It's 2013, and chances are that someone has asked you to make a Skype video chat at some point or another. This isn't too all-consuming on PCs, where a user can fire up their webcam and tuck the Skype client away in the corner. Anyone using an Android device, on the other hand, has had to devote the entire screen to the conversation. But thanks to the latest Skype update, many of us will be freed from the burden of giving a video chat our undivided attention, as we will now have the ability to tuck the entire session away into the corner.
Did you know that the web browser on your phone or tablet waits three tenths of a second after you tap something to actually perform that action? You did if you're a web developer - it's a de-facto standard for mobile browsers, a built-in delay for the double-tap zoom function. But if you're on the newest Chrome beta, you won't see the delay, at least on mobile sites.
If you should suddenly find yourself stranded in a tiny out-of-the-way country after a Nathan Drake-style adventure this holiday season (or maybe if you live there, I guess), take heart in the knowledge that at least your Android phone knows its way home. Google has added 25 new countries to Google Maps Navigation this week, from the landlocked European nation of Andorra all the way to Maldives in the Indian Ocean.
Rushing to get some work finished up before the holidays? Well that's too bad – we've got some app and game sales you should pay attention to instead. Read on and spend a little money/time getting reacquainted with your phone.
Google's default Android keyboard has typically emphasized simplicity over anything else, but it has picked up quite a few new nice features over the years. It now offers Swype-style gesture support out of the box, and after the latest update, you can choose what color your swipe trail and accent colors should be.
Following the Android 4.4 redesign, the Google Keyboard defaults to a subdued black and white color palette.
A Google+ Android app update is inbound that should help many of us get in the mood for the upcoming winter. And let's just say, this one is rather quirky.
Once the update has made itself at home on our devices, all we need do is give them a shake while looking at one of your own photos to add snow to the shot - the same Auto Awesome effect Google rolled out just last week.
Microsoft Office isn't what it used to be. Now instead of plopping down a sizable upfront payment for software you could use indefinitely, customers commit to paying a monthly fee. Yet either way, every company needs at least one person who knows how to get the software running and whose job it is to ensure that things stay that way. Microsoft's latest Android app, Office 365 Admin, is for them.
This app comes to Android only a month after the launch of the Windows Phone version, and it looks largely the same.
You're in a restaurant and want to know about its chicken. You could ask the waiter, but considering they're an employee, you can only believe what they're saying but so much. If you want to really know whether this place cooks its chicken better than the joint up the road, then there's really only one source you turn to - Yelp. Okay, it's not the only one, but it's the first that comes to mind, and with the latest update, its mobile app is now even better suited for situations such as this.
Android 4.4 has a new screen recording function for developers, but as the CyanogenMod team has already demonstrated, it can be adapted for more general use. Well-known developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta has taken advantage of this for Mirror, a new screencasting app for KitKat that allows any rooted user to either record video directly on a device, or stream to an Apple Airplay-compatible receiver like Apple TV. No custom ROM required.
It's been a pretty big year for Instagram. So far, it has released several big new features including video and people tagging. To end 2013 on a high note, Instagram announced today that it is launching Instagram Direct - a new private sharing feature. Highlights include:
The ability to share photos privately with up to 15 people.
See who has seen, liked, and commented on your privately-shared photo in real time.