Before Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Rdio, or any of those other music services, there was Pandora. I've pretty much been using it since the beginning (albeit off and on), and no matter how many other music streaming/discovery services show up, I always keep coming back to it for all my radio needs. I use it as a supplement to Play Music — when I don't know what to listen to, Pandora is always there to hook me up. My thumbs-up library is so vast at this point, it's really difficult to even think about letting go.
The thing is, it's always been kind of…not attractive. Read More
A late-night update to Google Maps on Tuesday brought the version up to 9.21. Despite a moderate bump to the version number, this appears to be a relatively minor release. Of course, knowing the Maps team, we'll end up with an update in a few days with an official changelog that includes at least a couple more interesting additions. In the meantime, there's a new setting to control notifications about responses to your edits. Maps has also expanded its list of supported countries for the recently released Driving Mode and the "Explore around you" feature. Read More
If you've heard of Leica, then you probably know your way around a nice camera... or at least a very expensive one. The German manufacturer, a private company that's over 150 years old, specializes in extremely well-crafted point-and-shoot and swappable lens cameras, plus lenses for a few other camera makers. With prices that start at around $1000 for the cheapest models and go up to over 20 grand for specialty and professional cameras, they're generally restricted to the most extravagant of luxury buyers or career photographers.
It's interesting, then, that Leica has announced a "strategic partnership" with Huawei, China's biggest smartphone manufacturer and a rising player on the world stage. Read More
Today Spotify announced the ability to track runs using Runkeeper while listening to Spotify. Integration should provide a smoother experience than swapping back and forth between the two apps. Read More
Google had a hit on its hands from the moment it released the original $35 Chromecast a few years ago, but not everyone who has a TV knows about all the cool things a Chromecast can do or that they can get one so cheaply. Apparently, Google wants to make it easier for people to start casting by simply building cast support into TVs, starting with Vizio. Read More
Contextual homescreen launchers that adapt to suit each user have taken many forms. I was fond of Aviate, an app that adapted based on your location and the time of day, before it was eventually bought by Yahoo.
Bento introduced an alternative approach inspired by Google Now that pulled data down from various cloud services such as Reddit, SoundCloud, and Yelp. It later changed its name to Scout. Now it's shutting down. Read More
CloudMagic is one of several third-party email clients that can manage many accounts across different providers. Even though the Android Gmail app has had the option to add non-Gmail accounts for a while, CloudMagic remains many users' favorite way of accessing their email. It offers lots of benefits, like creating tasks out of emails (in Wunderlist, Todoist, Trello, Asana, etc...), passcode lock, and easy file attachment from Dropbox, iCloud Drive, and other storage providers.
Now CloudMagic is ready to graduate beyond email. The app has added a Calendar section, accessible from the side menu, that integrates your Gmail, Google Apps, and Exchange calendars. Read More
If you develop for the web, one challenge you always come across is how to make the best use of screen estate across so many different screens, layouts, and resolutions. It used to be that people only browsed from their computers which had a few limited screen resolutions possible. Now that number has risen, and with the advent of mobiles and tablets, the number of possibilities has gone up even more. Not to mention landscape and portrait orientations, which complicate things further.
Viewing what a site looks like on different screens simultaneously can make things easier on developers and designers, especially when they want to check out many websites and get some ideas from what others are doing. Read More
Microsoft makes a lot of apps for multiple platforms. It also makes a lot of tools that are used by other developers to build apps for multiple platforms. It only makes sense then that the company would be interested in buying Xamarin, one of the leading platform providers for mobile app development.
While you may not have heard of Xamarin, its solution counts as one of the invisible threads that play a role in running the Internet nowadays. The platform helps developers use a shared codebase in C# to build, test, and monitor native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, all with the same IDE, language, and APIs. Read More