The idea that some apps are “must-have” or “essential” for your Android phone is bound to be subjective, especially with millions to mull over and choose.
apps Stories December 25, 2020
apps Stories March 9, 2017
Facebook has officially announced its new Messenger Day feature for Android and iOS after previously testing the Snapchat Stories clone with a limited number of users. Messenger Day is rolling out globally to Facebook’s Messenger app beginning today.
apps Stories August 2, 2016
Snapchat introduces new Geostickers feature as another way to customize images and messages
Hot on the heels of a new Snapchat-esque Stories feature coming to Instagram, Snapchat today has announced Geostickers, which is a new feature that gives users yet another way to decorate their snaps. Geostickers are location-based overlays that can be applied to images before they are sent, as well as sent via the messaging feature of Snapchat.
apps Stories June 27, 2016
Customization is at the heart of Android and one of the easiest ways to change up your device is with a custom launcher. With just a few taps, you can easily change the look and feel of your device. Over the past few years we’ve seen dozens of great options, but lately I’ve been trying out a relatively new one called “Evie”.
Let’s a take a quick look.
apps Stories June 24, 2016
Chrome OS will finally get a storage manager in an upcoming update
Chrome OS has always been pretty bare bones, but as an avid user and fan of the OS, even I have to admit it’s missing features it really shouldn’t be. With the limited storage available on most Chromebooks, you’d think a storage manager would be available, but you would be wrong. Thankfully, that will be changing very soon.
apps Stories June 22, 2016
I remember back in the day when VLC was just the necessary media player for pretty much any Mac owner. Since then, the free and open source cross-platform multimedia player has expanded beyond Mac and PC to mobile devices running Android and iOS. Today, the VideoLAN organization has pushed out VLC for Android 2.0, and it’s probably the app’s biggest release since its first out-of-beta release in February of last year…
apps Stories May 21, 2016
This year’s I/O was a big one. Maybe not the largest in terms of new products and services, but definitely not the smallest either. Among other things, the Mountain View, California company announced its Daydream VR platform for Android, an evolution of the Google Now assistant in the form of an AI-powered “Google Assistant,” a couple of new messaging apps and some hardware to play the part of debuting the Assistant, a new version of Android Wear, and more.
The keynote had this overarching theme that Google is no longer just a company that does search and ads. Now, Google is diving head first into artificial intelligence and machine learning, and most of the things that were announced in the keynote fell into that narrative for the most part. This is the stuff that’s not coming out for at least half a year. Most things, from Allo and Duo to Google Home, felt half-baked. It felt like everything was unfinished, and to some degree, that’s true. It’s still early days.
While Google wanted to paint this big picture of what the company envisions for the next few years and beyond, it saved some of the stuff that’s actually really cool today for other events at the conference. The most obvious of these was the press-only event Google hosted on day 2, showing off a huge new feature for Chrome OS: support for the Play Store that has long been tied down to Android. We’ve known this was coming for a long time, but now it’s here — serving as the next move to make Chrome OS and Android more alike than ever…
apps Stories May 19, 2016
The Play Store is adding a few features for both developers and users. Betas are now easier to find and join from the Play Store with Google even highlighting beta apps in a new Early Access section. The store also has new smart collections for tasks that require a combination of apps.
apps Stories May 16, 2016
For those who are fairly experienced in the app world, joining betas is always exciting and fun — since it allows people to access the latest features and design tweaks — despite the usual presence of bugs.
With the rollout of version 6.7 of the Play Store, Android Police first spotted, Google will now allow you conveniently see if you’re in a beta testing group from within the Store itself, leave and join potential betas, and even give developers some feedback regarding the latest build…
apps Stories May 13, 2016
The latest version of Google’s Messenger app lets you view messages on your SIM card
Depending on how long you’ve been using cell phones, you might remember the days when you could store SMS text messages on your SIM card. Typically these were just stored there temporarily so that — when switching between phones — you didn’t lose anything sentimental. Now, it appears (via Android Police) that the latest version of Google’s Messenger app lets you manage these SIM card messages…
apps Stories April 30, 2016
In this week’s top Google stories: new Android device news surrounding the Galaxy Note 6, the death of the Nexus 9, Huawei’s upcoming P9 flagship, and more. And we went hands-on with LeEco’s new Snapdragon 820-powered Le Max2 w/ 6GB of RAM, the BlackBerry PRIV running Android Marshmallow, and the Oppo F1 Plus in this week’s top videos.
