SwiftKey has been making some big changes lately, and running the beta version of the keyboard gets you a sneak peek at what's coming next. In the latest beta update, there are new languages integrated with SwiftKey's improved neural network prediction engine, as well as support for using as many as five languages at the same time. SwiftKey loves multi-lingual users, apparently. Read More
We all have our own unique ways to read the news. Some like RSS apps. Some like Flipboard, or Yahoo News Digest. Others prefer to read the news direct on the website. There's yet another solution now: News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage, a department of the software giant that seems to have an unlimited stream of Android apps, and it aims to center the news around you and your profile, finding content that'll interest you. Read More
It's fairly common for Google's app updates to be a little less feature-packed in the days leading up to major announcements. Whatever the reason, the changelogs – if there were any – probably wouldn't mention anything more than "bug fixes and performance improvements." The latest release of the Photos app isn't quite untouched, but it's pretty light on changes. The only clear addition is a settings toggle to enable rotation suggestions. Read More
I haven't traveled anywhere in the past year, but if I had, I would have surely used Hopper. The app, which was released a little more than a year ago, monitors flight prices and predicts the best time for you to purchase your tickets for the lowest possible price. However, there was one aspect to Hopper that was lacking: it just looked at all flights and didn't take into account your personal preferences.
That has changed with the latest update to the app and the new Watch Filters. Now you can specify whether you prefer your flight to be non-stop or you don't mind, if you like shorter layovers, and if you want it to dismiss all basic fare flights where you'd need to pay more for luggage or seat selection or food. Hopper would then only alert you to the best deals for flights tailored to these preferences. Read More
Spotify today announced the official arrival of its music service in the Land of the Rising Sun. Both Spotify's ad-supported free streaming plan and ad-free subscription will be available in Japan, making it the only music service in the country to offer the choice between these two approaches — or so does Spotify claim.
But the service isn't yet available to all. Users will have to go to Spotify.com in Japan and request an invite to be able to join. Public availability for all is said to be coming later. If they opt for the paid plan, it will cost 980 yen (approx $9.67).
Regardless of whether they choose the freemium or paid subscription, they'll get the benefit of Spotify's wide catalog of international and Japanese artists, its smart curation algorithms with Discover Weekly and Release Radar along with Japanese-centric playlists, its portability from desktops to mobile, PlayStation, WiFi speakers, and more, and its Gaming and Running modes. Read More
Google Allo, the second of Google's two new messaging apps, has just hit five million downloads in the Google Play Store. All the anticipation for Allo (let's forget about the subsequent letdown for now) has made its download numbers soar. However, the aforementioned letdown is quite apparent in its current ranking in the Play Store; while Allo sat at #1 in Top Charts just five days ago, it's since fallen to #8. Read More
As some readers might recall, there were a couple of fairly unusual, and very time-consuming teardown posts last week. In the final dash to finish them up, a few app updates were sidelined until they could be checked more thoroughly. Most of them have turned out to be bug fixes or have only small changes that don't really call for attention. The update to Google's micro-community app Spaces isn't very significant either, but it does resolve one of the most common complaints in the app since its release: it's now possible to save images posted to a space. Read More
For a couple of years, Firefox Aurora, the developer edition of the popular browser, has only been available directly from Mozilla. As of today, Aurora has landed on the Play Store, in early access (i.e. unreleased) form. This is presumably because it's unstable and not meant to be used by the general public, and only by those interested in what's coming soon or building the web. Regardless, it is always good to see things in development that will later be deployed to the public version of Firefox, which is currently on v49.
I've been trying to find out when Mozilla first released Aurora for Android, but the best I've found is v29.0a2, made available on February 7 2014. Read More
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