We were begging Google to add SMS to Hangouts for so long, and now it seems like a case of be careful what you wish for. Well, at least there's the new Messenger app. This SMS alternative from Mountain View is getting an update today that makes it prettier, which is always nice.
It was only a few months ago that Google finally updated its long-neglected News and Weather app, sometimes called the Genie widget because of the package name. Today there's already a sizeable update for the app that brings a new dark theme, material animations, search, and 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.
Google has seen fit to grace us with a nice little Chrome Beta update this update Wednesday. if you're on Lollipop, you'll immediately notice one thing in particular—the address bar now goes all the way across the screen, but only if you have a certain setup. You'll have to dive into the flags for the rest, but it might be worth it.
Is Google+ 4.8 a big deal? Not unless you're really into seeing a few buttons get moved around. But since these changes do impact how people use the app, we're going to detail them nonetheless. Here goes.
When you're ready to make a post, the send button has moved from the bottom right corner to the top right corner of the window. Essentially, it has swapped places with the menu button.
PlayLater lets you record online video on a PC and save it for later use. PlayOn takes that content and makes it viewable on your TV or mobile device. The latter can help you find shows available online and, as long as you have the requisite subscriptions (to Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.), get you up and running.
Altogether, these are good tools for cord cutters to add to their digital utility belts.
Update Wednesday has begun! We're starting off with a pretty small bump for Google Play Games, taking it from v2.1 to v2.2. There aren't any big new features, but a few things have been polished up.
Like so many other Google apps, the first-run experience has been updated with a short introduction to explain what the app does and the value users can expect to get from it. Of course, this generally won't show up if Games has been in active use already.
There are a lot of cloud storage apps out there, but StreamNation is one that has a very particular focus. As you might guess, it's all about the stream: the app and service are designed around remotely accessing video, audio, and photo content on top of everything else. The new Android app was just released in the Play Store, and it's surprisingly complete for a new service. You'll need a free account, or link it to Facebook (but not Google+).
The internet is a mysterious and magical place full of Wikipedia rabbit holes, animated GIFs of Ron Paul, and cat videos as far as the eye can see. There are also plenty of ads watching which of those things you are looking at. If that makes you uncomfortable, maybe Ghostery is the browser for you.
That fingerprint reader that came with your Samsung Galaxy gadget can secure your lockscreen, but unlocking your device isn't the only task it can help speed up. For heavy PayPal users, it can be an ideal way to make online purchases more quickly. Instead of keying in your PayPal credentials, you can apply your print. Now this ability has come to the Play Store version of the app.