Android Auto was announced at Google I/O 2014, but it didn't start showing up on cars until the following year. Like Apple's CarPlay technology that was announced the same year, Android Auto is designed to use your smartphone as the 'brains' for your car's head unit. No more outdated and ugly head unit interfaces; just Google Maps and whatever other Auto-compatible apps you have installed. Read More
If there's one thing that annoys me more than almost anything else, it's the selfie stick. If you use one, I'm sorry, I really am, but I just can't stand them. Walking around packed central London streets is hard enough without people flapping about with creepy telescopic camera mounts. So when a company says they want to kill the selfie, and by virtue also the selfie stick, I'm all ears.
ElsiePic is a new app with an interesting premise. It's essentially a crowdsourcing app for finding a photographer in the vicinity who will take your photo so you don't have to resort to a selfie or give your phone to a stranger. Read More
The YouTube Gaming app has been flying under the radar for a while as most of the updates have been focused on fixing bugs or making fairly minor changes–there haven't even been any new easter eggs since v1.97. Yesterday's update shows a little bit more activity as both cosmetic and functional changes were made. A revamped app icon and splash screen bring a little freshness to the look, and the always familiar autoplay feature from the core YouTube app is now available so you can put on an endless stream of game reviews or let's plays. Read More
In his teardown of the Google app 7.12, Cody uncovered a customizable Google Search bar was in the making and it's been showing up here and there for some, but the latest Google app beta version 7.14.15 finally brings it to life for everyone.
The new Search bar widget looks pretty much the same as the old one, so you'd be forgiven for missing it. The main change is an overflow menu on the right that lets you choose a Customize option. Tap that and you're taken into a new UI where the search bar is dropped in the middle of the screen with a white menu of 4 options below it. Read More
This time last year, Google confirmed that it was working to add support for Visa Checkout and Masterpass to Android Pay. The aim was to have the services integrated in early 2017, but we've not heard much about it since. There was evidence of Visa Checkout on Google's payment platform in a demo at I/O in May, but it remained to be seen when it would go live for users.
While the Android website shows that PayPal is already supported, it still has a 'Coming Soon' note by Visa Checkout, although we believe that was added recently and as a precursor to today's news. Read More
BBC publishes a lot of apps for the UK market, but it's been branching out and making apps for a more worldwide audience as well. The BBC News app has already been localized to several languages, with language translations but also a focus on the target culture and audience: there's BBC Mundo, BBC Hindi, BBC Russian, BBC Cymru Fyw, and now the latest addition is BBC Arabic.
The app is obviously in Arabic and right-to-left aligned. It follows the same design as the other apps with a red theme and title bar, different categories of news spanning the world and the Middle East, and covering politics, science, technology, economy, arts, sports, and more. Read More
Google Text-to-speech may not be the sexiest app out there, but it's a particularly useful one for many people, especially those who make use of accessibility options such as Talkback on Android phones. The last meaningful update to it came back in April (v3.11) with a few new languages (Bangla (India), Czech, Khmer, Nepali, Sinhala, and Ukrainian) as well as improvements to voices and better number processing.
The latest update brings the app up to version 3.13.3 and includes support for two more languages: Filipino and Greek. There's also a new setting for language detection on devices running Oreo and a few more improvements to how the voices sound. Read More
Outside of Samsung's yearly announcement of a new Galaxy Note, it's rare to see anything interesting happening with a stylus. However, the latest update to Google Play Books comes with some new behavior that makes a stylus much more useful with things like college textbooks and other reference material. Now when you drag a stylus over some text, it instantly switches into selection mode and pops up the action menu as soon as the selection is done. Read More
Adobe's Max 2017 event was today, where the company announced plenty of new apps and updates for its Creative Cloud suite. While the spotlight was mainly on the desktop, the mobile apps have also received a few improvements as well. Lightroom for Android was updated with a tablet UI and enhanced search abilities, but the Photoshop Express app is receiving a few new features as well. Read More
For years, Adobe Lightroom has been the editor of choice for photographers. As opposed to Photoshop, which is more designed for pixel-level editing and layered images, Lightroom is geared towards manipulating photos. It's non-destructive, meaning that any changes can be easily reversed, and all of your edits are kept in the app's catalog.
Adobe has offered iOS and Android versions of Lightroom for a while now. You can select certain collections (aka albums) to sync to the cloud, for editing and viewing on the go. As you might expect, the mobile apps don't have all the functionality of the desktop applications, but they can still be helpful for quick tweaks and importing photos from your phone/tablet. Read More