Microsoft Office is available for Android. No, this isn't new news, but considering how unlikely that seemed not many years ago, it's nice to reflect every now and then. Anyways, an update has rolled out for the full suite of Office apps. Word and Excel now come in smaller packages, with Microsoft boasting a 50% reduction in size. Read More
Updates to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides tend to travel in groups. They're timid that way. Few of them are bold enough to jump out at you directly. But taken together, they're worth a look.
Sheets brings the bulk of the changes. Google's spreadsheet app will now show you more content when you zoom in and out of a spreadsheet. The toolbars will disappear and reappear as needed. And while you're taking a look at things, you can now view filters that were created on the web.
Then once you start tweaking a document, Sheets' paste special option will also let you copy content and paste only associated values, formula, data validation, and other formatting. Read More
Sending a Skype video message is like placing a video call, only instead of having to be online at the same time, the person on the other end can pick up whenever, the conversation is completely one-sided, and the entire affair is limited to a couple of minutes. Following the latest update to the Android app, you can now spice up those short clips by applying filters. Add in balloons, warp your face, turn things negative—that sort of thing.
To apply any of the effects, hit the icon in the bottom left while recording a message. Since we're approaching the end of October, Skype has also included a few Halloween-related options and emoticons. Read More
Do you care how much battery life your phone has? No, do you really care? You have a spreadsheet set up in Google Slides documenting your experience over the past few weeks. You can recall at a whim the amount of screen on time you've experienced on every Android device you've owned since Gingerbread. You don't get mad at your hardware when it dies at 4PM—you blame those wakelocking S.O.B apps. Read More
Browsers are a core part of the mobile phone experience, but I don't find them particularly exciting. I do with my browser largely what I did ten years ago: open it up, go to a URL, and scroll through the page that appears. I don't really use bookmarks or search predictions, though combining the search and location bars together was pretty nice. Custom search engines are fun too.
I say this to convey my general apathy towards covering the updates that come to web browsers. But the latest beta version of Chrome comes with changes that even folks like me will have a hard time ignoring—things we've already highlighted before when they appeared in Chrome Dev, such as a snackbar that now appears at the bottom of the screen when you complete a download. Read More
Sonos has become the de facto standard for multi-room audio systems, despite the fact that there are now several cheaper (if not better) alternatives. Today it becomes a little better still: those who use Amazon's Prime Music (which is included as a freebie if you've subscribed to Amazon Prime for the free shipping or other benefits) can now stream music directly from the Sonos system. The feature is currently in beta, according to the official Sonos company blog.
Oddly, this isn't the first time that Amazon Music and Sonos have crossed paths, just the first time it's been available specifically for the Prime section of the service. Read More
Huawei is one of the largest smartphone makers in the world, and while it may not be anywhere near as prominent outside of China as it is domestically, the brand is attracting an increasing amount of attention. You could say part of this is due to the company producing one of this year's Nexuses, but credit also goes out to an increasingly attractive portfolio of hardware.
Still, making decent phones is only part of the process. You also have to support them, an area where Huawei has had an awkward track record.
So Huawei has announced which phones it intends to upgrade to Android 6.0. Read More
Motorola started to cultivate a reputation for reliable and quick Android updates after the company was acquired by Google... then began to shoot itself in the foot following the Marshmallow release. It looks like the company is still interested in timely updates for its flagship phones, at least: Motorola Senior Director David Schuster told his Google+ followers that engineers have already begun testing Android 6.0 on the Moto X Pure Edition (that's the new Moto X Style if you live outside the US).
"There have been a couple reports of a Marshmallow "soak test" that has started for Moto X 2015 Pure Edition.