April was a bit sparse when it comes to new apps - there aren't any real standouts, though Facebook certainly made a splash with its self-branded phone dialer. The rest of the best picks from last month are mostly advanced tools for power users, or in the case of the impressive edjing, experienced music producers. Here in no particular order are our picks for the best of the lot, plus a few honorable mentions that might have broader appeal. Read More
If you want to play classic ports or new PC games on your phone or tablet, then April was definitely your month. Between the blockbuster adventure game Broken Age and classics like Ys, there's a lot of non-mobile goodness to go around. But don't worry: there are a few original games to investigate as well, notably Implosion and the third entry in the Sorcery series. Here in no particular order are our top picks, along with some honorable mentions. Read More
Optical character recognition, also known as OCR, is really an amazing technology. If you aren't familiar, it takes images and reads the text on them. For PDFs, it can make the words it finds searchable, selectable, and whatever else you may want to do with them. The better implementations of OCR work well enough that they pretty much make CAPTCHAs pointless. And while Google Drive has offered this function in English for over a year now, it is now rolling it out to over 200 different languages. Read More
Magically uploading every photo you take on your phone isn't a new feature these days. The major cloud storage providers all prompt you to fill their servers with shots of your lunches, vacations, and nudes. Now you can add Flickr to the list with the release of version 4.0.
Except this isn't actually the first time Flickr has announced the new feature for Android. The feature originally known as Auto Sync is now named the Auto-Uploadr (those pesky e's). Read More
Let's be honest here: you really don't give a crap about Arbor Day. But if you forget to record the season finale of The Flash, you're going to be out three bucks for a Google Play episode purchase. To help alleviate this first-world problem, Microsoft subsidiary Sunrise Calendar has added hundreds of TV shows across dozens of networks to its "Interesting Calendars" feature, allowing for quick and easy TV scheduling on top of its usual handy interface. Read More
There's a nifty feature lurking in the latest Chrome Beta (and dev, for that matter) version on Android. If you download a file and there happens to be a file of the same name already in your downloads directory, Chrome asks if you want to replace it. That's a kindness even desktop Chrome doesn't provide.
Teardowns can bring both good and bad news. At times, I've been afraid to write about things buried in the dark corners of an apk because they would be misunderstood or make people angry. Then there are times that I see something and I can't wait to tell everybody about it. This is one of the good times. I know people want this, so here it is: Inbox is finally going to offer email signatures. Read More
In just 3 weeks, we expect Google to officially announce a new subscription option that will allow users to enjoy YouTube completely ad-free. In the lead-up to this, both the web service and its Android apps have received a swarm of updates and features. In just the last month, there has been a revised web player, search for 360-degree videos, and some improvements to YouTube Kids (with more to come). Read More
Taneli Armanto is a name that probably not many of you are familiar with. However, his most notable accomplishment is something that has wasted dozens of hours of my life and probably the lives of most of the people who read this blog. Taneli Armanto is the man responsible for putting Snake, one of the most widely played and recognized games of all time, on a mobile device.
Back in the days when Nokia ruled the wireless world, some 400 million Nokia devices were sold with Snake on board. Read More
Besides a dogfood version of Play Games, update Wednesday brought us a new version of Play Books - 3.4.5. The changes in this update aren't major (or even immediately apparent), but they are worth taking a quick look at.
First up, there's a brand new translation interface. Rather than a toolbar and sheet overlay, the new translate interface lives on a card, just like the existing notes and dictionary interfaces. Here's a quick before and after.
Left: Play Books 3.3 Right: Play Books 3.4
Next up, new changes to notes. The ability to take notes in a book was present in 3.3, but users could not do that in a free sample of a book. Read More