In addition, HP and Google launched the impressive new Chromebook 13, and a handful of notable Google and Android app updates arrived as well as news of a completely overhauled design for Instagram in testing.
Head below for all of the quick links to this weeks top stories, videos and more.
apps Stories April 27, 2016
Google has launched an Android TV remote control app for iPhone
Google has just released an Android TV app for iOS which supports all Android TV devices, whether that be the NVIDIA Shield, or one of Sony’s fancy 4K TV sets running Google’s OS. As long as the Android TV and iPhone are on the same network, you can control your TV set with your iOS device.
apps Stories April 14, 2016
We’ve recently argued that the Galaxy S7 edge may represent the culmination of the “Smartphone 1.0 era”. It won’t please everyone about everything — and no such thing will likely ever exist — but it’s indubitable how all of the cornerstones of a modern smartphone have been tackled cleverly by the Korean giant, and all its positives can even justify its hefty price tag. Actually delivering something that steps up the game in a significant way, in fact, looks like a very tough challenge. Perhaps we will have to wait until true, Project Ara-like modular smartphones show up before radically rethinking the way we look at hardware, but the software roadmap seems to be getting clearer, with a future studded with bots.
Microsoft is betting big on them as a major part of the future of computing, and so is Facebook. There is a case that could be made for them to become the new apps — and this certainly is how these two firms are pitching the concept. Chances are that Google will follow sooner than later, and I think that if the general idea of bots we have been so far given remains valid, the owning of a platform as popular as Android may leave the Mountain View behemoth with quite an interesting card up its sleeve, which could give them a notable lead in the upcoming war for bots dominance, were they to play it cleverly…
Google Maps traffic alerts feature expands, now available in India
Google announced in a blog post this morning that it has expanded its the popular Google Maps traffic alerts feature to India. This means that any smartphone user based in India will get real-time notifications during navigation if traffic conditions change for the worse, and before a journey is set to begin, so that they can choose the quickest route more easily.
apps Stories April 12, 2016
apps Stories March 28, 2016
Google working on new Android camera app that recognizes objects
According to a report from SlashGear, Google is looking to combine the technologies used in its Goggles app and visual search tool with the standard Google Camera app. In doing so, the default stock Android camera will be able to recognize products and objects, then search for them.
apps Stories March 24, 2016
Google’s easy to use ‘Accessibility Scanner’ analyzes apps for accessibility issues
Google has published a new tool to help Android developers improve the user interface and experience of their apps. Accessibility Scanner can analyze any app with an eye towards accessibility issues that might not be a problem for most users but may cause user experience problems for some.
It’s 2016, billions of smartphones are in use across the globe, and traditional video game companies are only just coming around to the idea that there’s some money to be made from smartphone gaming. Nintendo only recently launched its first mobile app, and plans to release a more familiar character-based game soon. Sony, likewise is about to make another foray in to the world of smartphone-based gaming with its newly-formed corporation, ForwardWorks.
apps Stories March 23, 2016
Todoist, one of the best productivity apps released for any platform, has been updated to bring more smarts to its Android app. Unlike the last major update, this version doesn’t include a massive visual overhaul. Instead, the team focussed on bringing more intuitive and productive methods of adding, searching and filtering your projects.
apps Stories March 17, 2016
apps Stories March 16, 2016
Google Hangouts now lets App customers video chat with up to 25 participants
You’ll soon be able to hold video chat meetings with much larger groups as today Google begins increasing the number of participants Apps customers can have in a Google Hangouts video call at any one time. The old limit of 10 participants today gets increased to 25 users.
The change comes to Apps customers only— Business, Government, and Education— while all other Hangouts users will still have the old limit of 10 participants for video.
Google notes that it will only show “the 10 most active video call participants” along the bottom of the video chat to maintain quality, but it will switch on the fly between active users for the new limit of up to 25 participants.
