Can you hear that sound off in the distance? That's the Fallout hype train picking up steam as we approach the much-anticipated release of Fallout 4 on November 10th. Bethesda released the mobile game Fallout Shelter a couple months ago, but now it has dropped a messaging app into Google Play. It's called Fallout C.H.A.T., which stands for Communications Hub and Transmitter.
Words are for losers. As someone who makes a living putting them in a pleasing order, I should know. The future belongs to emojis, tiny, semi-open images that boil the nuances of self-expression down to a series of postage stamps. And at the moment, Apple's iOS has an advantage in that respect: a recent software update gave iPhones and iPads access to new emojis that don't appear on other hardware, like Android. So when Android users can't see the brilliance of a pixel art middle finger and thus miss the subtle meaning behind their iPhone-using friend's text message, the world is poorer for it.
Snapchat's developers have pushed out another update to the Android app, version 9.14. Like before, users get to satisfy their thirst with a trickle of new features.
One tucked away change is the ability to see who has viewed your Story by tapping on the eyeball in the corner. We also see an addition aimed specifically at users with limited or slower data connections. There's now the option to dive into Settings and enable Travel Mode, which reduces mobile data usage.
Skin tone emojis have been a staple of WhatsApp's iOS application for a long time and have recently made an official appearance on the Unicode's version 8 update. However, if you were using Android, you could only view these emojis if they were sent by your peers (as of the app's Material update) or use WhatsApp Web to send them. There was no way to pick a skin tone modifier if you were chatting away from your phone.
That changes with WhatsApp's latest beta (either 2.12.159 or 2.12.161 will do). When you go to add an emoji inside the app, if you scroll down past the regular facial expressions to the emojis with human elements like people, hand gestures, and some activities, you'll see that most of these have a little triangle at the bottom, to denote more options.
Emoticons are nothing new for Skype or any other instant messaging client. Why, then, are they worth mentioning in version 5.3's changelog? Because now they're big. If you send a message containing only an emoticon, Skype will display a large version, complete with animation. Expressions appended to the end of a sentence, on the other hand, will continue to show up tiny.
While you're checking out these screenshots, also note the app's bubble style chat layout, which has now made its way over from other platforms to Android.
A few other changes have made it into this release. Conversations will no longer jump to the most recent message as it comes in, allowing you to more easily scroll up to read ongoing conversations.
If you're wishing someone a happy Valentine's day using Hangouts today rather than face-to-face, Google's got a special easter egg for you.
Back in December, Google added tons of special animations to Hangouts, triggered by words like "woohoo" or "yay!!" or "lmao," but it looks like there are some extra treats for Valentine's day. Typing "Happy Valentine's," or "Happy Valentine's day" will trigger a few heart-themed animations, featuring a love-struck emoji or a fox gifting flowers to its duck Valentine.
This easter egg seems to be part of Google's effort to make Valentine's day special for users across its web properties, with other tricks including a heart-filled +1 action on Google+ (seen below) and Google's "special edition" reCAPTCHAs.
One of the best things about tech companies is that they believe in having a little fun around the holidays, and there's no better time to take a beat to enjoy the festivities than New Year's Eve. Facebook just featured a themed selfie frame in its Messenger app, and Google is matching with a dancing emoji when you type the words "Happy new years" to somebody.
This easter egg has actually been around for a few days, but we thought today was the perfect day to highlight it. One more emoji isn't the most exciting thing, but you can have a little bit of fun surprising your uninitiated friends with a little animated treat.
Here's something most of us probably weren't aware of. Since Unicode 6.0, Emoji flags have each been given a two-letter regional indicator listed in ISO_3166-1. Until now, only ten of these flags actually showed up as images on Android. This remains the case on other platforms, such as iOS, Windows, and Mac OS X. Instead of an image, you see the two characters associated with each country. You can test this out for yourself by going over to Emojipedia and seeing which flags load (the ten standard ones are placed separately at the top).
On Android 5.0, this situation changes drastically. Users are able to see over 200 flags.
If you've seen a couple of your friends flood their social feeds with single-panel comic strips starring people they know, chances are they didn't all suddenly learn how to draw at once. More than likely, they've all developed an affection for Bitstrips, a means for people to easily create avatars and inject them into comical situations.
There's an Android app out that lets you have fun from a mobile device, but if you really want to inject these characters into your daily life, you're going to want Bitmoji, the company's latest release.
As the name implies, Bitmoji takes your avatar and uses it to create a large number of emoji that you can then paste into your chats or other apps.
Yesterday we reported on the appearance of several redesigned emoji in the keyboard Google's rolling out with Android 5.0. In the piece, I concentrated on the improved consistency brought in by the tweaks. As it turns out, there was one more change hidden in plain sight among the others, and its importance shadows all others. Google has quietly addressed a bug report that has lingered for years.
Let's take a look at the issue at hand here. These are two of the images included in yesterday's post. On the left, we have the old set of emoji. On the right, we have the new ones included with Lollipop's version of Google Keyboard.