Like most social networks, Instagram doesn't cost a cent to use, but it costs billions of them to own and run. Facebook paid a pretty penny to acquire the network last year, and the time has come to recoup those costs. Soon Instagram will start dishing out ads in the middle of your feed, and it will do so in a way Facebook users should already be familiar with.
The rollout is expected to take place over the next couple of months to users in the US, at which point they will start seeing the occasional ad pop up in their Instagram feeds.
A few weeks back we pointed out a neat little trick in the Chrome Beta for Android. By toggling the NTP flag, you could get a spiffy new tab page with a search box and scrollable list of recent sites. The last update to the app seems to have killed it, but now we know why – Chrome 31 will make that UI the default in Android.
There are a number of ebook readers available for Android, but if you want a Holo-friendly option, your best bet is to rely on Google Books or the latest version of Aldiko. Now there's another competitor making its way over from iOS that seems to blend in just as well, if not more so. Readmill for Android offers a reading experience that's easy on the eyes and - since it's not tied to a bookstore of its own - your wallet.
It's not hard to keep track of the news on your smartphone, as seemingly every major news organization (in the US at least) has released their own app. People who don't like the idea of bouncing back and forth between apps can use a dedicated RSS reader or any number of curated news offerings ranging from Flipboard to Google's own Currents. But there's one issue that none of these apps address - they deliver full-length articles to people who may not want or have time to read such lengthy content on their phones.
Patience is a virtue, and in this case a virtue that can save you money. You could run out and buy apps and games as the mood strikes you, but then the sales would do you no good. Best to bide your time, then pounce when the moment is right. Like now! Gogogo.
YouTube is awesome, but it's anti-social. You create a video in isolation, upload it to your personal channel, and wait for the inevitable flood of ego-shattering comments. If someone does happen to like your work, they will copy the link and share it on Facebook, Google+, or any other social network where good words are occasionally tolerated, and you may never hear their feedback. MixBit is a more social experience, one where friends can work on videos together from the comfort of their mobile devices.
Snapchat allows users to send and receive media that disappears after a recipient has opened it, laughed, and - if it's really good - taken a screenshot. It's a nice way to communicate and share content without having to deal with storing and organizing everything that you upload, but sometimes you may want to share a photo with all of your friends at once. Snapchat is rolling out a new feature that lets you share such content for up to 24 hours in a timeline that everyone can see.
Even if you're not paying for Rdio's streaming music service, you can now get your groove on with the mobile app. In an effort to attract more users from Spotify and Pandora, Rdio has made its personalized radio streaming service free in the app. The new feature goes live later today with an app update in Google Play.
Rdio has 10 different station types, including those based on artists, genres, songs, and the hyper-personal "You FM." There's no offline caching, and you can't queue up specific songs, but Rdio does have over 20 million tracks to pull into the radio stations.
The trains are running like clockwork today with the release of Transport Tycoon exactly as promised last month. This touch-friendly update of the classic PC simulation title gives you the opportunity to become the transit baron you always knew you could be. All it takes is $6.99 to get started.
The Android port of Transport Tycoon is a faithful remake of the PC game originally released in 1994. It all starts in the 1930s with a couple old steam engines and a dream.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got an interesting real-time strategy game, an adorable octogenarian shooter, a classic pen-and-paper RPG, and a minimalist platformer.