SoundCloud, the free music service particularly favored by independent and grassroots musicians, has finally added 'stations,' a sort of never-ending playlist of related tracks and songs. The feature has been in beta for about a week, and is now hitting the release version of the Android app. While new for SoundCloud, this is something that's been available on most other music streaming services for quite a while. Spotify and Apple Music call it 'radio,' and Play Music has 'instant mixes,' but they are all different names for the same thing.
Creating a station is a simple matter of picking one of your favorite songs and selecting the "Start track station" from the three-dot menu. Read More
Microsoft Health is the companion app to Microsoft's activity tracker, which is now on its second iteration, the Microsoft Band 2. An update is rolling out via Google Play that adds quite a few new features for folks who own the device. Read More
If you want to stream electronic music, Digitally Imported (di.fm) is one of the best sources you can turn to. The service's Android app, Digitally Imported Radio also does it justice on mobile thanks to wide channel support, a great and updated interface, and frequent changes to implement new features like casting support. The app, however, lacked one option when it was redesigned in June of last year: landscape support. That's finally being implemented along with interface optimizations for tablets.
Version 3.1 of the app adds "first class support for Android tablets," and restores support for landscape orientation on phones. Read More
Not to be outdone, WhatsApp today announced literally during Alphabet's earnings call minutes after it was announced Gmail had 1 billion MAUs that it, too, has joined the billion user club.
Unlike Gmail, the Facebook-owned communication service got there substantially quicker relative to its Play Store app: WhatsApp registered 1 billion installs on the Play Store in March last year, meaning it converted those installs into a billion MAUs in just 11 months. WhatsApp, of course, has also not been around nearly as long as Gmail, which makes it an even more impressive feat. Not to mention that here in the US most people have no freaking clue what WhatsApp is. Read More
During Alphabet's first earnings call this afternoon, Google CEO Sundar Pichai commented that as of this month, Gmail now officially has one billion monthly active users. That's a lot of Gmail.
The Gmail app for Android, by comparison, hit one billion installs a little over 20 months ago, back in May of 2014. And that was two years after Gmail became the most popular email service on the planet. When that occurred in 2012, Google reported around 425 million MAUs for Gmail, meaning the service has grown its active user base twice over in around three-and-a-half years. Read More
Love the idea of cloud storage providers but don't want to trust your data with the big guys? One more of your options is about to go away. Copy, the cloud storage service from Barracuda, is shutting down on May 1st, 2016. Read More
Twilight aims to make your phone screen less damaging to your sleep cycle, operating on the idea that blue-shifted light screws up your circadian rhythms. There's some evidence behind this, but you could only put it to the test on your phone. Now you can take advantage of the sleep-friendly screen Twilight filters on your watch and TV as well. Read More
Microsoft's Cortana has been available on Android for about 2 months, but shortly after its launch, it got an update to remove the Hey Cortana hotword (though that remained functional in Cyanogen OS) because of potential conflicts with Google's own Ok Google. That dampened a bit the app's utility as it became slightly more difficult to launch when in a hurry.
This update to version 1.4.0 tries to circumvent the issue by adding a homescreen widget. It has a big Ask Cortana button that launches voice searches immediately, a list of your upcoming events and reminders, and another button to add a reminder. Read More