Google doesn't tend to rest on its laurels when it comes to the design of its search interface, be it in the Google app or in browser, and it's always testing new ways to make search results easier for users to navigate and in turn generate those all-important clickthroughs. A couple of months ago badges were added to make it easier to find recipes and products, and now further changes have been made that make the image search UI a little clearer.
It's when you tap on a result that things change. The new design includes an "X" in the top left corner to go back to the image search results, the same as would happen if you hit the back button. Read More
Swiping down on the fingerprint scanner to show notifications came as a gesture with the Pixels last year and resulted in a lot of drama before it was enabled for Nexus 5X and 6P phones in Android 7.1.2. With Android Oreo 8.0, the fingerprint scanner gesture API was opened up to developers so they could make their own apps with it.
And today's app is built on that. DigiLux uses the fingerprint swipe gesture to lower or raise your display's brightness. Before you start using it, you will need to allow it to modify system settings and turn on its accessibility service. Read More
Mozilla has been pretty busy recently. Last month it updated its main browser, Firefox, with a much needed modern UI makeover, and back in the summer it launched a completely new browser, Firefox Focus. It's much simpler and faster than the standard Firefox app, and it's much more privacy conscious, too, with no tabs and automatic blocking of ads and trackers. There's also a Germany-specific version called Klar.
The company isn't taking a break anytime soon either, and a new unreleased app has popped up on the Play Store. Firefox Rocket appears to be similar to Focus, except it's specifically built for Indonesia and rather than privacy, the key USPs are that it's lightweight and fast, perfect for a region where mobile data and Wi-Fi aren't so cheap or easy to come by. Read More
I often forget how easy things are for me because I can see the world around me and recognize objects and read words. But for those who are blind or partially visually impaired, simple tasks like knowing the expiry date on the milk carton can be very complicated.
That's where the Be My Eyes service comes into play. Already available on iOS, the app has landed on Android and connects sighted volunteers with visually impaired users who need help with something. It uses an audio-video call to share what the blind/visually impaired person is seeing and allow them to talk to the sighted person and ask them questions. Read More
When Google acquired British artificial intelligence startup DeepMind back in 2014 nobody was really sure why. It was a secretive company without any consumer-facing products, but it clearly had some technology of interest in Mountain View. DeepMind is now part of the wider Alphabet structure, and now a little bit more is known about what goes on there, including the work it does for Google.
One of the latest projects to come out of DeepMind is called WaveNet, a deep neural network for generating more natural artificial speech recordings, and its use case at Google is obvious. Google Assistant should sound much more human now that WaveNet has been incorporated into it. Read More
Among the craziness of last week, we received one tip about a minor but welcome change in the Play Store that was showing up for some users: when browsing an app's listing, you might see a new line below the Install/Uninstall button that displays its current top chart rank, as shown for Spotify in the screenshot above.
That is useful when you reach an app's listing from the Play Store's search and you're not sure how popular it is. You might be more convinced to download it or buy it if you knew it was in the top 10 or 20 or even 100 in its category on the Play Store. Read More
What if there was an app that got you half-off food at some of the best restaurants in town, and all you had to do was place an order earlier in the day, and pick it up a bit later than usual? Well, there is, and it's called Food for All. Even better, the grub you grab was destined for the trash can, so you get to feel good about helping decrease food waste too. Read More
IFTTT, the popular web-based automation platform, recently added support for three new services. The new additions to the service are Remember The Milk, Asana, and WeatherFlow smart weather stations. I guess that means you can set lightning strikes recorded by your WeatherFlow weather station to trigger Asana tasks for your employees which, upon completion, add a Remember The Milk reminder to follow up on the lightning strike tomorrow. Ah, the future. Read More
It's not often that apps that aren't made by a giant company or preloaded reach a threshold as monumental as 50 million downloads, but TeslaCoil Software's Nova Launcher, everyone's favorite custom launcher, has gone ahead and done just that. That's seriously impressive. Read More