Along with two new apps, today's Update Wednesday has brought us a new version of YouTube with version 5.6.31. The previous version was 5.5.27, so it became clear right away that we should expect something relatively significant as opposed to simple bug fixes. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to disappoint those of you still waiting for offline and screen-off playback - those are not here just yet. There are no major UI changes either.
The more rugged, athletic version of the Galaxy S4 is about to indulge itself with a taste of KitKat. AT&T has started rolling out an OTA update to its version of the device that will bring it up to Android 4.4.2. The company has provided the following changelog on its blog.
- Improved user interface with Android 4.4 KitKat: The latest version of Android includes enhancements such as re-styled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen-immersive mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security and smarter power use.
House hunting can be tedious, but the tools you use on your search don't have to be. The Homesnap app lets users look up information about homes and neighborhoods just by snapping photos of locations of interest. When it came to Android nearly a year ago, it arrived with an interface stuck somewhere between Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich. Now, with version 3.0, the app is ready for life on KitKat.
It doesn't matter which phone a Sony QX10 or QX100 owner uses, these cameras are better. The drawback is that the user experience is nothing short of awkward. One particular issue is slow NFC connection times, making it challenging to capture spontaneous shots (and aren't those the best kind?). Fortunately, this is the type of problem an update can address. Firmware version 3.0 is now available for both models, doing precisely that.
The Lyft community consists of people in need of rides and people ready to provide them, with all of this interaction going through a mobile app. Okay, not all of it. Before now, users have not been able to enter their desired destinations while requesting a ride, but the latest update addresses this by tucking the functionality in. This lets users tell the driver where they want to go before they arrive, getting the ride started faster and saving everyone time.
SoundCloud has made the jump to version 2.8, bringing along a few new enhancements in the process. Many of them are visual, though the changes are small. Tabs are white now. The explore section introduced in version 2.7 has had the position of artist names and song titles moved around, as have the search results. Speaking of searching, the app has new support for hashtags and recommends a page filled with them when clicking on the search icon.
Mirroring Android notifications to a desktop is far from a new feature for Pushbullet, but now the app displays the full images that go with each message. This makes glancing at a pop-up and deciding whether it needs immediate attention even easier.
Back on Friday, HTC's executive director of product management announced that the One Max on Verizon should receive an OTA update bringing the latest version of KitKat after the weekend. Well, Monday's here, and so is the update. Verizon HTC One Max owners should now or soon receive an update notification that looks an awful lot like this one.
Sometime last month, the beta version of SwiftKey gained the ability to pull from Evernote and Google+ to learn which words a user's trying to say. These joined the already long list of supported sources ranging from SMS and Gmail to Facebook and Twitter. The core functionality remains the same - just permit SwiftKey to access your social accounts and let those fingers fly.
SwiftKey learns a user's typing habits by scanning through their emails and posts, ultimately improving the quality of text predictions.