Google has been updating Hangouts a lot lately in an attempt to make it less terrible. It's definitely improving, but still has a way to go. With all the updating we've missed a few little changes along the way, and this is a particularly useful one—Hangouts will switch between the speaker and earpiece for voicemail depending on whether or not you've got the phone to your ear. Read More
YouTube has been able to display 360 degree video since early this year, and they remain just as cool now as they were then. The perspective even makes ads—which YouTube can also let you view in 360 degrees—more interesting. Take this new promotional Play Music video, for example. Read More
Yesterday a reference to something called "music gifts" appeared on a Google Play support page. Now a separate page has popped up that fleshes out precisely what this feature is, something Cody came across in a recent Play Music teardown just under a month ago. Read More
WhatsApp's developers are a little unpredictable. Sometimes, all it takes them is one swift update to add a ton of features, other times, they dabble painfully slowly with dozens upon dozens of beta releases until they get a small feature ready (Google Drive backup anyone?). But credit goes to them for keeping us on our toes and entertained with their small incremental updates, like this new version for example.
WhatsApp 2.12.312, which you can grab from the site's beta uploads page or from APK Mirror, has added a new rich link preview option. However, the feature is still very half-baked, so don't expect anything like Telegram's previews just yet. Read More
A reference to something called "music gifts" has appeared on the Google Play support page for Play gift cards today, and we frankly have no information at this point suggesting what they could be. The support entry, below, doesn't really provide any information, so we're left to speculate.
Could this be an upcoming way to gift albums or songs to people on Play Music? Or perhaps a way to gift Play Music All Access subscriptions themselves (that seems more likely to me)? We can't be sure, though the fact that this text appears at all is probably a sign Google is planning on announcing these "music gifts" relatively soon. Read More
Halloween. What a wonderful holiday. Costumes, haunted houses, pumpkin evisceration, and free candy. Seriously, there are few holidays that can compete with Halloween in crazy awesomeness and weirdness (St. Patrick's day, I'm giving you the second place prize).
When I used to work in the business world, I could wear orange ties and crazy socks to celebrate Halloween all month long. Now that I work in a hospital where I wear the same hospital provided scrubs every day, my options for self-expression are severely limited. Fortunately, the Halloween Watch Face now exists and I can carry a little Halloween spirit (Get it? Read More
VLC remains perhaps the best way to play video files of any shape or format on a desktop, and the story is similar on mobile devices. With version 1.6, the developers have pushed out some changes to smooth out your video playing experience. Read More
A truly useful piece of software? From Samsung? Color me surprised, too, but the company's new Game Tuner app is nothing short of incredibly handy for mobile gamers. As you may well know, playing visually-intensive games on your smartphone can demolish the battery fairly quickly. While most such games render at 1080p even on 2K displays like Samsung's, such resolutions can be big draws on both your remaining juice and your device's processor, causing throttling (and thus slowdowns) and excessive power drain. Samsung's new app lets you have a say in just how graphically hungry those games will be, allowing you to adjust maximum frame rate and resolution scaling. Read More
Hangouts for Android version 5.0 is rolling out to some users now, and it brings... nothing new in the way of features that we can find, actually. We do know this version is supposed to fix the broken animated GIF support that was an annoyance in Hangouts 4 (confirmed: they're fixed), but otherwise, you probably aren't going to notice much. There appear to be some very slight animation changes here and there, as well as a brief splash screen that pops up when the app opens to the main conversation view that wasn't present in the previous version (4.2).
It's possible you might spot some other subtle changes - for example, I noticed at least one checkbox toggle was a brighter shade of green, hooray - but this particular release of Hangouts seems to be mostly about under-the-hood adjustments. Read More
Reddit may or may not have its official Android app ready any time soon, but third-party developers are still more than willing to pick up the slack. BaconReader, one of the most popular Reddit client apps, has just been given a major update. The 5.0 release includes a much-belated Material Design user interface adjustment and no small amount of other changes, both user-facing and behind the scenes. Here's a quick comparison of the older version to the spiffy new Material Design layout: Read More