When I reviewed the Fitbit Blaze a couple of months ago, some of my gripes with the tracker were more related to the software than the hardware side. I didn't like the limited choice of watch faces and I was annoyed that I couldn't set notifications for emails and third-party apps natively (I know about Fit Notifications), which made the Blaze quasi-useless as a smartwatch replacement on my wrist. But most importantly, even though the app could track my hourly activity and longest sitting times and send me reminders to move, the tracker itself never vibrated which made the reminder approach very inefficient.
Unfortunately, those problems not only affected the Blaze but all of Fitbit's trackers. Read More
Five years - that's how long Indians have had to wait for Google Play Music to come to their country. However, it appears that the massive delay may finally be over. Several India-based AP readers have tipped us that Play Music is now showing up on their devices with songs available for purchase. This news comes just a day after Google's big announcement regarding the Indian market. Read More
We first saw custom tiles in an Android N Developer Preview a few months back, but unfortunately, not many apps have added this feature. It's a shame, really; custom tiles are easy to use and can add a lot of speed and functionality to frequently-used apps. Now, Shazam has added one called "Auto Shazam," and it might come in handy if you're a big music listener. I don't personally use Shazam anymore (Google does the same thing if you start a voice search, FYI), but I can certainly see the merits of this for people who are invested in it. Read More
Google set loose a new beta release of Maps, taking it up to v9.38. This release doesn't seem to have quite as many huge features as some of the last few, but there are still a couple of cool additions. There's a new tab with a list of upcoming events, bookings, and reservations. The dedicated album for food photos from a recent teardown is now also live. There are almost always a few other hidden gems in each release, so keep an eye out for more changes and let us know if you see anything else. Read More
Spotify is big on music discovery with features like suggested artists and Smart Playlists that are based on your activity. Now, Spotify users are getting yet another music discovery feature. It's called Daily Mix, which offers a pretty good hint of what it does. Read More
Google News & Weather has an interesting history. After years of being included on Android devices with almost no changes, it moved to the Play Store and received a Material Design facelift in 2014. Now Google has added a 'Lite mode' to the application, designed to save bandwidth for users in India and other regions where data is at a premium.
As indicated in the screenshot, you can set Lite mode to activate automatically, or force it on or off. When Lite mode is on, the application won't load as many images on the main screen. More importantly, opening a link in Lite mode causes an optimized version of the page to load instead of the full content. Read More
If you were starting to wonder why Google was suddenly making a lot of India-centric announcements, it turns out that the reason is that Google For India, the company's second official event aimed at the Indian market, was taking place today.
In it, Google has announced YouTube Go, a new India-first data-conscious app that makes YouTube more ready for offline and lesser data use, and plenty of worldwide improvements to Google Chrome with a focus on data saving and offline use as well.
Now, the company has released a more comprehensive list of all the enhancements and features it's bringing to the Indian market. Read More
Resorts and theme parks are one of the few touristic attractions I'd go to where I'd have the dedicated app installed and at the ready a few days before even visiting. I'd check out the map, see the different rides, and pick beforehand my musts and maybes so I don't have any regrets by the end of the day.
But if I were to visit Universal Studios Hollywood prior to today, like David did this Sunday, I would have no such luck (#DavidsLuck). The resort didn't have an Android app, unlike its Orlando sibling which has had it since June 2014. (There was a third-party app for Hollywood, but it was just down to the essentials.) Today, though, is another story. Read More
A few days ago, Google released Android apps to two Chromebooks: the Acer Chromebook R11 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip. These arrived with version 53 of Chrome OS, on the stable channel. However, the Chromebook Pixel 2, which has had Android apps in beta up until now, has been waiting for the stable release. This painful period is over, Pixel 2 owners, because you too can now join in on the Android fun with the release of stable Chrome OS 53 to last year's flagship Chromebook.
From what we can tell, it works the same way as it did on the beta. Read More
The Chrome team has announced a bunch of new features for its browser and made a few others that we've heard about before official. Without further ado, let's delve into everything new you can expect to see in Chrome stable (and sometimes just Beta and Dev) now.
Data Saver for videos
Data Saver has been an option of Chrome for a while now, but it's still limited compared to the powerful compression of Opera. At best, I've seen it reduce my usage by 15%, but that might be changing soon as the feature gains one important addition: video compression (just like Opera). The team claims that this can save you up to 67% of data on mp4 videos, which is fantastic. Read More