Microsoft is rolling out big updates to all three of its major Office apps for Android, with several overlapping improvements. The highlight is the addition of auto-save, a staple on desktop versions and frankly overdue on mobile with so many more opportunities for lost connections, unexpected battery drains, and other interruptions. In the same vein, Word and Powerpoint get real-time collaborative editing support, similar to what is available in the web apps and Google Docs.
I took a test drive with the collaborative editing on Word and it wasn't exactly seamless. The browser version says I was editing while offline, which is a decent way to describe the way it worked. Read More
LastPass is known for keeping your passwords safe, but these days a password sometimes isn't enough. That's why many services have implemented 2-factor authentication (2FA) to secure your account. Now, LastPass is getting into 2FA with its own authenticator app called (predictably) LastPass Authenticator. Please ignore the iPhone above. It's on Android too. Read More
You can already use a browser, email client, and video player on Android Wear thanks to Appfour, and now you can check your calendar too. This dev specializes (apparently) in taking full-size apps and shoehorning them into the small form factor provided by Android Wear. Sometimes it's a bad idea, but it's at least good for a laugh. This one seems somewhat useful, though. Read More
Raise your pitchforks and prepare to be outraged. Instagram is following in the footsteps of its big brother / master Facebook and working on switching its feed from chronological order to algorithmic. Maybe it was awed by how much love Facebook users felt toward that change in their feeds and it wanted a piece of the pie.
All sarcasm aside, there's an argument to be made about showing relevant posts first in social networks. If you don't religiously log in every few hours to see what's new and you just occasionally check it out, which is how I personally use Instagram, it would make sense to see content you're most likely to interact with first and not the latest blurry breakfast croissant or random shot from that friend you follow out of obligation, not interest. Read More
Earlier today, Google let us know that a tab for ride sharing would soon find a prominent place in the route planning screen. It looks like Maps v9.22 is responsible for bringing that feature... Sorta. Google is doing a staged rollout of the ride sharing tab with a server-side switch, so you may or may not see it after updating to the latest version. Read More
Sony makes PlayStations. It's also a huge movie and music production company. In 2012 the company offered the Sony Entertainment Network as a means of giving PlayStation owners something to watch and listen to that didn't involve a third-party like Netflix. It was also available in countries that competitors like Hulu didn't support.
That platform eventually turned into the PlayStation Network, with the video portion becoming PlayStation Video. Now an Android app has made its way into the Play Store that provides access to the same content. Read More
Ride-Sharing is getting a promotion. Starting today, the option will appear as its own dedicated tab inside Google Maps. Here it will sit alongside driving, taking public transportation, and walking. Read More
Google Classroom for Android debuted just over a year ago as part of the free suite of software provided by Google for schools. The app, just like its browser-based counterpart, is a centralized place where students can access handouts, assignments, and news from all of their classes. On the instructor side, all of those same elements can be managed in addition to the convenience of teachers having the ability to work with all their classes at once. The app is now getting the v2.0 upgrade with a series of less-than-groundbreaking improvements.
There don't seem to be any big interface changes, but the app debuted with a nice material look. Read More
Uber became a massive company by giving people rides, but now it wants to give your dinner a ride. After testing the UberEATS service in the main Uber app for a few months, the Android version of UberEATS is now in the Play Store. It's only available in a few cities right now, but the residents of those cities are not very happy with the service, judging by the early reviews. Read More
It's time to get out your Cardboard viewers, there's an update to Google's demo app for the lil' VR platform that could. Version 1.8 came out yesterday with a brand new demo called Arctic Journey. It's a brief tour through some of the experiences we can have in VR, set in the frozen landscape of the very, very far north. As you might expect, words are inadequate to describe the scenery, so here's some idea of what you might encounter on a trip to the North Pole.
Image source: Google Cardboard (G+)
The tour starts with a cute arctic fox and continues through different scenes as it introduces themes like flight, playing, learning, creating, and relaxation. Read More