Back in January, Google announced initial support for forty third-party apps (including Runtastic, Zillow, Waze, and more) hooking into Google Now. Even if Google limited participation to hand-picked partners, the news was exciting - it marked Google's first publicly visible steps toward opening Now to users' favorite apps in ways that developers could control.
Google is still keeping details about developer participation close, but today 70 new apps have been added to the Google Now roster. Read More
Last fall, Microsoft released an activity tracker of its own, creatively named the Microsoft Band, and hit the Play Store with the requisite companion app. Now the company has updated its little piece of Android software to track steps and calories without needing the Band itself. The app does this using your phone's motion sensors instead, as long as it's running KitKat or Lollipop.
But you already bought Microsoft's fitness tracker? Read More
Frequent travelers know Google Maps all too well. It's one of the most widely used apps on Android for a reason. A brand new update to version 9.8 just turned up, and there are a few notable changes to take a look at. This release appears to be dedicated to fine-tuning different parts of the interface, so there aren't any big changes here. Read More
As our internal collaboration platform, Hipchat is special to the AP team. It's a great service for keeping track of assignments, chatting with team members, and sharing info, but until now the mobile app has been just a little behind the curve on design.
Today it looks like that's changing, as Hipchat beta received an update with material design.
The new Hipchat beta has native rendering for messages and will now honor your system's font size settings, but of course the overarching design is the real story here. Read More
Facebook Messenger is adding a feature that, if you didn't use it, you would expect to already have. With today's addition of video chat capability, it has parity with the desktop chat interface that has long supported this. As a server-side switch, you should have this available so long as you are using a reasonably new version of the app.
As you see in the image above, there is a camera icon at the top of the conversation that will initiate the video chat. Read More
The SwiftKey folks regularly inject new features into their popular third-party keyboard, but there are only so many changes they can make without alienating existing users. So the company has created a new space where it can conduct experiments safely. It's calling this initiative SwiftKey Greenhouse.
The first piece of software to sprout up in SwiftKey's new garden is the Clarity keyboard, an alternative to the company's main product that takes things back to basics. Read More
The Chrome blog has announced that version 43.0.2357.38 of the browser is being released to the beta channel on the Play Store. This update introduces the usual panoply of bug fixes and performance improvements — which seem to be quite effective this time around — along with a new feature. When purchasing an item, the process of filling checkout forms should be more streamlined and secure thanks to data from Google Wallet. Read More
Just last month, YouTube added support for 360-degree videos, giving us yet another way to thoroughly confound our grandparents with the cool new stuff that can be done with gadgets. We had an early warning this was coming after a Teardown exposed an option to filter search results for "spherical" and 4k videos. A subsequent update to the YouTube app enabled the filter for 4k videos, but mysteriously ignored spherical videos. Read More
According to a tipster (and a report over at DroidLife), Google is testing a new feature for Google+ that could be big news for the platform. For now, it's called "Collections," and it's being tested for an unspecified release target.
The basic idea behind Collections is curated content sets - like Pinterest boards or Dribbble buckets, users could curate pieces of content into their collection, with others viewing, sharing, and following those collections as they please. Read More