Photo credit: Jamie Pearson (CC BY 2.0)
As we all know, Google I/O is right around the corner. So far this year, we haven't seen too many early clues as to what Google will cover in its keynote (though Ars Technica's I/O tracker is a great place to get some ideas) outside of its new Photos app, but we do expect that Google will be telling us about Android M (internally called macadamia nut cookie or MNC).
The specifics of what Android M will bring to the table are still a mystery, but we've heard a few things that could make this an exciting update. Read More
Anyone who has used Android and Google services long enough will probably notice how much junk has accumulated in their contacts. There's a new version of Google Contacts in the works to fix that, and you can try a preview of it right now. Unless you have a Google Apps account. Duh.
Feedly is one of the most popular feed readers that stepped in after the demise of Google Reader, and the app is getting past due for a design update. You can get an idea what that's going to look like by checking out Feedly's new Medium post where co-founder Arthur Bodolec previews the impending material redesign.
In the dead of night (for those in the US, anyway), Microsoft has released its Outlook Preview app to the Play Store.
Built for Android phones and tablets alike, Microsoft promises that Outlook will help you "get more done from anywhere," handling all your email accounts and attempting to automatically triage your inbox based on what seems most relevant.
For manual triage, the app offers swipe gestures for quickly deleting, archiving, or "scheduling" messages (essentially like snoozing in Google's Inbox).
Outlook also wants to handle your calendar - Microsoft notes the app has your calendar built right in, and it can provide its own reminders and notifications for events. Read More
Something I loved after signing up with Simple Bank was that the app offered super quick account access - once you signed in with a pass phrase, you needed only to enter a PIN to get to your account. It seems that Chase has (at last) found a way to provide at least a quick glimpse into your account.
While it doesn't provide full account access, Chase's latest update does give users the option to opt in to a pre-login account summary, where a simple gesture will give an overview of your account, without needing to enter your password and wait for the login to compete. Read More
What can you do with Google Glass? If you already own a pair, you can run through a list of specific features and functions you've taken advantage of since getting the device. If you don't own a pair, then your answer is probably going to resemble something akin to Preview. This glassware is the kind all of us thought up back when Google Glass first appeared.
People with Preview installed can view movie trailers on Google Glass just by looking at a poster. Well, that and speaking the words "OK Glass, preview." The app will then search YouTube for the most recent promotional video. Read More
At Google I/O, we heard a little bit about Google Fit - Google's renewed effort at quantified, managed health data. We heard that multiple partners had signed on and got a taste of what Google Fit would be able to accomplish, but beyond that details were a little hazy.
We were however told a preview SDK would be made available in "coming weeks," (a dreaded phrase to any Google user) and today that promise has been fulfilled. In a post to its Developers Blog, Google has announced the Google Fit preview SDK, explaining that Fit provides a "single set of APIs for apps and device manufacturers to store and access data from fitness apps and sensors," making it easy for apps to provide not just raw fitness data, but useful insights based on those data. Read More
Between Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox, the question is clear - do you want to store your files on a drive or in a box? Cloud storage provider Box knows which way it wants you to answer, and the company is rolling out an update to its Android app today that it hopes may influence your choice. Version 3.0 of the app introduces a new image gallery that can preview photos without requiring users to load up full images, saving bandwidth. It also brings in a document previewer with support for over 100 file types and the ability to search text within documents. Read More
As I'm sure you've seen by now, earlier today Google exploded a bombshell by unveiling the Android Wear smart watch initiative along with a number of partners that will be making the hardware later this year. Last but not least, the Android Wear Preview SDK was announced so that developers could start playing with the Android Wear watch emulator hooked up live to their devices and get the feel for how everything will work.
After watching all the videos and reading through all the details, I jumped into it straight away, signed up for the preview SDK, and installed all the necessary components. Read More
Today Mozilla showed off something that seems like it's an amazing addition to its software portfolio: a Firefox Android homescreen launcher. That would be huge news, if it weren't for the fact that Mozilla invested in the promising launcher Everything.me (later rebranded EverythingMe) in November of 2012, eventually making its search-focused interface a core part of the Firefox mobile OS, which is just now getting off the ground. Now Mozilla and EverythingMe are showing off a tweaked version of that app, rebranded as Firefox Launcher for Android.
The preview is a single screenshot, and to be honest, it looks nearly identical to the current version of EverythingMe (with the obvious addition of a big Firefox shortcut). Read More