Weeks after its official end, it feels like winter is finally relenting, and Google seems to be getting into the vernal spirit: the company shared a number of spring-themed wallpapers on its Instagram Story yesterday, featuring its trademark color scheme in a variety of warm-weather scenes with the message "Happy Spring Screening." One of the screens in particular, featuring Google-colored ice pops, looks like it could be a tease for the full name of the upcoming Android P—but it almost certainly isn't. Read More
Portrait mode is increasingly available on smartphones, especially those with two cameras. These pics have blurred backgrounds to make the subject pop like you were using a lens with a shallow depth-of-field. Some phones do this better than others, but I think all of them do it better than Instagram, which just added "Focus" mode in the latest update. Read More
BlackBerry Messenger was the iMessage of the late 2000s, especially since it was initially exclusive to the company's own hardware. BBM expanded to iOS and Android in 2013, but it has become mostly irrelevant thanks to competitors like WhatsApp and iMessage. BlackBerry is now suing Facebook and its subsidiaries (including WhatsApp and Instagram), alleging that Facebook is violating numerous BBM patents. Read More
Instagram is trying to become the place you connect with everyone, regardless of the medium you want. You can share images and videos with your followers, post ephemeral stories or keep them in your profile, direct message people for private chats, and go live to share your current activity or whereabouts with friends. But that doesn't seem to be enough as the app might be working on voice and video calls as well.
The news was first spotted by TechCrunch who got tipped about the Instagram APK file containing multiple icons for calls and video calls. I verified it on my end by grabbing the latest Instagram alpha v36 file and digging through it to find many icons for calls in the same vein as Instagram's icon design, plus several layouts that mention calls and video calls. Read More
There's one particularly exciting feature in the Pixel 2 that most people won't notice - the Visual Core. It's a custom chip (developed by Google) designed to speed up HDR+ image processing. It also enables HDR+ for third-party apps, or at least ones that choose to support it. The chip didn't do anything when the Pixel 2 shipped, but it was finally turned on in Android 8.1. Read More
Instagram updates its app pretty often, with new features coming thick and fast. Recently we've seen the addition of an activity status for direct messages and support for Android's direct share menu. Not resting on their laurels, the developers now have another new treat for everyone, in the form of new GIF stickers that can be added to your stories. Read More
Android's direct share feature debuted on Marshmallow and makes it easy to share links or media from any app on your phone. You can use it with most popular messaging services, email clients, and even note-taking apps like Keep. To be able to share directly to an app, the maker of that app needs to implement direct share, so there are still some apps it doesn't work with. Instagram was on that list until pretty recently, but not anymore. Read More