It seems that it's Music-Wednesday on the Android scene today. Aside from Spotify launching in Indonesia, SoundCloud is starting a new paid subscription (in addition to its free tier) that should transform how everyone perceives the service.
Up until now, SoundCloud has been mostly popular with indie artists and labels, amateur musicians and audio producers, podcasters, and regular users who like recording sound and audio blurbs and sharing them with the world. With SoundCloud Go, the service is announcing that it's made some licensing agreements with Sony, Merlin, Warner, UMG, and other major and indie labels to carry their catalogues. Read More
Indonesian Android users and music fans, we've got some great news for you today. If you were heartbroken last month by the demise of MixRadio, one of the most popular free music streaming services in your country, and you never liked Deezer, and you hated having to pay for Apple Music because it didn't offer any free tier, you'll be happy to know that there's a new player in town and it's bringing all the big guns to the fight.
Spotify is launching today in Indonesia with a catalogue of more than 30 Million songs including Indonesian music (with playlists curated by local experts) and international hits. Read More
The Play Store is getting a new email client. Big deal, right? It's not as if we're suffering for lack of options. Well, MailTime, which debuted on iOS in late 2014, is anything but just another entry in a crowded category. For MailTime, emails are just messages, nothing special. You didn't ask for a bunch of metadata, you just got it. The app parses your emails to separate the actual messages from the rest of the clutter.
The primary interface is, at first glance, much like any other email client. You have a list of threads to choose from. But when you open them up, you see an SMS-esque UI that makes it loud and clear that this is not your father's mail app. Read More
Microsoft has been steadily marching towards getting familiar desktop features onto their mobile apps. Most recently, that meant support for versioning, auto-save, and live collaboration. This time around, all three get the ability to export to PDF, something we take for granted when using the full versions of Office. They also get a new feature allowing users to insert images directly from your camera, which of course is a feature more unique to mobile. For its part, Microsoft Word for Android can now open RTF files, which falls into the "I didn't realize it couldn't already do that" category for many of us. Read More
The PDF format is a common and open standard that works with many programs, but many people still turn to Acrobat Reader when the time comes to open a document. Adobe has given such folks another reason to keep the app around. Reader now integrates with Dropbox accounts. Read More
The design of Samsung's system UI hasn't changed much in the last few years, except when it comes to cosmetic things like icons and colors. There's a whole theme store that can alter that stuff. In the Galaxy Apps store, there's a new app called Good Lock that goes further by enabling an "advanced system UI" on the Galaxy S7. It's really bonkers. Read More
An update to the Google Photos app just rolled out, bringing the current version number up to v1.17. This release is pretty straightforward with just one notable change: photos can now be edited in a non-destructive fashion. In other words, you can make changes to a picture and still return to the original version if you like. That feature alone is certainly enough to make this a worthy upgrade, but a teardown provides some good clues about features that are probably coming in the next couple of releases, assuming they're not already here. Read More
When Android 6.0 landed, it brought a big new battery-saving feature called Doze mode. While it was great at reining in known troublemakers like social network apps and misbehaving games, Doze had a bad habit of knocking out apps with genuinely important roles to play. One such app was Android Wear. Today, a new update to the Wear companion app adds awareness of Doze Mode and prompts users to add it to the protected list.
Doze Mode Support
When the Android Wear app starts up for the first time after updating to v1.5, it will have a bright blue notice on the screen to let you know that your watch may not remain connected unless the Wear app is allowed to run in the background. Read More