Most of us know the big streaming service names like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, but there are a lot of smaller services out there worth your attention. If you have a library card, there's one in particular that you should look into. It's called Kanopy, and it focuses on educational series, independent and award-winning titles, plus a solid dose of the classics. In short, if you're into film and not just "movies" (or if you'd like to be), then it's worth the price. Oh, did we mention that it's free? Read More
Sometimes, the lists on Netflix and Hulu just seem to get stale, and that's doubly the case these days with so many of us stuck at home. The humble book offers an alternative solution, and if you have a library card, it's entirely free. Check out Libby. It's a free service for supported libraries that lets you rent eBooks from home, and even send them over to your Kindle, if you'd like. Read More
YouTube Music received quite a few improvements during 2019, but it may not have been obvious since many of updates have been fairly subtle or only relevant to small audiences. Let's be honest, most of it is easy to ignore when some big features are still missing. Regardless, the service and app maturing, and that will be important when Google Play Music eventually fades into the aether and YouTube Music is all that remains. With the latest update, preparations are being made to improve the Library tab so it's easier to use and doesn't get in the way of playing music the way you want. Read More
Those of us with a library card now have another means of easily accessing the local library’s free eBook and audiobook collection. OverDrive, a long-time manager of eBook collections for libraries, recently released their new Android app Libby.
For the uninitiated, a library card can get you a lot more than a dog-eared copy of The Girl on the Train these days. Most public libraries have long since entered the digital age and provide patrons with the convenience of eBooks and audiobooks at the same free price. It is worth noting, though, that not all library networks are the same, and many publishers place restrictions that can hinder use of some devices. Read More
One year on, Google's material design philosophy is still picking up steam. As popular as it's become in the community though, there are still some holes left to fill in terms of implementation.
Until now, developers have had to rely on third-party libraries (in conjunction with Google's own support library) to create elements like floating action buttons, but Google is looking to fix that, releasing a new design support library today that fills in some of the holes. Read More
Writing great, high-quality software is hard work. No matter how well we know a platform or how long we spend on code, there are bound to be bugs. Memory leaks are among the most common problems, and they can be particularly disruptive on mobile devices. Square set out to make memory leaks easier to track down and fix with a new library called LeakCanary. It makes leak detection almost automatic and presents results in both logcat and an easy-to-read interface.
LeakCanary is designed to be as easy to use as possible. For most applications, it should only require a few additional lines in the app's build.gradle file, and one more line of code in your Application class. Read More
Along with a handful of new tablets, Amazon has officially announced Fire OS 4 (codenamed Sangria), which it says adds hundreds of new features to the "content-forward" operating system.
First and foremost, Amazon says the user interface in Fire OS has gotten a facelift. Amazon hasn't gone into detail in describing its UI changes, but visual tweaks are certainly welcome to an interface that can at times seem scattered.
Besides that, Amazon is touting new features like ASAP, Smart Suspend, and the addition of individual user profiles to make for easier sharing among families.
ASAP stands for "Advanced Streaming And Protection," a feature from Amazon's Fire TV that attempts to predict what you want to watch next and queue it up automatically for playback as soon as you get done with the current content. Read More
Every few months, Google experiments with a new design, widget, or pattern by injecting it into one of its most important apps. Preceding I/O 2013, we were treated to a steady stream of updates including the new Navigation Drawer. As we have seen, the latest GMail app joined the herd, but also gained a tweaked version of the now common pull-to-refresh gesture. While Google was kind enough to supply us with a library for the Navigation Drawer, anybody hoping to add the newly-stylized refresh is left to fend for themselves. Fortunately, the developer community is filled with people who can't wait for El Goog to get caught up. Read More
Amazon's Kindle app has just received a significant update, bringing the reader up to version 4 and introducing a refreshed UI, among other things.
Just when I'd decided to try switching to Play Books (despite giving up things like quick two-finger brightness adjustment), Amazon has introduced a redesigned library that's much more lively than a simple grid of book covers. The new library interface has your books plus a nice "carousel" up top for recent items. The navigation panel has also been expanded for quick access to documents and Newsstand items, along with items that used to hide under the overflow button. Read More