Netflix might be the big name in streaming these days, but some of you might remember that the service got its start via rentals of physical media. In fact, Netflix still offers both DVDs and Blu-rays to this day. Users of "DVD Netflix," as the service is called, pay a separate subscription and have to use either the companion site or iOS app to queue up films for delivery. At least, they did until the Android app was released a couple weeks ago. Read More
Although it might not always seem like it, UX is paramount to Facebook's devs. They want to make engagement with the app as easy as possible in order to persuade users to keep coming back for more. Every change they make is rigorously tested, a difficult task given UI preferences are highly subjective among the app's billions of users. For that reason, we don't see too many changes. Over the next few weeks, Facebook is going to roll out some of the biggest visual adjustments we'll have seen for quite some time. Read More
A dashcam is one of those things that seems only slightly important until about five minutes after a fender-bender, wherein it becomes retroactively essential. Even so, those dashboard-mounted cameras don't grown on trees, so most cars in the US still aren't equipped with them. Nexar, a new Android app that's currently in "unreleased" status on the Play Store, aims to fix that. It turns any Android device into an AI-powered dash cam - all you need is Android 4.1 or later, a rear camera, and some way to mount it in your vehicle. Read More
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.
The Pebble folks have announced a big update to the smartwatch that many wearers have been waiting a long time for. With version 2.1 of the Android companion app, users can receive notifications from any app they have on their device, rather than a few preset options, without having to turn to a third-party solution. People will have the ability to receive all notifications or select specific apps.
The update is only available to 10% of users today, but it will gradually roll out to more people running Android 4.3 or higher. Eventually the team will add support for older devices running Android 4.0 to 4.2. Read More
The official WordPress app for Android got a significant bump to version 3.0 today. Users who host a free blog on WordPress.com will see the greatest benefit from the added features, but just about everyone will see something new, and the bug fixes don't hurt either. The app doesn't have much to show in the user interface department, though it's been pretty solid since the Holo redesign in any case.
First of all, you should now be able to swipe left and right to advance or go back between individual posts in the "View site" option on the sidebar. Read More
Whenever you hear someone talking about Facebook's mobile app, the most common complaint is always how slow it is. Even your news feed can take what feels like an age to load, and that's before you've started navigating through your events and photos of friends.
The reason for this is that the Facebook app uses HTML5, so it doesn't perform as well as other apps which are written natively for a particular platform. HTML5 offers Facebook great flexibility, as the development team can alter and push new code at their will without being restricted by the app approval process of whatever platform they may develop for. Read More
Popular deals service Groupon has had its Android app facelifted, resulting in a new look, as well as a couple new features and services. Take a look at the brand-new UI:
As you can see, the app now looks looks decidedly more Ice Cream Sandwich-y, has added a universal share button, and swipeable categories. You'll also notice new categories for Pets and Rewards (spend enough money at certain businesses and you get loyalty rewards). Overall, this was a much-needed refresh.
However, if you've ever used the Groupon app in the past, you'll know it was something a slow mover. Read More