If you're wishing someone a happy Valentine's day using Hangouts today rather than face-to-face, Google's got a special easter egg for you.
Back in December, Google added tons of special animations to Hangouts, triggered by words like "woohoo" or "yay!!" or "lmao," but it looks like there are some extra treats for Valentine's day. Typing "Happy Valentine's," or "Happy Valentine's day" will trigger a few heart-themed animations, featuring a love-struck emoji or a fox gifting flowers to its duck Valentine.
This easter egg seems to be part of Google's effort to make Valentine's day special for users across its web properties, with other tricks including a heart-filled +1 action on Google+ (seen below) and Google's "special edition" reCAPTCHAs. Read More
Adobe's proprietary PDF format isn't much fun to work with on any platform, but marking up and editing those documents on Android is a particularly poor experience. Developer Branchfire has offered an Android version of its iAnnotate app for a little over two years, but it hasn't been met with the same acclaim as the iOS version, probably thanks to a clunky interface and missing features. Apparently the company wanted a clean break with the latest update, because the app has been moved to a new Play Store listing and reverted to a 1.0 release. The new app is also free. Read More
Whether you are going out tonight on an expensive date or you've prepared the most romantic night-in for your significant other, here's a small added gesture you can use to persuade them of how much you love them. Put this watch face up on your Android Wear, take a picture and send it to your partner. Tell them you're counting the minutes until you see them, and every time you glance at your watch, you're reminded of how your heart beats for them.* Cheesy. But isn't the entire "holiday" built around just that?
Impulse is made by notorious customizer and icon designer Tha PHLASH. Read More
One of the problems with instant messaging since time immemorial has been juggling contacts and conversations across multiple services. It's bothersome on desktops, and it's especially unwieldy on mobile devices, where multitasking isn't as easy and similar sounding chimes can send you searching through the wrong app for the latest reply.
Disa is a new Android messaging client that attempts to tackle this problem. It has been in development for a long time, spending a healthy period in private alpha being tested by over 33,000 people before making its way to the Play Store in the form of a private beta. Read More
The day you've (maybe) been waiting for has finally arrived—Xposed for Android 5.0 is finally available on XDA. Developer rovo89 posted a teaser the other day, and has followed through on his vague promise of "soon." Installation is a bit more complicated than it was on KitKat, but nothing you can't handle, I'm sure.
Merchants of Kaidan is a game of buying and selling. If there's action—say you lose a finger in a bet, or a winged beast is pursuing your ship—it's only part of the inherent risk in bringing goods to market. People out there have money to spend, and you can't be timid if you want your share of it.
That's the sense of purpose that guides players through Merchants of Kaidan, a trading game with RPG elements that may get some players thinking back to Sid Meier's Pirates!, only with merchants and less combat (along with noticeably fewer eye patches). The challenge here is from acquiring goods without getting robbed, buying low, and selling high. Read More
You might have taken advantage of that cool Chromecast deal last week to get some free Google Play credit, but what can you spend it on? Maybe some of this stuff because it's on sale. Might as well make that free money go as far as possible.
Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th.
Google posted the following explanation on its support site and issued the same statement to users via email:
We have some sad news to share: Helpouts will be shutting down on April 20, 2015.
Facebook's app has long been a source of great discontent among the Android faithful. Facebook goes its own way with design and is slow to change direction, but it looks like some users are getting an updated version of the UI that has at least a little material influence. Specifically, there's a floating action button.
You're probably more aware of WebView after the recent dust-up over security issues in older versions of Android. WebView is a tool developers can use to display web content in an app without implementing a whole browser, and today Google is opening a beta test for WebView on Android 5.0 and higher. Simply head over to the Google+ page to join and get the latest tweaks and fixes.