We first caught wind of an in-progress visual redesign of Pandora's Android app back in September, but it hasn't reached the masses until today's update to version 5.7. Pandora, which had a very dated interface, was well overdue for some kind of reimagining. While Material Design fans are sure to be disappointed, there are several notable improvements and the overall look is much cleaner and modern.
Most of the style is obviously iOS-inspired, which is hardly surprising.
I love my Fire TV. In fact, it's probably the most-used set-top box in my house, and it's also the one that I keep in my home office for testing, watching basketball, and sometimes even playing games (not often). I sideloaded XBMC (Kodi) on it a while back, which made it even more useful. Of course, launching an app like XBMC on Fire TV is a legit pain in the tail.
The newest version of SwiftKey opens the third-party keyboard up to millions upon millions of people. How? By officially bringing Chinese language support out of beta. There are seven new input methods total, with ways to type in Simplified, Taiwan Traditional, and Hong Kong Traditional Chinese.
Is it the age of the smartwatch yet? I don't know, but developers are sure acting like it is. You can hardly turn around without seeing another new watch face or utility for Android Wear. Google still hasn't made it particularly easy to find new Wear apps, but we're keeping track of all the best new stuff, and here it is.
The Internet has made buying things as effortless as possible. You don't need to go to the store or even roll out of bed. You don't have to bother with cash, and in places where you frequently shop, you can do without pulling out a card either. A series of mouse clicks or finger taps is all it takes.
The inverse isn't so simple. Mailing packages typically requires making a trip to the nearest postal service and wrestling with packaging.
Update Wednesday wasn't particularly active this week, but Google did push a few bug fixers out before the day was done. While most of the apps only saw minor version revs with little more than minor tweaks, Chrome Beta 41 came down the pipe with some noteworthy improvements like pull-to-refresh and an option to block only 3rd-party cookies. However, it turns out that those weren't the only new bits to be found in this release.
There are no shortage of ways to get links from one device to another, but this often involves signing up for a service and leaving behind a record of what you're sharing. CaastMe is a new Android app that has an innovative way of getting around this, account-free.
The software relies on QR codes, but it uses them in the opposite of the way you would expect. Instead of prompting your device to open a URL, CaastMe tells the computer displaying the code where to go.
Tucked inside yesterday's Chrome Beta update to v41 was a handy new feature for privacy-minded users and everyone who likes to practice safe web browsing. Although we updated the post with the feature, we thought it better to highlight it again in a separate article.
If you head to Chrome Beta's Settings, under Site Settings, you'll find that the Cookies option has been switched from one check box to become its own subset of options.
Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps have been in preview on Android for a few months, first as an invite-only preview then as an open one. Now Redmond appears to be moving forward with the real deal—the preview label is gone, and the final versions are rolling out.
In the dead of night (for those in the US, anyway), Microsoft has released its Outlook Preview app to the Play Store.
Built for Android phones and tablets alike, Microsoft promises that Outlook will help you "get more done from anywhere," handling all your email accounts and attempting to automatically triage your inbox based on what seems most relevant.
For manual triage, the app offers swipe gestures for quickly deleting, archiving, or "scheduling" messages (essentially like snoozing in Google's Inbox).