Emoticons are nothing new for Skype or any other instant messaging client. Why, then, are they worth mentioning in version 5.3's changelog? Because now they're big. If you send a message containing only an emoticon, Skype will display a large version, complete with animation. Expressions appended to the end of a sentence, on the other hand, will continue to show up tiny.
While you're checking out these screenshots, also note the app's bubble style chat layout, which has now made its way over from other platforms to Android.
Saturday mornings during my childhood were all about three things: a couple hours of freedom from parents, sugary cereal, and awesome cartoons. One of the best cartoons was DuckTales, the story of a cranky old duck, Scrooge, who liked to swim in a pool of gold coins and yell at his nephews as they tried to solve a mystery or rewrite history. There were a lot of race cars, lasers, and aeroplanes, along with villains and exotic locales.
Remember when we used to play games with people who were actually in the same room? Rookie Play Store developer Seabaa does. They've created DUAL!, an Android game that positively demands you play it with friends. DUAL is basically a top-down space shooter in the style of Galaga, but the structure has been modified to allow two people to play across two Wi-Fi connected devices, either competitively or cooperatively.
The primary game mode pits two players against each other.
Mobile payments app Venmo has been around for years now, but without two-factor authentication, security hasn't been as good as it could be. Fortunately the company is now getting around to changing that. Today it announced that it has added two-factor authentication to its mobile apps (Android and iOS) as well as the web.
When you attempt to sign into Venmo from a new phone, the service will send you a 6-digit code that you will need in order to get inside.
Office Lens is an app that lets you capture notes, business cards, reciepts, and any other scrap of paper as a digital file. Microsoft released a version of Office Lens for Windows Phone last year, and now it's coming to Android as a beta. It's free, but you need to do the usual beta program song and dance.
The Amazon Echo, as a sort of physical embodiment of the functionality that voice-controlled services like Google Now offer, is an interesting idea. But without a screen or much in the way of direct input, its utility is limited by the number of services that it ties into. For example, before today the Echo could only access music from iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon's own cloud music service. The latest software update enables much-needed support for Pandora.
Steven Universe is one of the four Crystal Gems that fight to keep the world safe from evil. Except in this case, Steven kind of screwed the pooch, accidentally unleashing a huge monster that threatens the exact planet he's trying to keep safe. So now, in a new mobile game available on Google Play, he and the other three Gems (Amethyst, Garnet, and Pearl―but you can think of them as people) must journey forth to defeat it and the light creatures they've inadvertently summoned.
BlinkFeed debuted with the HTC One M7, and while not everyone appreciates a Flipboard-style home screen with limited news sources, it has its fans. HTC uploaded the launcher into the Play Store last year in time for the M8 launch, and for the M9's release it has renamed the app to Sense Home.
HTC's new homescreen implements a few predictive capabilities that we've seen pop up over the past year or two in apps such as Aviate and EverythingMe.
Reddit is a great resource for casual news browsing and/or wasting hours and hours of time, but the website is still hell to view on a small screen. That's probably why reddit clients are such a popular niche on Android, and one of the more popular entries in said niche is the third party app Reddit News. Today it's getting a new name and a bit of a facelift: say hello to Relay for reddit.