YouTube live streams are generally pretty good, but getting noticed in the live comment stream is tricky, especially when they're thousands or even hundreds of thousands watching or commenting. To combat this, YouTube has introduced Super Chat, a way for commenters to get more noticed by their favorite content creators by paying to pin comments to the top.
The way SuperChat works is by allowing individual users to pay to promote their comment for a temporary period of time (up to 5 hours). The comment is highlighted and pinned to the top of the comments, and the creator who is hosting the live stream can reply. Read More
As part of an update to the Maps app today, Google is adding fully native integration with Uber. You can set a destination, pick an Uber type, book it, monitor its location, and call the driver - all directly from Google Maps. This is excellent. While I did see an update to Maps on my phone today, the feature doesn't appear to be live for me just yet, so there's probably a server-side switch on this. Read More
Chrooma Keyboard is one of those keyboards I can always recommend to people who like the Google Keyboard but want something more out of the experience. I have been using it on and off since it got updated to v3 in June and I love its adaptive colors that fit with whatever app you're using, extensive gestures, multilingual support, and customizable action row. But since some of these features were already added to GBoard recently, there were fewer reasons to use Chrooma... until this new v4 update came rolling.
Now Chrooma has emoji suggestions so you get a pizza emoji when you type the word "pizza," neural predictions for your sentences, a smarter clipboard that lets you view a history of your copied texts and paste whichever you want as well as pin some to keep them, a words blacklist option to stop suggesting certain words, and the customizable action row now shifts from emojis to numbers to punctuation depending on what you just typed. Read More
LaunchPad Toys, an educational content app developer, was acquired by Google back in February of 2015, and one result of that acquisition is Toontastic 3D, a more animated version of the developer's loved and applauded Toontastic (check those Common Sense ratings).
The app is described by Google as a "digital puppet theater," but that's only scratching the surface. Kids can grab one of the many characters and settings provided, move them around, add a song, record their voice for dialogue, and generate a 3D video to keep and re-watch on their phone. And that's not all. There are 3D drawing tools to design characters from scratch, an option to add yourself or friends to the story by importing images, soundtracks, three different story arcs (short story, classic, and science report), and more. Read More
'This is Chrome OS's year,' people say optimistically as they think for the gazillionth time about buying a Chromebook. Hell, I'm one of those people. Will it be 2017? Maybe. With the upcoming release of Samsung's new Chromebook Plus and Pro, and the wider release of Android apps on the Chrome OS stable channel, it's definitely possible. Now, more exciting news has come our way from Chrome Unboxed, in that Android 7.1 is being actively developed and tested for Chrome OS.
What does this actually mean? Basically, it means that the apps running on Chrome OS will gain features Android 7.1 has. Read More
After letting the redesign of its app sit for a few months, Uber is back at it with adding features to make commuting more convenient. This time, the ride-sharing service is adding "Calendar Shortcuts," which allow you to select your destination based upon your calendar entries. Whether it's a meeting, dinner, flight, or whatever it is you normal people do, these new shortcuts make getting a ride that much faster. Read More
Google finally brought Gboard to Android last month after releasing it on iOS a while back. Of course, it was technically an update to Google Keyboard, but it was a significant one. The Gboard transition was not without its problems. An update is rolling out now to address some of the bugs with that first release. Read More
Uploading your files to the cloud might be fashionable these days, but some still like to keep their files, photos, videos, and anything else secure from prying eyes, yet still accessible if they're not at their computer. Synology, a maker of Network Attached Storage devices, which the company calls DiskStations (DS for short), has updated four of its apps; DS photo, DS file, DS note, and MailPlus. Read More
Ever since I got my Wink Hub 2, one of the services I kept seeing in conversations when trying to bridge together different smart appliances and services was Stringify. The app was limited to iOS though, so I never got to use it because I wasn't going to carry my iPad around all the time to toggle a light bulb. But at CES, Stringify made a few announcements that we just came across (excuse the delay, we had tons of emails and releases to sift through) and that are sure to please Android users.
Before going further, here's a quick rundown of what Stringify is for those of you who'd never heard of it. Read More
Over the last several months, most of the changes to the Play Store have been on the smaller side, usually part of A/B tests to determine if individual tweaks to the interface would work better than others. An update began rolling out to users yesterday, bringing the current version up to 7.4. No significant changes seem to be turning up yet, but there are bits and pieces that hint at future plans. In this teardown, we'll be looking at a new version of the My Apps screen, statistics about reviews over recent history, remote authorization for family purchases, and even a strange requirement to install the Play Games app before taking some actions. Read More