At this point, Android's notification system is pretty elegant. But there's no way to avoid confusion (and for some users, frustration) when a ton of notifications come in all at once. Echo Lockscreen attempts to fix that with a lockscreen replacement that puts your current notifications front and center, then organizes them by app or urgency. Currently Echo is in alpha testing, and it's a free download in the Play Store.
Whether you have a few minutes or more than an hour to kill, there is no denying the entertaining value of online videos. They can be anything from educational to comedic, fascinating, or just cute. The problem, however, now that everyone has a camera and an internet connection to upload their masterpieces, is finding good content.
Sure, you can launch the YouTube app and search for a few keywords, play the highest rated or most viewed videos, and enjoy.
I don't know about you, but when I first experienced Facebook chat heads, I wanted bubbles for all the things. Paranoid Android's Halo offered this, but it didn't do anything for people with unrooted devices. So when Chris Lacy later released Link Bubble, a web browser that creates a floating bubble every time you click on a link, my desire started to look less like a pipe dream.
We've all dealt with it before: you hand someone your phone to show them a photo, and the jackass swipes forward and/or backward to look at your other photos. That's a huge no-no, but unfortunately there are still people out there who didn't get the memo (or are just too damn rude to care). Fortunately, there's a way to keep this scenario from happening ever again.
It's a simple app called Focus, and it basically puts other photos under a PIN code, so when someone tries to swipe left or right, they're greeted with this message:
There are two versions of Focus: an ad-supported, free variant; and a paid version that costs a dollar.
Google's burgeoning live how-to service, Helpouts, got a brand new version of its Android app yesterday, bringing it up to version 1.3. The service, for those unaware, pairs those who know how to do things with those who do not know how to do things, connecting the two over video. Those doing the helping can charge or offer their insight for free.
At any rate, the updated app offers users improved Helpouts listings, the ability to share Helpouts, refer friends, and manage referrals.
Version 5.7 of the YouTube Android app introduced the ability to select precisely which quality level you want to stream a video in, as long as that level was 720p or lower. Even then, the options skipped from 360p to 720p. Since that release, users have apparently started to see 480p appear in between the two. Not only that, 1080p has shown up as well.
We haven't been able to get the settings to load on our devices, but some of you have reported having better luck.
There is apparently a sport called "soccer" (sometimes confused with football) that is somewhat popular in various places around the world. For those who are particularly serious about getting the perfect kick, BallTune claims to be able to measure the pressure of a soccer ball simply by watching it bounce with your device's camera. Truly this is the future.
One of the biggest barriers to smartwatch adoption is the fact that, well, they don't do a whole lot, at least compared with mobile devices of comparable price. Sony has just bolted on a little extra functionality for their smartwatch line: the ability to remotely control shutters on various Sony cameras. The new Action Camera Extension app is free, and compatible with the original Sony Smartwatch, the Smartwatch 2, and the brand new SWR10 Smartband.
If you chat it up on Facebook often (hey, it's OK, we're not passing judgment), then good news is afoot: you can now send videos over the messaging service. Only short videos need apply, however – you'll have to keep it under 15 seconds, much like Instagram. Users take videos directly from within Messenger's camera feature, which makes it easy to grab a quick vid.
And when you receive a video from your friends, you can show your enthusiasm and support with Messenger's other new feature: BIG LIKES.