Simple is a bank from the future (or the past, I guess), one that lacks physical branches and expects you to handle all of your transactions over the web from a PC or mobile device. After quite a wait, the Portland-based company has pushed out an update to its Android app that comes with enough visual tweaks to make the experience look Lollipop-friendly.
The previous version—which was already clean and, dare I say, simple—looked like a KitKat holdover. Read More
According to a Yahoo Finance exclusive, Google Wallet is now a little bit safer. Yahoo Finance reports that Google Wallet balances are now FDIC-insured, and that Google is accomplishing this by storing Wallet balances in FDIC-insured banking institutions. For reference, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures a depositor's funds for banking institutions up to $250,000.
As Yahoo Finance points out, services like Wallet, Paypal, or Venmo are considered "non-banking institutions," meaning that they aren't legally required to be federally insured, and indeed Paypal and Venmo currently aren't (though Paypal does offer its own account protection measures).
The report also notes that Google Wallet's current user agreement says balances are not FDIC-insured, but that "a Google spokesperson confirmed in a statement to Yahoo Finance that its current policy has changed."
Ultimately it seems as though Wallet's FDIC insurance will be of little consequence to users, except that it provides peace of mind in case the worst should happen. Read More
In an update that we can call minor by Mint's standards, the app's interface and navigation have been refined in addition to receiving a new bill reminder option. This feature is actually quite helpful, since it can be hard to keep a multitude of due dates straight in your head.
Of course, this won't help reduce any confusion between Mint and the recently-rebranded Mint Bills service. To be clear, you will not be paying your bills on Mint; you will just be reminded about them.
Another aspect of this update is the loss of the floating action button. Before taking out your Materially-designed pitchforks, let's recall what it did: create manual transactions. Read More
The Mint app has a case of hyperactive redesign. This devastating disease is characterized by rapid design changes, fluctuating icons, and death. Okay, not so much the last one. Still, the Mint app is getting more design tweaks in the most recent update, which is mostly okay.
Microsoft has been surprisingly generous when it comes to apps for Android, a platform it's technically still competing against. (Sort of.) Today the company launched an entire suite of Android apps to support its MSN/Bing web platform. All six of them tie directly into existing services: MSN Food & Drink, MSN Health & Fitness, MSN Money, MSN News, MSN Sports, and MSN Weather. They're all free to download in the Play Store right now.
The new apps are basically re-skinned versions of the mobile websites they connect to, but the structure is a little more usable than a straight-up web wrapper, something that's depressingly common in the Play Store. Read More
Google's Finance app is in desperate need of attention. If you haven't checked in on it lately, it's still stuck with Gingerbread design. No seriously, go look. Tiny header bars, legacy menus, odd layouts, and assets that look tiny or pixelated (or both) on today's high resolution devices.
Just for fun, I decided to take a look at the app and see if I could give it a fresh coat of paint, inspired by material design. It's worth noting that, when the rest of Google's product icons were updated in its web launcher, Finance received a new icon too (the basis for the thumbnail of this post), so it's possible that Google really is working on a new design, but that's okay - I think exploring some ideas early is still worth while. Read More
Yahoo has really been upping its Android game with the acquisition of Aviate and the launch of apps like Yahoo Weather. Now the company has finally shown its finance app some love. Yahoo Finance has been completely rebuilt from the ground up with new features and a more modern UI. Frankly, I don't see as developers had any choice other than to start over—the previous app was incredibly outdated.
Bucking the status quo of American wireless companies seems to be working for Legere and Company. For the first three months of 2014 T-Mobile added 2.4 million new wireless customers, according to the company's financial report published this morning. In the crucial post-paid segment (as opposed to the less reliable prepaid segment) T-Mobile added 1.3 million new subscribers.
While T-Mobile is still a long way away from 800-pound gorillas AT&T and Verizon Wireless, it's safe to say that the lower prices and ceaseless "Uncarrier" promotions are having an effect. For example, Verizon added only 549,000 new wireless customers in the same timeframe, while AT&T added just over one million - T-Mo beat them both in terms of new post-paid customers. Read More
January is generally held as a gloomy month, a time when there's nothing but slush on the ground and crap in the movie theaters. But it gave us more than a few fine apps, which you should take the opportunity to peruse. If you don't feel like meticulously combing through our massive bi-weekly app roundups, we've gathered the best of the best right here. Dig in, why don't you?
12Hours is one of those ideas that's so brilliantly simple you wonder why no one has done it already. The basic idea is an analog clock (the one you had to learn in first grade) with color-coded sections indicating the upcoming events on your calendar. Read More
There's big money in online storage, in case the presence of Google, Microsoft, and a seemingly endless parade of startups didn't tip you off. Box.com has been one of the more consistent rivals to Dropbox, Google Drive and
SkyDrive OneDrive, and it looks like the small company is about to up its game in a big way. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Box is preparing for an initial public offering.
Box is particularly worthy of note for Android users, since partnerships with some OEM manufacturers have made promotional accounts with up to 50GB of cloud storage available. Read More