Throughout the course of time, the US banking system has gone largely unchanged. There have been a variety of micro-evolutions – from cash to check, check to debit, and the like – but the way we interact with banks has remained much the same. Many people take comfort in the fact that they can walk into a local branch and speak with someone should a problem arise, but therein also lies the problem with banking as we know it: physical branches. I'm not saying that brick-and-mortar banks are a necessarily a bad thing in themselves, but being tethered to a physical location can be exceedingly annoying.
I know many of you have been longing for a way to filter the apps you've paid for into one convenient list. Neither the web nor the app Play Store currently allow this, despite years of outcry. Things are looking up, however, as I believe Google is finally paying attention.
You see, there is a little-known official channel with current top suggestions for Play Store-related features called Suggest a feature for Google Play. You can suggest your own ideas at the bottom, but it also contains a curated list of current top suggestions you can vote for by clicking Suggest it (I think it's a little ambiguous to have a Suggest it button in a list of existing suggestions - it should probably be called Vote for it).
Now that Android has matured to the point of being solid in its own right, manufacturer skins don't rely so much on fixing the problems with the OS as they do creating their own platform. In order to differentiate from the competition, the new Galaxy S needs to do things the One series doesn't. While HTC focuses on improving its audio and visual performance, Samsung is attempting to boost its wow factor by improving on its eye-tracking technology. At least, if the rumors are true.
Speaking to a New York Times blog, an anonymous source (allegedly a Samsung employee) told the publication that the new Galaxy S IV would include a feature that will track a user's eyes to determine when they've reached the bottom of a page and automatically scroll to reveal more text.
Did you know that, since the last update to Google Search, developers have been able to utilize offline voice recognition? Previously, any non-system app that wasn't an IME (Input Method Editor) that hoped to recognize your voice without a web connection needed a rather kludgy typing overlay. Since the update though, apps can hear and interpret not just your words, but essentially any command that doesn't explicitly require web access.
Utter!, taking advantage of the new possibility, claims to have become the first app with working offline voice recognition for Android Jelly Bean. After reaching out to Ben Randall, the app's developer, we've got a clearer picture of what it used to take to recognize speech offline, and what has changed.
No one ever accused Facebook of being swift or thorough with its app updates, but they're at least usually very welcome when they arrive. Back in 2011, the social network introduced 'Timeline', the now-mandatory profile layout that gives you one giant photo at the top, with a secondary profile picture in the bottom-left corner. Up until recently, you couldn't change your cover photo on mobile. Now, in version 2.2, you can.
If there are any other changes to this version, Facebook isn't letting on about it. Here's the entire changelog:
Change your cover photo right from your timeline.
Cool update, Facebook.
At last, my collection is complete. Just the other day I received my invite to the beta of Redbox Instant. I was excited. The idea sounds great: it's like Netflix, but you also get four monthly credits at Redbox rental kiosks! Awesome, right? What's that? Verizon has something to do with it? Well, no matter. It's not exclusive to the carrier's handsets, so I'm sure it's nothing to worry about! I'm ready to get my hands all up on this thing.
Oh, how naïve I was.
I'm going to start by taking a look at the desktop site and the service as a whole, but don't worry, we'll get to the Android bit in its own section.
Flipboard's release last summer was hotly anticipated to say the least. A recent update to utilize the screen real estate of Android tablets bumped the app up another notch, and today's update (to version 1.9.18) puts the icing on the cake. As of today, Flipboard has Daydream functionality for Android 4.2.
Daydream, when it was first introduced, seemed kind of boring (okay, you can look at a lovely animated gradient while charging). The feature was, to put it mildly, more fluff than substance. That said, as a Flipboard user, my opinion of the feature has suddenly shifted. Playing with multicolored jelly beans (while delightful) can now be replaced with actual information.
I'm going to do my best to make it through this article without making a Portal 2 reference, but this new SwiftKey feature is not making it easy on me. After recently announcing Flow, the Swype-like gesture input method, someone inside SwiftKey HQ thought to themselves "Well, you know, this is great and all, but man, what's with all this raising-my-finger nonsense? So inefficient!" So now the company is demoing Flow Through Space. It's nearly identical to the familiar method, only it predicts your entire sentence without the need to start fresh with each word.
Of course, it would be silly to criticize the utility of shaving a few milliseconds off of text input on a phone or tablet.
I use stuff. A lot of stuff. That's what being a tech blogger is all about, right? Using technology to talk about technology. Well, David and Cameron have already pulled back the curtain to show you how they make the magic happen. Now it's my turn!
There is no other way to describe my desktop than "my desktop." This is my workhorse and the centerpiece of my digital life. It's been steadily upgraded over the last 15 years and always by my own hand. I've never even owned a pre-built tower. It currently houses an i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and around 2.5TB of storage, between three hard drives.