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.
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).
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The official changelog is as follows:
- Added the ability to search the text of original-pages books.
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.
The Xposed framework has opened up some interesting mods. Most of them do only a few things. Some of them do a lot more. GravityBox does a lot more than that. This module from XDA Developers member C3C076 (keep 'em comin, guys) seems to incorporate all the little tweaks that people generally flash a custom ROM for, but it's built for stock Nexus devices and "clean" AOSP ROMs.
Here are a few of the highlights for GravityBox: PIE controls that replace the on-screen navigation buttons.
The popular invite-only contextual launcher Aviate upgraded today from Alpha to Beta. It's still invite-only, but it's definitely worth looking at, as one of the most powerful alpha products I've ever used just got even better. (Did I mention we have an invite code good for 500 invites later in the post?)
The team behind Aviate promises that, besides new features, the beta launch means that the full wait list of users will be brought on board, with all users getting five invite codes to dole out to friends.
PushBullet has made a name for itself by making it painless to move files from your computer onto your phone. Now the app is taking a bold step towards making it just as easy to move data in the opposite direction. The latest update to version 11.3 introduces push-to-Chrome, a promised feature that should make it possible to get links, notes, pictures, and other content onto any computer running Chrome. The update also introduces the ability to push lists for the first time, and when you create a new push using the app, you can now select what you want to push directly.
Most of us don't have the money or smooth-talking skills necessary to walk into a luxury car dealership and ask for a test drive of the latest vehicle, or even just get the chance to sit down behind the wheel and use our imagination. But thanks to the marvels of modern technology, there's no need to even put yourself in such an precarious situation. Just reach for your Android tablet and fire up AOL's Autoblog 360.
Plants have needs. While we could argue all day long if talking to your plants yields actual results, there's no controversy surrounding the fact that plants need water. Forget to bathe them for a few days too many and watch how quickly those lively green leaves turn brown with neglect. So if you're prone to ignoring the potted inhabitants of your household, Waterbot is a free app that can help you give them the care and attention they need.