Kodi, perhaps better known by its former name XBMC, is one of the most popular media centers around. It's open source, cross-platform, and is endlessly extendable - what's not to love? Now Kodi 17, codenamed 'Krypton,' is live on the Play Store with thousands of new features and bug fixes. Read More
Google Assistant was introduced at Google I/O last year, as a more personal voice assistant than Google Now. Since then, it has been made available on several platforms - Pixel phones, the Google Home, Android TV, and Allo. But Assistant is still unavailable on non-Pixel phones without a special build.prop tweak. Now the Open GApps team has made enabling Assistant a little easier. Read More
AmpMe, the app that turns several phones into perfectly synchronized speakers for the same music, has seen many updates since its release in 2015. At first, the app only supported SoundCloud as a music source, but it has added local music and YouTube, and improved its app to synchronize Bluetooth speakers as well (with their delays). Now the service is adding one of its most requested features: Spotify support.
You can choose to stream music from Spotify in AmpMe, just like you would choose YouTube or SoundCloud or your local library. But you will have to sign in with your premium Spotify account for that to work. Read More
The web component of Samsung Pay has long been rumored to be coming, so it's no real surprise to see it formally announced today. The service, which sees Samsung attempting to broaden its services offerings in response to Google, Facebook, and Apple, will go live in South Korea before the end of the first quarter.
Samsung Pay Mini is comparable to how Android Pay works to pay for items online. E-tailers opt in to the service, which means as long as the dedicated app is downloaded, users can easily and quickly pay for products or services without needing to fill in forms or get cards out. Read More
Animations are an important part of an app's design and user experience, so much so that Google made them an integral part of material design. The folks at Airbnb just made making an animation a whole lot easier, with a new tool called 'Lottie.'
Lottie is an open-source library for iOS, Android, and React Native that renders animations in real time. This means that animations such as the 'hamburger-to-back-arrow' animation is now easy and simple to create. The library uses an open-source After Effects plugin, Bodymovin, as its base, which enables Lottie to use data exported from After Effects as JSON files to animate in real time on the device. Read More
The Xposed Framework and its associated modules are the best friends of users who know their way around root-level tools, but don't want a full custom ROM (or can't find one for their less-popular devices). One downside is that Xposed is the passion project of a single developer, "rovo89." He (we have it on fairly good authority that it is he, though the dev is very private) works on the framework outside of his day job, and it's often several months before rovo89 has it working to a level that's ready for general users. Read More
Ever since March of last year, Google has been testing a new payment method called Hands Free. The premise was that you could pay for goods with your smartphone without ever having to remove it from your pocket. The pilot was limited to the Bay Area and to only a few businesses. But now, the experiment has hit its end of life for the time being.
As of February 8, Hands Free will shut down. Read More
Looks like Instagram is testing the ability to add multiple photos to a single post in the latest Android beta build. This feature will allow you to create an album in your timeline, something that could prove pretty handy if the service is your photo-sharing spot of choice. Read More
Google Maps was recently promoted to v9.45 in the beta channel. This update includes a partially redesigned arrival card when users reach their destinations and introduces a feature where Google will send emails with highlights from your timeline. Turning to the teardown, it's clear that Google will soon allow users to share their custom lists with others. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom of the post, but since the v9.45.1 update came out shortly after the .0 release, both versions are linked. Read More