Keyboard apps aren't the most exciting things, but they're one of the apps you interact with most on your phone. Think about how much you type, and how much that experience has improved over the years. Google hasn't added anything important to the Google Keyboard lately, but apparently they've been saving it up. The new v5.0 update is rolling out, and it's huge. There are UI tweaks, new gestures, layout changes, and so much more. Read More
Google added support for delta app updates ages ago to save you from re-downloading an entire app every time there's an update. That's all well and good, but the process hasn't been very transparent. Now, it looks like the Play Store has started showing the size of an update rather than the full app size. Read More
WhatsApp has conquered the world of low-cost SMS alternatives, at least in the international market. The company's practically free system, which uses standard phone numbers and a text message-style interface, gained hundreds of millions of users before being acquired by Facebook for an amazing $19 billion. WhatsApp already offers a web interface for sending and receiving messages away from your phone, but it looks like something a bit more complex may be in the works. Read More
It's impossible to launch a new flagship phone these days without some fancy (and expensive) companion devices. At least that seems to be the approach that Samsung and LG are taking, and the former has a very interesting 360-degree action camera on the way. The Gear 360 captures both still photos and video in (you guessed it) 360 degrees thanks to dual lenses and a ball-like design. The Gear 360 is launched in Samsung's home market of Korea, and though it's yet to get a western release, the companion app is already available. Read More
Gfycat is an annoyingly misspelled place to post and retrieve animated GIFs, as well as more fancy-pants WebM videos. It's popular for uses where normal GIFs, which get surprisingly large as they get longer, are unwieldy or hard to embed. The tools on the site chomp standard videos and GIFs down into bite-sized versions, saving tons of bandwidth. The service has been around for a while, but now there's an official Android app... just don't try to download it on the Play Store. Read More
I always felt like one of the big downers to web browsing on mobile was typing in passwords. Of course, the built-in password management for Chrome (and other mobile browsers) can sometimes take care of things for you. But I'm sure if you do a lot of signing in, you know there are some sites whose login system just doesn't work with the browser's password manager. With Chrome v51, now in beta, Google is taking some steps to help smooth things out.
W3C, the web standards group, has created an API to help homogenize the relevant aspects of signing into websites. Read More
Many of Google's apps are in extremely active development, some are even on weekly update schedules, but there are others that seem practically abandoned until they get that one random update every 6 months or so. With an average of about once per year (so far), Authenticator is easily one of the best examples of the latter group. Given the infrequency of new versions, it's a little disheartening to see that there are no discernable new features in the latest release; but it's actually worse than that, one was even taken away. But don't let this get you down, it looks like this little app may be due for some new tricks soon as it may be entering wireless territory. Read More
One of Google's services had a birthday yesterday. Translate, the company's tool for translating words from one language to another, first launched on April 28th, 2006. Read More
Account management apps aren't the most exciting pieces of software. Reading about one is liable to be even less interesting when you can't even get the service in your area. I understand. Having to write about Google Fiber when I can't get it doesn't feel much better.
But those of you in Fiber cities deserve coverage too. Read More