IR ports are becoming a thing again with flagship devices from Samsung and HTC now commonly sporting them. They aren't used for terribly slow data transfers like back in the old days, but for controlling TVs and stuff. The built-in apps on the phones are okay, but Smart IR Remote is in a league of its own, and now it's added voice commands through Google Now. Take a gander at this video and be impressed.
Uber has created an API that will enable developers to integrate their apps with the ride-sharing service. It lets apps look up pickup times, fare estimates, destinations, and trip history. To envision what this looks like in practice, close your eyes and picture an airline app with the ability to check flight status, book a flight, and request a ride using Uber all in one place. Imagine being able to request a ride with Uber whenever a friend drops an address in an instant message.
Today the MediaFire Android app is turning 2.0, an age that resembles 20 but generally brings along more change in the life of an app. Software seemingly goes through digital puberty overnight and finds itself tucked inside a new body that looks different and similar at the same time. The latest version of MediaFire won't look unfamiliar to people who have known the app for a while, but most would probably say it has aged for the better.
Secret is a social networking app that allows users to share pictures and text anonymously. It's become the hot new thing in some circles, but not everyone is happy about it. A court case in Brazil has resulted in Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho issuing a preliminary injunction requiring Google to remove the app from the Play Store and remotely delete it from users' devices. Apple was hit with the same ruling.
A new version of Pushbullet is rolling out today that allows your clipboard to transcend the constraints of a single device. Just flip the switch, and all your devices will automatically sync clipboard content through Pushbullet. Cool, right?
I happen to like Dropbox's Carousel app, but the inability to control what photos appeared in my photo collection was a deal-breaker right from the beginning. So I'm happy to see that the latest release adds the option to hide or delete photos. It also makes it pretty easy to restore hidden images later on.
Dropbox wants peoples to automatically upload photos to their servers, so it bundled this feature in with Carousel, and users didn't have a say in whether they wanted to use it.
It looks like Facebook is again testing a new bit of functionality in its Android app with a subset of users. After the most recent update, people are suddenly seeing a built-in browser that loads timeline links rather than booting you out to a full browser. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends heavily on how you feel about the Facebook app in general.
When a vastly updated 1Password app hit the Play Store earlier this summer, developer AgileBits still wasn't sure on how it was going to price its revamped product. At the time, the app was free to use for anyone who wanted to put it through its paces, but the company planned to eventually tuck most of the features into a premium version. Now the team has followed through and settled on a freemium pricing model, which it is introducing with the app's 4.1 update.
The Google Shopping Express app was updated to v2.0 yesterday, though the changes to the app aren't quite what you'd expect for a leading digit bump. The single greatest change to the app would seem to be the addition of notifications, which now allow you to be notified about delivery information for your orders, a key feature the service had been lacking until now.
A new quick-add-to-cart button appears on all product cards now, and the filter UI has received a significant overhaul, now allowing you to filter products not just by store, category, and price, but by brand, type (if applicable), and special features like gluten-free, organic, and others.
For a while now Microsoft developers have been working on adding handwriting support to the Android app. The feature, which appeared in the newly released beta app last month, lets users add notes in a way that is sometimes more convenient or useful than typing. Writers can use their fingertips or a stylus and then tweak their notes with a number of options. The feature is particularly useful for scribbling thoughts in the margins of a scanned document.