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Compared to Spotify, YouTube Music's social options feel rather lackluster, but Google is working on changing that. While you can't follow other people just yet or get a special Duo Mix for you and your special someone, you can now at least share your profile complete with your public playlists with others via links.
Starting today, profile links and hashtags in Instagram bios will work the way they do elsewhere on the platform: as clickable links. Instagram is billing the functionality as "a new way to express yourself and the things you care about."
Signal is one of the best end-to-end encrypted messaging services, available for both Android and iPhone. Earlier this year, support for video and audio calls began to roll out. Now the team is working on something a bit more basic - profile pictures and names.
Many businesses have to offer their staff work phones so they can get stuff done. This often leads to carrying two phones around, which can be a bit of a pain. One way of solving that issue, as well as being slightly less wasteful, is to introduce a BYOD scheme (bring your own device). This is theoretically possible with an Android device out-of-the-box, as you can have different user profiles. Some Android phones are also dual SIM, so you can use two different numbers. Switching between profiles is often slow and inconvenient, however. A new app from BlackBerry aims to improve on this.
YouTube doesn't talk very much about what it has to offer for younger audiences, but through its Kids app, parents have easy access to a great library of child-friendly material. Not long ago, the app introduced a "reading" category built around the theme of books and literary characters. Regular updates to the app are also occasionally introducing new features. The latest update includes a few hints about some improvements that may be coming soon, including more control over offline videos and profiles for easily swapping content for different kids.
It's not too often that I see Hulu app news pop up here, but this update is important. The popular TV (and more) streaming app is finally getting profiles, à la Netflix. The obvious benefit here is that individual users can have their own watch histories, interests, and recommendations without interfering with each other.
Netflix version 3.8 for Android is now available, and it has some considerable improvements over the previous edition. The one you'll probably notice first is that the search function has been revamped: instead of a standard vertical list of movies, television shows, and actors/directors/what have you, you'll now see a grid of results. This mirrors Netflix on the web, though it might be a little slower, since the preview images tend to be a little pokey when they're loading up.
Left: Netflix 3.7.2. Right: Netflix 3.8.0.
There's also a new notification that appears when you're actively watching a Netflix video then switch focus to the homescreen or another app.
Tomorrow, Facebook is expected to announce some major changes to its News Feed. This has been a long time in coming and many people agree that, compared to the growing competition amongst modern social networks, the News Feed is one of the oldest, stalest, and ugliest presentations of information around. Okay, maybe it's not that bad, but it could use a refresher, so we're all eagerly awaiting the chang-Oh hey look new Google+ features!
Without warning, Google launched a massive change to profiles today that beautifies the heck out of personal and business pages alike. The most noticeable change is users now have a gargantuan cover photo.
Today it was learned, through a US Patent and Trademark Office filing, that Google has been granted a patent concerning the logging in of multiple users by facial recognition.
Typically, the granting of yet another tech patent wouldn't be extraordinarily interesting news. But given the fact that Google's latest patent relates to multiple user support, and the fact that code meant for multiple user support has been sitting right under our noses in AOSP for some time now, patent number 8,261,090 is definitely worth discussing.
Without quoting the entire 17,000 word filing, patent '090 essentially covers methods that allow a "computing device" to recognize one or more users' identities based on facial recognition, and then give them access to resources specifically assigned to them.