There are a lot of factors playing into the success and failure of mobile payment systems. Perhaps the most challenging issue for Android Pay to overcome isn't the slow adoption of compatible payment terminals or the general lack of awareness about contactless payments, it's the confusion people experience once they decide to try it. While many users are nervous simply because they don't know what to expect, some others are confronted with an even bigger challenge: they have no idea where the NFC antenna is on their phone. The Android Pay app has been progressively adding more informative screens to help with educating users about tap-and-go payments, and now evidence from a teardown suggests Google will soon teach users what part of the phone to actually tap with. Read More
A smart home is every geek's dream, so it's great to see the idea becoming more and more of a reality, with Nest, Alexa, Google Assistant (soon), and Apple's HomeKit making our homes smarter and automated. Accessory maker Logitech, which already has the Harmony Remote, is adding to its range with the Logitech POP button and accompanying app.
The POP can control a lot of devices, from Phillips Hue lightbulbs to Sonos speakers, to door locks and blinds, plus of course the Harmony platform. Each button can be programmed with three individual commands which can then do a host of different things to control your home. Read More
I'm not an avid gamer: puzzles, math games, brain teasers, anything that requires a bit of thinking and doesn't involve plot twists, that's my jam. But I know a lot of people who are taken by games, whether classics or new releases, and I know that many of them are completely fascinated by the music and soundtracks that accompany these games.
That's the category of players that Spotify is catering to with its latest Gaming category addition. Showing up today in Browse on mobile, desktop, and web, Gaming will include plenty of curated playlists like Power Gaming, Rock Gaming, and even Catch 'Em All, as well as guest playlists from other Spotify listeners and avid gamers. Read More
If I had a dime for every photo editor I come across on Android, I'm sure I'd easily have a couple of thousand bucks by now. But Aviary is slightly different. It was acquired by Adobe in 2014 because of its large selection of filters and effects, and the company has been enhancing it since: Material Design, free and premium features, and so on. The latest updated to version 4.8.0 brings 3 new interesting features and improves on an existing one.
First, there are more font options for text layers in Aviary, courtesy of Adobe Typekit. So expect to see more high quality typographies on photos edited within the app. Read More
There are some neat things coming to Chrome in the future, and if you'd like to test them out before everyone else, you're probably already using either the Beta or the Dev version of the Android app. Keep an eye on the former: it's getting some of said features right now. The most interesting addition in version 53 is a new API for quickly checking out on mobile online purchases. It's sort of like the streamlined payment options already offered by PayPal and Visa, but it works with any payment system and it's built into the browser. Check it out in the video below: Read More
It is a sad fact of life that interesting, new concepts or ideas find it hard to set the world alight because generally, we humans don't like change. That's the basic message from Larva Labs, the team behind the Flow Home launcher, which has announced that it is discontinuing active development on the app, apart from some minor updates and bug fixes.
The idea behind Flow Home was instead of showing icons, to display the thing inside the icon: pictures, videos, news, tweets, or status updates (among others). It feels a bit like the HTC homescreen feature, BlinkFeed. Sadly, Matt Hall from Larva Labs says that two major things contributed to the decision to kill off the launcher: API shut-down for social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and lack of people using the app full-time. Read More
According to several tips from Android Police readers, the Google Play Store may not require you to have a Google+ account to write reviews anymore. This news comes hot on the heels of reports that the +1 button is disappearing from the Play Store (which Artem is still devastated about, by the way). In fact, the two situations are very likely related. Read More
Tables and charts are some of the most commonly used elements in Google's Drive suite of apps, but they can be a little clunky on mobile. Today, Google has updated Docs, Slides, and Sheets on Android to make these organizational tools easier to use than ever before. Read More