You don't get much more British than the BBC. It's like a cup of tea or chocolate digestive biscuits. Presumably because the BBC has realised it is losing market share to other news websites and TV services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, it has released a new app, BBC+, in an attempt to combat this. Provided the user has a BBC iD, they can pick what they're interested in and then see in a magazine-like format.
The idea isn't exactly new - many other news outlets in other countries around the world do the same. The main issue with BBC+ is that once you get to a new article, it is essentially just a WebView to the BBC website, unlike an app such as Flipboard or Google Play Newsstand, where the article is specifically formatted for display on a mobile device. Read More
While it may not be known in the US, Deezer is a very popular music service that has amassed plenty of fans worldwide. The French company offers a huge catalogue of songs, over 40M to be accurate, which puts it ahead of Spotify, Google Play Music, and Apple Music, and includes international releases as well as local music from different parts of the world. Its real tour de force though: quasi-worldwide presence. Deezer has been available in more than 180 countries since 2013, but there was one missing in the list: the USA.
To be accurate, Deezer has been accessible in the US before, but only through Cricket Wireless or on Sonos and Bose speakers. Read More
It has been a couple of months since Play Books has been in the news, but there's a new update rolling out and it brings a couple of new features. Version 3.9 gives search a little more help with more thorough suggestions and adds a badge to series when new content hits the store. Those two things along with some other general bug fixes and improvements are certainly nice, but there are also a couple of things to talk about in a teardown. Keep reading for details or skip straight to the bottom for a download link. Read More
After a previous deal fell through, Opera has reached an agreement to sell the mobile and desktop browser portion of its business to a group of Chinese companies for an estimated $600 million. Opera will retain its advertising business in a bid to avoid a long regulatory holdup. Read More
Approximately 98% of the videos posted on Facebook are ripped YouTube clips with annoying, aspect ratio-destroying text on the top and bottom, stolen and reposted by some radio station in Ohio that's desperate for social media "engagement." Even so, if you really want to save those videos, the Android app now lets you do so. Kinda. One of our readers spotted the new user interface features and the "Saved" video section in the app, but that word doesn't mean the same thing to Facebook as it does to other folks. Read More
If your company uses Google apps to manage email, contacts, cloud storage, and all the other stuff that Google Apps for Work does, then you'll want the latest app in the collection post haste. Springboard is a sort of universal search tool for all the stuff that accumulates in Google Apps, plus a handy agenda view that shows everything new on the company account. Unfortunately it's in an invite-only stage right now, so even if you use Google Apps for Work, it may still be inaccessible. Read More
In case you missed it, there's a national election approaching here in the US. I know, it's understandable if you mistook the nonstop campaigning for our idea of good TV. It might as well be. But one way or another, years of campaigning are about to come to an end... for a few days before starting back up again.
Despite holding elections every year or so for hundreds of years, the process is still a messy one. Each state has its own requirements and rules for registering to vote. I majored in political science, and I have to search to figure out some of this stuff. Read More
Updates to the Play Music app have been steadily rolling out, but there hasn't been much to tell for about the last six weeks, ever since podcast support was added to Android Auto at the beginning of June. Bug fixes and very subtle tweaks seem to be the theme. The latest update to v6.11 doesn't deviate too far from this trend, but there is a small addition to the UI and a few clues to discuss in a teardown. Read More
Google announced at the end of 2015 that Android Pay would arrive Down Under in the coming year. Seven months later, that time has come. Residents of Australia can now use Google's latest mobile payments solution to buy stuff using their phones. Read More