You know the WhatsApp calling feature that has been rumored for almost a year and supposed to roll out by the end of 2014? Well, it seems to be here, a few months late, and with a major caveat for now.
Reddit user pradnesh07 has come across the feature by receiving a WhatsApp call from a friend. That's how the option is presumably activated for each user, in an invite-like system where you have to get called by someone who already has it enabled.
Oh Flipboard, you had me at "Indian Food." Then you lost me at "Royal Baby." Then I liked you again when you mentioned "Fish and Chips." But I hate you now because you only want to be friends with British and Indian people. I'll have you know, some subjects are international. But you, dear reader, don't have to stand next to me in this feud, especially if you live in one of these two countries since you should be able to benefit from Flipboard's new Topics feature.
The always-useful BetterBatteryStats has received a major update that brings both a new look and full functionality on Lollipop devices. The interface remains fairly minimalistic, but at the least could be described as Material-esque. No hamburger menus or anything like that, but you have the bare bones there.
As you can see, a dark theme is available as well. I'm not a big fan of how the dark background pairs with the vibrant green, but I know some of you really don't like white themes.
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.