Last month YouTube announced that they were going to introduce an offline viewing option to their mobile apps sometime in November. They've since rolled out details about how it's going to work. If you add videos to your device and then disconnect it from the Internet, you will be able to watch the content for up to 48 hours. After those two days have passed, you will have to reconnect in order to watch the videos again, but the 48 hour window will refresh, and the content will remain on your device.
One strength of iOS is that everything works seamlessly together. If you have iTunes installed on your computer, it doesn't take much effort to get music over to your iPhone. With Play Music, Google has taken a different approach for Android users looking at an out of the box experience, and if you don't have the internet connection to rely on the cloud for music listening, it's less than ideal. doubleTwist takes the iTunes approach, and with the reinvented doubleTwist Sync app that's now available for Windows, it looks more promising than ever.
Do you like Minecraft, but feel that its pixelated style isn't retro enough? Then publisher Noodlecake is happy to oblige by turning the open-world, construction-oriented first-person action game into an open-world, construction-oriented platforming game. The Blockheads just landed in the Google Play Store after earning more than a few fans on iOS over the last ten months.
There's really no getting around it: Blockheads is a pretty shameless copy of Minecraft, with adjustments to perspective and gameplay to make it easier on mobile players.
Where's My Water? was a surprise hit when it came out on mobile devices a few years ago, and now there is a sequel with a lot of the same great gameplay mechanics and a ton more content. Where's My Water 2 was released on iOS a few weeks ago, but it has finally washed up in Google Play. It's still a fun physics puzzler, but Disney is going with a free-to-play model and in-app purchases.
We've known that Sony has been gearing up to launch a smaller version of its new Xperia Z1 flagship, but leaks were all we had to go on. Well, while you were busy not being in Japan, Sony announced the Xperia Z1f at a DoCoMo event in the land of the rising sun. Don't judge it by its size – this is not just another mid-range device.
The Z1f is built around a 4.3-inch 720p display, which works out to 341 pixels per inch.
It's a good day to be a Samsung fan: they've delivered right on schedule. The flagship Galaxy Note 3 is available on Verizon starting today at the standard $299.99 subsidized price tag, $699.99 (ouch) unsubsidized, or $29.31 a month on the Edge plan. If you prefer your notation experience both larger and without a two-year contract, the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (WiFi only) is also going on sale at the usual retail locations, starting at $549.99 for the 16GB model.
Mercury Browser has been one of the top alternatives to Apple's Safari browser on iOS for a while, and now the developers have finally ported it to Android. It might not be sewn into the fabric of your Google account like Chrome is, but Mercury Browser has a slick interface and plenty of advanced features.
Earlier today, Google started a staged rollout of a new point release of Google Maps. We've been poring over all the UI differences between the new version 7.3 and the previous version 7.2 from last month for the last couple of hours and managed to catch a few interesting changes. Since the official changelog isn't out yet, these will have to do for now.
Here's what we've spotted.
Duration, distance, and estimated arrival time in the expanded notification
The expanded notification now carries a lot more information than before.
The Uncarrier itself is shaking things up again with phase three of its plan to change the mobile industry. As rumored earlier today, T-Mobile just announced unlimited global data for no extra charge in over 100 countries. That's massive – so massive, in fact, the (un)carrier is now able to say that its data network is larger than Verizon's and AT&T's combined. Massive.
The plan goes into effect on October 31st for "most" Simple Choice customers – no activation needed.
Google left many of us scratching our heads when they relaunched Quickoffice last month as a free app, one that probably should have shipped as a Google Drive update instead. Nonetheless, a new version has rolled out that nudges things in the right direction. Now opening a Google document inside Quickoffice will launch the file using the Google Drive app. Previously the document was merely displayed as a PDF instead.