16
Oct
k

It can be a pain to type on a virtual keyboard in a language that doesn't use Latin characters, but for the many speakers of Cantonese, Google is here to help. A new Cantonese input app has appeared in Google play to make typing in Cantonese a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze, but that rhymes better than 'faster and more accurate.'

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The app supports multiple keyboards including Pinyin, Cangjie, handwriting, and voice input.

16
Oct
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Google released a brand-new Places manager app on the Play Store today, allowing owners of Google Places pages to control and update their Places listings from any Android device quickly and easily. You can adjust things like hours, contact information, add photos, and even post updates that will show up on your business listing's Google+ page.

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You can manage as many businesses as are linked to your Google account, though some businesses may not yet be compatible with the new manager, as the app's description notes.

16
Oct
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The Google Offers app received its first significant refresh since June today with a modernized UI. Yep, you guessed it: sidebar nav and cards. At least Google really is sticking to that hamburger navigation / card layout paradigm, and Offers has finally been checked off the design to-do list.

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The new version also brings supports for offline redemption of your offers, which is nice, but otherwise this update appears to be entirely visual in nature.

16
Oct
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According to Google, less than one hundredth of a percent of apps out there are both malicious and capable of evading the built-in defenses in both Android and the Google Play Store. But if you really feel like you need a defense from that one-in-100,000 app, a trusted name in software protection has just entered the fray. Malwarebytes, makers of the popular eponymous Windows software, is now offering its services on Android.

16
Oct
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Android users have had a bit of a love-hate thing going on with Netflix in recent years. Even after a series of updates, the Netflix app was barely usable. Even so, it was the single best source for streaming video on Android and one of the few apps supporting the Chromecast. Starting today, we can put a stop to hate by simply updating our apps. Netflix v3.0 is rolling out to everyone with a completely revamped interface.

15
Oct
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Feedly has replaced the much-loved Google Reader for quite a few of you, so we tend to pay attention when a new version hits the Play Store. Today the Android app has been updated to version 17 with a laundry list of improvements and tweaks. There's nothing game-changing in there (though arguably the "300% faster start time" is a big deal), but it does include "support for Android Kitkat." No, the developers are not elaborating on that.

15
Oct
patch

Roughly four years ago, AOL bought a little company called Patch that focuses on local community news. More specifically, "everything you need to know about your town, from local government to school news to what to do with your family this weekend" according to Patch's homepage. Unfortunately it's not available in all areas (or even all states) so there are probably many users who haven't heard of the service (myself included).

15
Oct
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There are exactly 242 ways to send money to someone over the internet now, but Square thinks it has found an angle no one else has worked yet. Square Cash is a new way to get money from your bank account to someone else's, and it relies on sending an email. Not impressed? The thing is, that's all you have to do.

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To use Cash, just send an email to the person you want to give the money to with the amount in the subject line, and make sure you CC cash@square.com.

15
Oct
books

On Tuesday night, surprisingly ahead of the usual update-all-the-things-Wednesday, Google released a major revision of the Play Books app for Android, updating it from v2 (2.9.21) to v3 (3.0.15). The changelog, which was shockingly present from the get-go (thank you!), confused me a bit but after digging around, I finally figured out what it means. Oh, and I found another fix that wasn't mentioned.

What's New?

The official changelog is as follows:

  • Added the ability to search the text of original-pages books.

15
Oct
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Tasker is the current king of Android automation, but it's not exactly easy to use. Other apps have tried and failed to make it easier to understand the complex actions and various dependencies that arise when you automate Android. Dessin takes a completely visual approach to setting up actions – it's a little like an interactive flow chart. Is this the next big thing in Android automation?

Dessin is designed around a series of nodes, each one with specific actions like toggling WiFi or silencing the phone.