In-flight Wi-Fi is pretty terrible, but when you consider that a plane going roughly 500 mph can have an internet connection at all, it's still an impressive technological achievement. Even so, a few companies think they can make plane Wi-Fi less terrible, and have formed the 'Seamless Air Alliance.'
Air travel is not an enjoyable experience, at least for most people. Part of what makes flying so stressful is having to remember to check-in ahead of time. Then you have to make sure you've downloaded your boarding card correctly. At least we don't have to print them off anymore, I suppose, but it could still be easier.
Luckily, Delta agrees, and the latest update to its app introduces automatic check-ins, aiming to make the process that little less painful. The new feature has been available on iOS for the last few days, and now it's landed on Android. As of version 4.6, the app will automatically check you in 24 hours before your flight and send you a notification to confirm.
When it comes to mobile data, where customers almost always have a limited pool of access to work with, less is more. That's the principle behind the "delta" updates to apps that Google introduced way back in 2012, which in most cases allows the Play Store to download only the incrementally updated parts of an app rather than the entire APK. Now a new tweak to the delta update algorithm has made the updates themselves even smaller.
Many developers are rushing to get apps updated with material design interfaces, but Delta is still working on Holo. The new v3.0 update adds a navigation drawer, as well as some new itinerary views to keep you up to date. It's not material, but trust me, it could be a lot worse.
Update: Over the course of the evening, ROM Manager was updated yet again, to version 184.108.40.206 - this time adding support for the TWRP recovery, which is undoubtedly a feature many users have been wanting for some time. Just update ROM Manager in the Play Store and you'll have it.
ROM Manager, one of the most useful and versatile tools available for a consummate ROM-flasher, got an update today, bringing the app up to version 220.127.116.11. The update brings just two changes – a bug fix, and something much more significant: support for delta downloads.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, "delta downloads" are like the Play Store's smart updates, CyanogenMod's built-in update system, or the files users can download with CyanDelta – bite-size update files that only pack the things that have changed since your ROM's last build.
Many of you probably already know how I feel about CyanogenMod – I swear by it, especially on my EVO LTE. Nothing beats it in terms of bringing a (mostly) stock experience to your device with just the right amount of tweaks and extra features. Plus, there are nightly updates that satisfy my need to stay on the bleeding edge and get a daily fix of… fixes. The only downside to this is that each nightly update (for my EVO, anyway) hovers around 180MB, a download that takes just a little more time than I care to spend sometimes.
There seems to be quite a lot of movement happening behind the scenes at the Play Store - yesterday we discovered that Google Play Store gift cards and wishlist are getting prepped for launch, and today Google seems to have enabled those smart app updates that we've been salivating about since Google I/O.
Normally, when an update to an application comes out, the Play Store downloads it in full, which with large apps and slow connections can get quite painful (think 50MB+ sizes). Smart app updates, announced at an I/O session in June, was the solution. When enabled, only the incremental difference (a.k.a.
Delta Airlines customers with Android or iOS devices now have one more awesome feature to use with the airline's Fly Delta app – the ability to track their checked luggage as if it were a package, a feature previously only available online or at Delta customer service desks.
The app's latest update includes a rather sophisticated tracking system, which will scan your claim tag and automatically update with the location of your bags, ensuring that you always know where your bags are, and can be sure that they are traveling along without issue.
In addition to tracking your bags, the app will notify you of which carousel holds your luggage, greatly cutting down on time spent looking around or impatiently waiting for the arrival screen to update.