It looks like Facebook is again testing a new bit of functionality in its Android app with a subset of users. After the most recent update, people are suddenly seeing a built-in browser that loads timeline links rather than booting you out to a full browser. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends heavily on how you feel about the Facebook app in general.
When a vastly updated 1Password app hit the Play Store earlier this summer, developer AgileBits still wasn't sure on how it was going to price its revamped product. At the time, the app was free to use for anyone who wanted to put it through its paces, but the company planned to eventually tuck most of the features into a premium version. Now the team has followed through and settled on a freemium pricing model, which it is introducing with the app's 4.1 update.
You know what this world needs? More huge Android tablets. I'm talking full-on monitor-replacements. Or small TVs. Let's throw portability out the window in favor of bigger screens. I like it. Fuhu gets that, so it just announced two new massive nabi tablets: the nabi Big Tab HD 20 and Big Tab HD 24.
Like the names suggest, these are 20 and 24-inches, respectively. Big ol' tablets that are designed with family time in mind.
The Google Shopping Express app was updated to v2.0 yesterday, though the changes to the app aren't quite what you'd expect for a leading digit bump. The single greatest change to the app would seem to be the addition of notifications, which now allow you to be notified about delivery information for your orders, a key feature the service had been lacking until now.
A new quick-add-to-cart button appears on all product cards now, and the filter UI has received a significant overhaul, now allowing you to filter products not just by store, category, and price, but by brand, type (if applicable), and special features like gluten-free, organic, and others.
Buried in the press release announcing the Sharp Aquos Crystal on Sprint was the first official mention of Sprint App Pass. It's a subscription-based app store the carrier plans to pre-load on all its Android devices, and we have the full scoop on features thanks to some information we've been given. The gist of it is that you pay a monthly fee and get access to all the stuff offered by App Pass, but only for as long as you keep paying.
Update #1 (8/12/14): It looks like Google deleted the tweet embedded below. Between that and the lack of an update to this support page, someone might have pulled the trigger early. But if those countries don't have access yet, they probably will sometime soon.
Update #2 (8/19/14): After a false start last week, the Play Music expansion now seems to be live. The official Google Play country availability page has been updated to reflect this as well.
For a while now Microsoft developers have been working on adding handwriting support to the Android app. The feature, which appeared in the newly released beta app last month, lets users add notes in a way that is sometimes more convenient or useful than typing. Writers can use their fingertips or a stylus and then tweak their notes with a number of options. The feature is particularly useful for scribbling thoughts in the margins of a scanned document.
Sony has announced the Xperia M2 Aqua, a variant of the M2 that it's marketing as "the waterproof smartphone for everyone." It's Sony's first water-resistant phone with mid-range specs, and it's apparently ready to swim with the best of them.
In the small print, we see that the Xperia M2 Aqua is IP65 and IP68 compliant, meaning that it can withstand dust and survive being kept under 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
Phones produced for the Japanese market are usually so radically different than the ones we're used to that you don't really feel like you're missing anything. However, the new Sharp Aquos Crystal may pique your interest. The difference is that you might have a chance to buy this one soon. This device comes in two sizes—5-inches and 5.5-inches. Both of them have teeny tiny, miniscule bezels. Almost none of the body peeks out from the edge of the screen.