It's hard not to be excited about the future of Google Now. It's already an incredibly powerful tool, on its way to being a do-anything personal assistant, and we've heard tell of even more functionality from bill pay reminders to inferred events entries to contact-based reminders.
Today, though, we've heard about something that many have asked for from Google Now for a long time now - actual timer functionality. Search may not be getting its own built-in timer, but it won't be side-stepping your request to set an alarm, either.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
In a continued quest to bring their handy functionality of the Note line's S Pen, Samsung has again updated the stylus' SDK, this time to 2.2.5 (a 0.0.5 bump over the previous update).
The update, which Samsung announced through its developer blog early this morning, brings one major feature – Multi Window and its related APIs. For those who haven't been keeping up with the Note line, Multi Window is a feature by which apps can share the screen by splitting it in half horizontally or vertically, sharing data through the clipboard or – in some cases – with simple drag-and-drop. Read More
PayPal's official Android app received a big update recently, bringing it up to version 188.8.131.52. The update carries a much-needed interface redesign, bringing the web payment solution's mobile client more into line with Android's design language. Using a warm, espresso-and-orange color scheme with a few well-placed textures and conservative gradients, the app's new interface looks infinitely better than its previous iteration.
The update isn't just about looks though – it also carries some functional improvements. While PayPal is a bit vague on just what is new, it assures users that the update brings them "the features that matter to you most," including new functionality surrounding account management as well as sending and requesting money. Read More
Facedroid, Platinum Apps' tablet-centric Facebook client, got a major update today, bringing the app up to version 2.0.
For those who aren't familiar, Facedroid, which was released back in December of 2011, is a powerful Facebook client that looks to replace – and improve upon – Facebook's own mobile experience. The app does everything you'd expect and more, allowing for quick browsing, sharing, and updating, and its 2.0 update brings even more functionality, along with a guidelines-inspired redesign.
Besides the visual overhaul, the 2.0 update adds the ability to view and manage friend "Groups," improved optimization for 7" devices, performance improvements, a new Settings section, and "heaps" of bug fixes. Read More
One of the bigger changes we saw in the jump from Gingerbread/Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich was in the camera app. ICS not only brought a streamlined, more subtle design to an app that so badly needed it, but also introduced zero shutter-lag, meaning the time between pressing the shutter release and capturing a photo was pushed down to (almost) zero. In fact in many cases, the time between touch and capture is imperceptible. This was huge.
At today's Jelly Bean announcement, however, we learned that Jelly Bean treats users to even more enhancements to the camera app. While they are rather minor tweaks, they enhance the app's productivity and usability by a lot, something that seems to be a common thread in Jelly Bean's enhancements. Read More
Motorola's MOTOACTV smartwatch, which the manufacturer bills as the "world's first GPS fitness tracker with smart mp3 player, all in one," began receiving a software update yesterday, bringing the device's standard model up to version 1.7.3, while its golf-oriented counterpart ascended to version 1.7.2.
Software version 1.7.3 includes a handful of improvements, including more flexible workout planning, the ability to create dedicated heart rate zones for different activities, Facebook and Twitter viewing capabilities, easier Wi-Fi setup, and more.
The golf-centered MOTOACTV's update is largely the same, but includes (surprise) added golf functionality:
To improve game tracking, we added tee location options, more choices for ball lie marking and the ability to track the distance of your putts.
Pocketnow, via a wireless accessories website, has apparently discovered the names of 3 of the carrier-branded versions of the Galaxy S II that will be coming stateside later this year. The device will be known as the Attain on AT&T, the Function on Verizon Wireless, and the Within on Sprint.
Mysteriously absent is a T-Mobile version, suggesting either that the device won't be coming to America's pinkest carrier, or that it will be arriving in a different (QWERTY?) form-factor which does not fit the case being advertised on the source webpage. Either that, or they just don't know the name of it, yet. Read More
The Android team sure has a sense of humor. Previously, in the Froyo SDK, besides tons of awesome code, they've also added a function called wtf() (What a Terrible Failure) and an even more hilarious isUserAMonkey() that returns true if the user interface is currently being messed with by a monkey.
Examining the Honeycomb SDK docs released earlier today, armed with a hint from Roman Nurik, I found the following gem: fyiWillBeAdvancedByHostKThx(). The docs are not online yet, but if you've downloaded the SDK, you can find this function at android-sdk/docs/reference/android/widget/
AdapterViewAnimator.html#fyiWillBeAdvancedByHostKThx(). What it does doesn't matter (it's actually a legitimate function), but its name is hilarious. Read More