement happening behind the scenes at the Play Store - yesterday we discovered that Google Play Store gift cards and wishlist are getting prepped for launch, and today Google seems to have enabled those smart app updates that we've been salivating about since Google I/O.
Normally, when an update to an application comes out, the Play Store downloads it in full, which with large apps and slow connections can get quite painful (think 50MB+ sizes).
It's not quite live yet, but Google would like you to know that Google Maps 6.10 is on its way to handsets by the end of the day. "What's new for me, the public transit user?" I hear you ask. Quite a bit, in fact! First off, Google has announced that it now has data on more than one million transit stops worldwide, spread throughout almost 500 cities. In an effort to make that information more usable, the Transit Lines map layer can now me narrowed down to a single method of transportation.
Google has released an update to its social network app on Android today that should please Hangout enthusiasts both young and old. For starters, now you can join Hangouts on Air via your mobile device (like the one we use to broadcast our weekly podcast every Thursday at 8pm EST hint hint). This is fantastic news as Hangouts on Air are among the most useful application of the already-awesome Hangouts feature.