Hangouts for Android version 5.0 is rolling out to some users now, and it brings... nothing new in the way of features that we can find, actually. We do know this version is supposed to fix the broken animated GIF support that was an annoyance in Hangouts 4 (confirmed: they're fixed), but otherwise, you probably aren't going to notice much. There appear to be some very slight animation changes here and there, as well as a brief splash screen that pops up when the app opens to the main conversation view that wasn't present in the previous version (4.2). Read More
Reddit may or may not have its official Android app ready any time soon, but third-party developers are still more than willing to pick up the slack. BaconReader, one of the most popular Reddit client apps, has just been given a major update. The 5.0 release includes a much-belated Material Design user interface adjustment and no small amount of other changes, both user-facing and behind the scenes. Here's a quick comparison of the older version to the spiffy new Material Design layout: Read More
Check the YouTube app on your phone or tablet, user interface aficionados - you might spot something new. Like the other official Google apps have been doing for a while (quite a while), YouTube is getting a pull-to-refresh animation for relevant pages. It doesn't seem to be tied to any particular version of the app or of Android, and in fact we've only seen it active from one reader so far, so it seems like it might be a server-side switch.
The animation allows users to scroll up to the top border of the interface and beyond on the Home tab, channel pages, subscription pages, and more, with the familiar circular arrow icon indicating a refresh. Read More
These days it's rare to see a game praised for graphics alone - with incredibly powerful hardware available on consoles, PCs, and yes, mobile hardware, it's more about what you can do with what you have. A prime example is Contrast, a combination platformer and puzzle game that first debuted on PC and console download services just under two years ago. It's a perfect intersection of unique art design and compelling game mechanics. Today it's available on Android for $14.99, but only if you have NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV box.
Contrast takes place in a sort of steampunk-burlesque universe, following a very personal story about a mother and daughter. Read More
Uh oh. Many users signing into Google Drive on the web are running into a little setback. The site loads, but that's it. Instead of a list of files, we're seeing a loading wheel that spins forever. Read More
It's easy not to think about just how much thought and computing goes into everything that Google does, but one of YouTube's latest changes reminds us of precisely that.
Every video on the site has a thumbnail that's supposed to offer you a glimpse into what you're about to watch. A bad image will discourage you from clicking. Good ones lead to more views and greater revenue. So naturally both content creators and Google would prefer to have better thumbnails.
Using deep neural networks, the YouTube team has launched an improved "thumbnailer." Every frame in a video gets evaluated by a quality model and is assigned a quality score. Read More
Looking for some cheap games? Then Electronic Arts and its mobile subsidiary Chillingo would like to offer you a selection for just a dime a piece (assuming you live in the US, Canada, Mexico, and a few other places). None of the games are particularly new with the exception of Power Ping Pong (which is pretty great) and the horror adventure game In Fear I Trust (which was just published), but most of them cost $4-5 at their regular prices. Read More
A new version of Google's cloud storage app is making its way to the Play Store. According to a post on the company's blog, the latest Drive release lets people request access to content links that they've received via email, an instant message, or some other method. Read More
Heroes fans had something to smile about when NBC announced that it would air a 13 episode mini-series following up the original four seasons. Not only that, creator Tim Kring returned as executive producer. But the fan service doesn't stop there. Phosphor Game Studio has released an immersive mobile game that hooks in to what's happening on TV.
The game, Hereos Reborn: Enigma, stars Dahlia, a young woman whose special powers are needed to solve various puzzles in first-person. Think Portal. You will use telekinesis and time shifting to make it through over 30 levels, all designed using Unreal Engine 4. Read More
LastPass is one of the more well-known password managers out there. Now it's one that's joining LogMeIn. Both companies announced the acquisition earlier today. The buyer paid $110 million upfront with up to another $15 million payable in contingent installments dependent on retention and other markers over the next two years.
LogMeIn, despite having a name that already sounds like a password manager in its own right, is primarily known for its remote access software. From a corporate perspective, this sounds like a good match, but some LastPass users have already filled the announcement post with negative comments expressing their disappointment. Several have complained of LogMeIn's bad customer service and price hikes. Read More