15
May
2013-05-15_13h47_50

Today, Google announced a new look for the Google+ stream. Gone is the weird, bubbly look that we've had for forever. The cards-centric UI that we've seen on phones and tablets is now coming to the desktop as well. You can select a one, two, or three-column layout and each individual card can flip over with a slick animation and provide more information and options.

2013-05-15_13h54_55

Google's also improving its search and tagging functionality.

12
Apr
fbmessenger

Today, both of Facebook's current apps have been updated to prepare for the arrival of Facebook Home. The main app merely added an extra permission that Home will eventually use. However, the real fun came to Messenger, which now has the ability to pop out Chat Heads, regardless of if you're using the replacement launcher.

fbchatheads

As you may recall from the Facebook Home launch event, chat heads are little bubbles that float over whatever you're doing and allow you to jump straight into a conversation no matter where you are in the OS.

07
Apr
bt

From poorly-executed "leaks" to potential legitimate sightings, there's been a lot of hubbub about Google's supposed unified messaging service, likely called Babel. This isn't necessarily surprising. After all, if you asked most Android enthusiasts what feature they most wanted from the platform in its next iteration, you'd hear a lot about unified messaging. We've tried to stay clear of covering every flurry of Babel-related murmurings so far, but today we saw something new – Google+ user Patric Dhawaan posted a screenshot of what he says is a notification in Gmail, triggered when "pruning" his inbox.

11
Feb
messagegvtiny

Google Voice is a great service burdened by a lack of support, integration, and easy way to sign up (unless you're on Sprint, of course). Those who do decide to jump the hurdles and either get a brand new number—or port their existing one to Google—will find themselves in an uncomfortable paradise. On the one hand, you can text from your desktop, tablet, or phone completely for free which is awesome.

18
Jan
fbtiny

It's nice to finally have Facebook pay at least a little attention to its mobile apps for a change. Today, the social networking giant is rolling out an incremental update that brings a couple of new features. Of course, there's the big one: remember that new voice messaging thing that Messenger got? Now the regular app has it, too.

Here's the full changelog:

What's in this version:

• Open and view photos faster
• Share your friends' stories to timelines, pages and groups
• Send voice messages when you have more to say

The bulk of the new changes will likely be of little consequence, but if you've ever been mildly frustrated by your inability to share a friend's posts to different pages or groups, your life will get just a smidge easier.

03
Jan
2013-01-03_15h10_46

Alright, Google. It's time to stop leaving your VoIP service to languish on the vine. Facebook has released a double-whammy of big news bits. For starters, today the social network is rolling out an update to its Messenger app that will allow users to send each other short, recorded audio clips. It's voicemail for the 21st century, if such a thing can even exist without being horrible. And, really, this sounds like it's not.

24
Oct
dragonassistant

For years Nuance's Dragon served as a leader in the world of voice dictation and commands. More recently, though, as Google and Apple move in on the speech control world, the company has a more pressing need than ever to distinguish itself. Enter Dragon Mobile Assistant. This app aims to "expands the natural language understanding and artificial intelligence" of Dragon Go! and "[add] the most popular personal assistant features."

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At this point, most of our readers are probably aware of how voice assistants work.

20
Sep
facebooklogo

I know, you were really hoping for that extra special upgrade that Zuckerberg has been teasing ever since he admitted that HTML5 was a mistake. This should be a nice little improvement, though. Now, no matter which app you do your Facebook messaging from, whether it's messaging in Facebook, or via Facebook Messenger (confused yet?), you'll be able to see which of your friends is online, whether they're mobile, and even pin select friends that you talk to most to the top of the list.

04
Sep
image

CyanogenMod's recent improvements to CM10's messaging app – Quick Message pop-ups and "Quick Reply" functionality in the notification shade – are now available for download in apk form.

If you missed our initial coverage of CM10's latest enhancements to the messaging app (thanks to David von Tonder), here's the short version: the default messaging app in recent CM10 builds includes a feature called Quick Message that, upon receipt of a new SMS message, triggers a handy popup notification that allows users to quickly type up a reply, swipe to other new messages, view the message in the messaging app, or simply dismiss the notification.

30
Apr
notifierprotiny

We've got a two-fer for you gamers today. While Android has always excelled at managing notifications, the one area that's always been a little bit troublesome is when you're using full-screen apps, like games. When receiving a message, your phone might vibrate, but you'll get no info on what kind of message you just received. NotifierPro and SMS Flash are two apps that are designed to help with this.

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The first app, NotifierPro, provides a notification overlay that appears above whatever you're running.

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