The Play Store is getting a new email client. Big deal, right? It's not as if we're suffering for lack of options. Well, MailTime, which debuted on iOS in late 2014, is anything but just another entry in a crowded category. For MailTime, emails are just messages, nothing special. You didn't ask for a bunch of metadata, you just got it. The app parses your emails to separate the actual messages from the rest of the clutter. Read More
Microsoft has been steadily marching towards getting familiar desktop features onto their mobile apps. Most recently, that meant support for versioning, auto-save, and live collaboration. This time around, all three get the ability to export to PDF, something we take for granted when using the full versions of Office. They also get a new feature allowing users to insert images directly from your camera, which of course is a feature more unique to mobile. For its part, Microsoft Word for Android can now open RTF files, which falls into the "I didn't realize it couldn't already do that" category for many of us. Read More
The PDF format is a common and open standard that works with many programs, but many people still turn to Acrobat Reader when the time comes to open a document. Adobe has given such folks another reason to keep the app around. Reader now integrates with Dropbox accounts. Read More
The design of Samsung's system UI hasn't changed much in the last few years, except when it comes to cosmetic things like icons and colors. There's a whole theme store that can alter that stuff. In the Galaxy Apps store, there's a new app called Good Lock that goes further by enabling an "advanced system UI" on the Galaxy S7. It's really bonkers. Read More
An update to the Google Photos app just rolled out, bringing the current version number up to v1.17. This release is pretty straightforward with just one notable change: photos can now be edited in a non-destructive fashion. In other words, you can make changes to a picture and still return to the original version if you like. That feature alone is certainly enough to make this a worthy upgrade, but a teardown provides some good clues about features that are probably coming in the next couple of releases, assuming they're not already here. Read More
When Android 6.0 landed, it brought a big new battery-saving feature called Doze mode. While it was great at reining in known troublemakers like social network apps and misbehaving games, Doze had a bad habit of knocking out apps with genuinely important roles to play. One such app was Android Wear. Today, a new update to the Wear companion app adds awareness of Doze Mode and prompts users to add it to the protected list.
Doze Mode Support
When the Android Wear app starts up for the first time after updating to v1.5, it will have a bright blue notice on the screen to let you know that your watch may not remain connected unless the Wear app is allowed to run in the background. Read More
The Google Admin app is the go-to mobile tool for managing Google for Work accounts. This piece of software provides system administrators with the ability to add or remove users, change their passwords, and perform other puppet master-like tasks. If you're a person with such responsibilities, the latest update puts a few more tricks in that bag of yours. Read More
If you listen to a lot of podcasts, you probably spend at least ten hours or more every week getting through them. A common feature of podcast playback tools is the option to speed up playback, allowing at least some users to get through these almost entirely spoken-word programs more quickly. Popular Android podcast manager Stitcher now includes this option... but oddly, only for devices running Android 6.0 or later. The tool can speed up playback to 1.25x, 1.5x, or 2x (which is insanely fast). It can also slow playback by half.
Other changes in this version (3.5.5 on my Nexus 6) are mostly bug fixes, notably including a major bug for Wi-Fi detection on Marshmallow phones and tablets. Read More
You might have heard about that new Batman vs. Superman movie over the weekend. The word is that it's not very good, but the new Batcave designed for the film is really impressive. You can now explore Batman's lair in Google Maps Street View, and in 3D with Google Cardboard. Read More