Part of the appeal of smartwatches is using them in place of a dedicated activity tracker. Pebble watches have had a number of third-party options available, but now Pebble is making a full effort of its own. The company has rolled out Pebble Health, watch software that tracks your steps and monitors your sleeping. Read More
Google faces many interesting challenges with Android Auto. It seems like a simple task to build an interface that is less messy and more enjoyable than existing in-car systems. Given the low bar set by most existing platforms, this doesn't sound very difficult. However, Google is taking advantage of more advanced technology and clever design so Auto isn't just another small iterative step forward. A teardown of the latest update shows some interesting progress on new input methods that don't require as much attention and a parking assistant feature that remembers where you left your vehicle.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (application packages) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
Google Now On Tap is one of those features that sounded great when it was announced, but has failed to live up to the hype now that it's out. It's not going to remain in that state forever, though. Google is already adding new features to On Tap, including some we've already noticed. A blog post on the Inside Search blog lays it all out.
The Vimeo app is one of those famously bad apps that actually make a mediocre mobile website look good by comparison. After years of being behind the curve, Vimeo is finally stepping up its app game with a v2.0 update. There's a lot of good stuff here, but you'll have to wait a bit for all the pieces to be in place.
You start with a song. Ten seconds in, you decide that this one isn't your style. You give it a thumbs down, and the track goes away. Another song begins. You love it, and give it a thumbs up. You don't particularly like or dislike the next one, but you give a few of the songs after more approval. Then you create another station, and you start the process again. Read More
A mobile payment service is only useful if you can, you know, use it... which must be pretty disheartening for customers of smaller banks and credit unions. Each one of them needs to be certified with new payment systems before their customers can join in the "fun" of paying for stuff with their phones. Today Samsung Pay, the semi-proprietary system that's surprisingly interoperable thanks to some neat payment tech, adds a whopping 19 new Visa and MasterCard issuers to its list of compatible banks and similar companies. Read More
Pushbullet added two small, but useful, new features this morning. First, replying to group SMS from a computer or tablet is now (finally) supported. In a small gesture of holiday goodwill, Pushbullet won't count group SMS messages against the 100 message limit for non-paying users for the rest of the month.
Group texting is now available through Pushbullet's Chrome extension, Windows desktop app, and Pushbullet's website. Support for Safari, Opera, and Firefox is coming soon. Replying to group texts also requires a phone running Android 5.0 and above.
The second change Pushbullet added this morning pertains to the new remote files feature that was added earlier this month. Read More
The words "in-app purchases" aren't generally what we want to see in a headline, but in this case, they're not out to rip you off. App developers can now use Android Pay to manage their in-app purchases.
This should cut down on the number of times Android Pay users have to enter their credit card details. If you're using Lyft to order a ride and already have your payment methods saved in Android Pay, the app will pull them up automatically. With this change, Android Pay speeds up the checkout process for the kinds of purchases people are already accustomed to making from their phones. Read More
Since Android Pay launched in September, Toronto-Dominion Bank customers have had to do without support. The option to add their TD Bank cards simply hasn't been an option. Well, it looks like that may be changing. The Android Pay website now lists TD Bank as supported. Read More
Google Spreadsheets has been available in a few languages for a while, but one of the app's main features, functions, has always been displayed in English regardless of the rest of the menus. That's changing on both the web and app side of Spreadsheets as support for languages in functions rolls out. The setting will follow your preferred Google account language so your experience will be consistent across various Google services.
Existing users whose preferred language is other than English will get asked whether they want to switch functions to that or keep them in English. New users will automatically see functions in their preferred language. Read More