Remember way back in the golden days of earlier this month when we posted about possible upcoming desktop clients for the super-popular WhatsApp SMS alternative? Well the time has finally arrived, a whole nine days later. The company has announced on its official blog that the desktop versions are now available for Windows and Mac OS X. Sorry Linux users, you're stuck using the web client... but if it's any consolation, they look more or less identical.
WhatsApp has conquered the world of low-cost SMS alternatives, at least in the international market. The company's practically free system, which uses standard phone numbers and a text message-style interface, gained hundreds of millions of users before being acquired by Facebook for an amazing $19 billion. WhatsApp already offers a web interface for sending and receiving messages away from your phone, but it looks like something a bit more complex may be in the works.
For a while, desktop Google Drive's selective sync functionality has been rather, well, selective. You could only select top-level folders. This meant you could select all of your music, or all of your photos, but not a specific set of albums.
There are many applications that aim to mirror your phone's screen on your computer, or let you control your phone from your computer, or even cast/mirror your phone to a display and connect a keyboard and mouse to control it. But none of these seems as simple as this latest idea from Lenovo.
The LINK is a 32GB USB flash drive, but not only can it be plugged into your Windows (7, 8, 8.1, and 10) computer, it also has another USB 3.0 port on the other side where you plug in your phone's cable. First, this lets you use a flash drive and charge your phone simultaneously, saving you one USB port on your computer.
Windows has no idea what to do with that mountain of APK files you've probably downloaded from APK Mirror, which can make managing said mountain of files annoying. Apkshellext2 is a Windows shell extension that might make your life much easier, as it has mine. Just a few clicks and Windows Explorer will get much smarter.
João Dias, also known as joaomgcdon the Play Store, is one of those developers who are never, ever, content with the current capabilities of modern smartphones. He wants them to be more powerful, respond to more commands, allow more interactions, all from more interfaces. His AutoVoice app has been available for a while, allowing you to harness the OK Google interaction scheme to automate plenty of new actions and issue commands that Google's default algorithms don't yet understand.
Now AutoVoice is getting a lil' sister app, an AutoVoice Chrome extension for your Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. Thanks to it, you can perform the same actions on your phone, but while sitting at your computer (or from another phone too), like taking screenshots, sending messages, hanging up on calls, and more. João has made a demo video to show you the possibilities.
AMIDuOS, a popular solution for running Android apps on Windows, has issued a major update today that brings users a full Lollipop virtual environment. The update, to version 2.0, is most notable for leaving the now very-dated world of 4.2 Jelly Bean. With it also comes support for 64-bit apps, the ART runtime, and better APIs and compatibility for hardware features such as Bluetooth 4.0. On the not-as-fun side, the lifetime license now costs $15, up from the prior version's $10 cost.
A key difference between AMIDuOS and competitors like BlueStacks is that it is not merely an "app player," as BlueStacks brands itself.
It's one thing to claim you have an open approach and another thing to make it easier to use your competitor's product. Google is putting their money where their mouth is as they release a Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office, though there is still some work to do. While on one hand you can see this as a way to help users avoid Docs, Sheets, and Slides, it also provides feature parity with Drive's own competitors OneDrive and Dropbox, both of whom enjoy deep integration with the office suite.
At this point, the plug-in only works on Windows and users are reporting that it doesn't function on the Office 2016 pre-release versions which will launch very shortly alongside Windows 10.
Windows Phone, eat your heart out. Android is now capable of virtualizing a full and up-to-date Windows desktop operating system. Well, one phone is at least, and it's probably not one you would have guessed: the ASUS ZenFone 2. XDA-Developers forum member ycavan managed to get Windows 7 running on his phone using a variety of custom tools, some impressive technical skill, and quite a lot of patience. Check it out in the video below:
To be clear, this is Windows 7, virtualized, running on a local virtual machine client accessed via the aSPICE KVM client for control. Windows is not being emulated (it's been done with older versions).