It's pretty rare that we get to talk about Google's text-to-speech engine. Updates are fairly uncommon and most of them can be summarized as bug fixes and performance improvements. But every once in a while there's an update that brings a pretty cool new feature to this workhorse of an app. Version 3.8 adds one of the top requests to speech output: user selectable gender and voice variations for each language.
The official changelog has been posted for TTS v3.8. It mentions support for seven new languages, higher quality speech output, faster speech for offline voices, an updated Indian English voice, and the usual bug fixes and performance improvements. Read More
Some of what Google does these days isn't all that impressive in the grand scheme of things. Yes, tweaking the interface of a mobile operating system is nice, but there is no shortage of companies doing the same thing. But being able to type or read a phrase and have it instantly translated into another language for free? A decade after Google Translate launched, that's still a lot to wrap my head around. Read More
Google started allowing non-Gmail email accounts in the Gmail app about a year ago, but you would lose all of the cool Googley features that come with Gmail. Now, you can get some of the Google magic in your email without migrating to a Gmail address. All you have to do is "Gmailify" it. Read More
For the next week and a half, Spotify is giving people in the US and the UK who have never tried Premium a chance to get a free Chromecast if they sign up for three months, which comes out to $29.97 or £29.97. The company clearly hopes you will enjoy the experience enough to, at the very least, not notice that you forgot to cancel your subscription when the time is up. The deal ends February 28th. Spotify will send out an email within 7 days of your accepting the offer. Read More
It's almost Valentine's and what more of a perfect gift could WhatsApp give its users than dozens upon dozens of brand new emojis they can use to express all of their emotions and deep feelings? Those cool drawings had been donning the WhatsApp beta for over two months but they're now ready to deck the emoji panel of every WhatsApp user through an update to the stable Play Store release of the app. Read More
You may have heard of WolframAlpha: an app (and website) which lets anyone compute and work with all sorts of data. It's actually used by Apple's Siri for looking up lots of information (when it can't find anything relevant on Bing), and it can be extremely useful for math homework, sports trivia, or all sorts of other random stuff. What you might not know is that the Wolfram engine is also used for serious computational work: it is used by many physicists and mathematicians for demanding simulations, symbolic calculations, and even some pretty animations.
Despite being more suited for theoretical work, it is also possible to use Wolfram's programming language for professional software development. Read More
Smartphones have replaced digital cameras as the primary way millions of people take photos. But these days, many devices don't let users pop in a microSD card to store their photos as they would on a dedicated device. Companies have come up with an alternative solution by letting you upload and store your images on their servers.
Apple has iCloud, and Google has Google Photos. Dropbox, Microsoft, and most any other service that lets you back up files remotely will gladly host all of your photos too. Flickr is an option that's dedicated exclusively to your photos, and so is Everalbum. Read More
Focus is a very neat alternative gallery app on Android. After the unfortunate sale of QuickPic, it became my go-to third-party photo browser if I needed something other than whatever was installed on my phone (Google Photos or LG/Samsung's default Gallery app), and that's not just because it's well designed, but also because it's very fast and can handle thousands of photos with nary an issue.
After its release in August of last year, the app got a couple of minor updates that fixed bugs and added a few new features, but this new beta version (1.2) brings it to an even higher level. Read More
It's Valentine's Day. We at Android Police won't belabor that particular point, but the family-focused social network provider Life360 will, because they've made a serendipitous purchase that just happens to coincide with this weekend. The company has purchased Couple, another targeted social app that goes after, well, couples. The announcement was made on Friday, but it's surprisingly lacking in any mention of a price, because huge denominations of money that aren't attached to large vehicles or small carbon concentrations aren't very romantic. Read More