For any readers visiting this post on or after April 2, check the post date before continuing :)
In 2013, Google announced the death of its RSS reading platform Google Reader. At the time, Google cited declining usage as the official reason for Reader's closure, wrapping it up along with things like Cloud Connect, Voice for Blackberry, and Building Maker as part of a second round of "spring cleaning."
It comes as a huge surprise then to see the app back in the Play Store almost two years later with a new icon and brand new interface, jumping from version 1.1.8 up to 2.0. Read More
The typical Update Wednesdays, wherein Google released new versions of its many and varied Android apps, will be a little less busy from now on. Not that Google released many updates for the Android version of Google Finance anyway - according to the Internet Archive, the last time the app was touched was way back in January of 2013. In any case, it's gone now: Finance disappeared from the Play Store without ceremony last night.
Between the lack of updates and a surprising apathy on Google's part, it's unlikely that the Android version of Finance will be missed. Read More
It has been nearly 20 years since Lara Croft had her first adventure in the original Tomb Raider. The graphics (and boob physics) have improved over the years, but now you can relive the original in all its polygonal glory on Android for just $0.99. I checked, and it's not a joke.
The News & Weather app is a bit of a dark horse among Google's lineup. It's also not as talked about as Google+, or as vital as Gmail; and it doesn't fit in with the Play-branded apps like Newsstand, which it is effectively a direct competitor to. For many people, News & Weather is just another widget that came pre-installed on a Nexus device, at least until it was made available on the Play Store, in late August. Since then, a few really big updates have drastically improved the once stale app. Read More
Did you just conduct a small or elaborate prank on your friends, family members, or coworkers? If so, and if you were talking to them on Hangouts, the moment you decide to reveal your true intentions and the nature of the prank, you'll be helped by a selection of easter egg animations. That should soften the blow — potentially.
So far, we've seen a clown, a joker (or jester or fool), and an emoji disguised in eyeglasses and a mustache. The animations are triggered by typing, "Happy April Fools," but there may be other variations on the term that work as well. Just remember, one funny laughing face does not make a bad prank good. Read More
Playing video games is for losers, apparently - these days all the cool kids watch other people play video games. Twitch, the platform of choice for your non-video game-playing needs, has updated its Android client with a few handy features in version 3.2. Both of them come straight out of YouTube's bag of tricks, but that's OK - every video player should let you do this stuff.
The first thing you'll notice is that Twitch now has a pop-out mini-player that lets you browse for a new stream while watching your current one. Press the channel button in the top left-hand corner of the fullsreen video to go back one step, where said video will minimize into a ribbon at the bottom of the screen. Read More
Firefox 37 is the latest stable update to grace the open source web browser. It introduces new locales (Albanian, Burmese, Lower Sorbian, Songhai, Upper Sorbian, and Uzbek), changes the default search provider to Yandex for Turkish users, and improves download performance thanks to alterations in the back-end.
The most visible change for most users is likely a tweak to the URL bar, which now shows a website's address instead of its title by default.
Left: Old default behavior, Right: New default behavior
If you don't like this change, you can switch back to the old behavior in the app's settings.
The changelog contains quite a few more items, though most of them are rather boring. Read More
It's easy to forget that Opera is still out there with all the talk of Chrome and Firefox, but it's still a capable browser. Even more so after it switched to a Chromium base a while back. The beta version of Opera is getting an update today, and it's based on a new version of Chromium with a few added features.
Inbox repackages Gmail in a way intended to alter how you approach email. Each incoming letter is a task that you can mark as complete, rather than done. Those you don't want to deal with at the moment, you can snooze to come back at a better time of day.
This snooze functionality previously provided a few pre-selected options—such as morning, afternoon, evening, tomorrow, next week, and some vague point in the future—in addition to the ability to set a specific time manually. Now Google is going to give folks the power to redefine these intervals.
When you set a time that's in the morning, Inbox will ask if you want to set it as your new morning time. Read More
One thing that Facebook has not been well-equipped to deal with is children. No, I don't mean teenagers. Most users are familiar with the barrage of photos that accompany each birth in the family of a Facebook friend, which often involves a mess of tagging of one or both parents in every baby photo. For parents themselves, they struggle sorting out photos of their sons and daughters unless they just dedicate albums to the children specifically. Now, Facebook is rolling out an optional set of features to make the process smoother for all involved.
Facebook is showing their devotion to inclusivity by even serving the children of iPhone owners. Read More