The developers that brought us Pushbullet have announced a brand new app. Portal is designed to do one thing and one thing only: move files between your computer and your Android device. While this is possible with Pushbullet, it isn't a strong point and requires sending those files to their servers and back. Portal sends them within your local wireless network, avoiding potentially costly data fees and making possible far faster transfer times.
To be clear, the developers haven't really invented anything here. Sharing files over your local wireless network is as old as, well, wireless networks. The innovation here is making it so simple that you don't have to have a clue how it works.
The latest app from doubleTwist lets you take advantage of all that online storage you're (maybe) sitting on. CloudPlayer does what the name suggests—it plays music from your cloud storage. Just upload your tracks and plug in CloudPlayer.
The app supports Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. You would, of course, be able to simply navigate to the file locations of any song in one of the official clients for these services and play it, but CloudPlayer operates like a traditional music player. You get high-resolution album art, playlists, offline sync, and a 10-band EQ. It's sort of a roll your own Play Music option.
OK, Amazon, I can sympathize with your plight. As both the legal operator of a massive software distribution service and a TV, movie, and music vendor beholden to various rights holders, you might be tempted to remove anything from your app store that even whiffs of piracy or copyright infringement. Hell, I could helpyouspotsomeexamplesifyouwant. But that really doesn't excuse booting legitimate, useful apps off of your store without a second thought, as appears to be the case with Kodi Media Center.
AFTV reports that Amazon removed Kodi, a highly technical open-source media manager (formerly called XBMC), from the Amazon Appstore last week.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Photo Wall FX Live Wallpaper
Today's app roundup is sponsored by the Photo Wall FX live wallpaper by Handy Apps. The idea behind this wallpaper is simple: it uses the local photos on your phone or tablet to make a grid collage, dynamically selecting and cycling photos and sizing them so that there's no space left between them.
Google has unveiled several handy new features for Sheets, their Excel competitor that quite honestly needs all the help it can get. The goodies include enhancements to core functions in addition to collaboration. One of these involves being able to apply sharing permissions to specific parts of the spreadsheet, rather than the entire file.
With the new functionality, I can highlight a cell or set of cells and then right click, tap on "protect cells," and then alter the access rights to them. You may share your document with someone but not necessarily expect them to make major alterations.
Google has all sorts of data points about the world around us, and it turns out the most recent Maps update includes a new use for that data. Maps will now tell you if you're navigating someplace that's going to be closed when you get there.
Just before the weekend, LastPass came across some suspicious activity on its network. It closed off the security breach, but only after the bad guys had made off with some personal information. The incident serves as a reminder of the risks inherent with trusting a company and web service with your security.
The team found no evidence that any encrypted vault data was taken. This means you shouldn't have to change passwords on sites that you've stored in your LastPass account.
That said, some email addresses, password reminders, authentication hashes, and server per user salts were compromised. As a result, LastPass is prompting everyone to update their master passwords (and you should go change your password if you've reused it on any other sites). The company is also requiring all users who log in from a new device or IP address to first verify their accounts unless they have turned on multifactor authentication.
You can swap out pretty much all of the default apps on your phone for something else, including the one that manages your contacts. Addappt (yes, that's with one too many d's and p's) is an alternative that saves you the hassle of messaging all of your friends whenever your number changes or accidentally sending an email to an address that has been deleted. With this app, users automatically update one another whenever they make changes, so everyone is always current.
Version 2.0 has hit the Play Store, and it brings with it a number of changes. There's a new interface that, while not a fully material experience, looks more modern.
So you were at a party or on a trip, and you want to share the photos of the event with everyone else who was there. Better upload them, make an album, send links, and so on. Right? Wrong! Or so says Facebook. The new Moments app lets you create synced albums that are shared only with the people you choose so they can view and save the photos.
Mozilla is a champion of the web, and a core part of its mission has been supplying the open source Firefox browser. These days competitors like Chrome are eroding at its userbase, but they're doing so using many of the bullet points Mozilla emphasized—open source underpinnings, customization through add-ons, and speed.
Now Mozilla is pursuing its mission statement in other ways. One of the more well-known efforts would be the push to develop and sell Firefox phones. Another would be the lesser-known Webmaker initiative that empowers more people create material for the web and mobile devices. A beta version has made its way onto Google Play.