All Apps customers should start to see the new participant limit increase roll out over the next few days.
apps Stories March 15, 2016
Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, & Slides will soon let you set expiration dates for document access
Google is adding the ability to set expiration dates for access to documents across Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides apps. The idea is that you can limit a contributor’s access to a document for a specific time period, which Google points out will come in handy for companies and organizations that often share files with third-parties temporarily:
While Google surprised us all by releasing the Android N developer preview last week, it hasn’t seen fit to announce a name for the software yet. Of course, that could simply be because it hasn’t thought up a name. After all, it didn’t see fit to finally confirm that Android 6.0’s ‘Tasty Treat’ name would be Marshmallow until late August last year, a couple of months after the dev preview dropped at Google I/O 2015.
apps Stories March 14, 2016
OnePlus has decided to wade in to the world of software, and today announced a brand new app aimed at making photo organization and editing much easier for its smartphone customers. The “no-nonsense” app is equipped with only the tools OnePlus thinks are most necessary, or most likely to be used by OnePlus owners.
apps Stories March 2, 2016
WhatsApp has started rolling out a new document uploading feature to its Android app users. This new attachment option has been showing up for a number of WhatsApp users (including myself) and allows you to upload PDFs. It’d be surprising if this wasn’t expanded to include other document formats in the future.
Nova Launcher Prime for Android drops to $0.99 (reg. $4.99)
Nova Launcher is one of the best launchers available for Android on the Play Store. It lets you customize virtually every part of your smartphone user interface. While the free version is great, the premium ‘Prime’ version offers far more fine-tuning capabilities and normally costs $5. For a limited time, Nova Launcher is now available for just $0.99.
Nova Launcher Prime Unlock the following extras by purchasing Nova Launcher Prime • Gestures – Swipe, pinch, double tap and more on the home screen to open your favorite apps • Unread Counts – Never miss a message. Unread count badges for Hangouts, SMS, Gmail and more using the TeslaUnread plugin • Custom Drawer Groups – Create new tabs or folders in the app drawer • Hide Apps – Keep a clean app drawer by hiding never used apps • Icon Swipes – Set custom actions for swiping on app shortcuts or folders • More scroll effects – Such as Wipe, Accordion, and Throw
It’s worth noting that Nova Launcher Prime isn’t an app download in itself, rather, it acts as a license to unlock the listed features in the free Nova Launcher app. What that means in simple terms, is that you need to download and install the free version before you can head to the Play Store and pay for the Prime version.
Google Photos on the web gets some much-needed new editing tools
Spinning off Photos in to its own app and service is arguably one of the best decisions Google has ever made. It’s a fantastic tool for storing your photos, it’s easily searchable and sometimes makes its own automatic moments of magic. It’s safe to say, I don’t love any of its services as much as I love Photos. But now it’s getting better.
apps Stories March 1, 2016
Sky Map receives first update since 2012, but it’s still wildly outdated
During the early days of smartphones, one of the coolest apps you could show off was an augmented reality-like stargazing app. At the time, Google made a free version called Sky Map. The app is showing signs of life again and received its first update in four years.
apps Stories February 22, 2016
Cyanogen has today announced a new platform called “MOD,” giving developers deeper access to the Android operating system and allowing them to take advantage of platform APIs that are otherwise out of reach. Microsoft, for example, has built a Skype mod that allows users to add VoIP calling functionality directly to the Android dialer, as well as a Cortana mod that replaces Google Now on an OS level…
apps Stories February 18, 2016
Google today announced a couple of new significant moves as it plans to refocus on development in southeast Asia. It will build its first engineering team dedicated to the area, in Singapore, and has promised to help train up to 100,000 developers in Indonesia within 4 years, in a bid to get more content out in the country, using its own national language(s).
At long last, Vimeo app for Android gets Chromecast support
Vimeo, the popular alternative to YouTube, has just released a brand new update to its Android app. Within the update, the company has finally enabled a feature which should have been there a long time ago: Chromecast support. Anyone downloading the app, or updating, will now be able to beam content straight to their Chromecast-connected TV with just the press of an onscreen button.
A month after your bday, you receive a card. It serenades you with a 90s slow jam before you slam it shut, mortified. But you smile — because Grandma loves you. *And* because Chromecast has arrived. Late is better than never, and Vimeo loves you a ton too, and now you can tap the Chromecast icon to seamlessly stream videos to your big screen. We appreciate your patience, pals! Oh and we fixed some bugs and crashing issues, also.
You can download the app free from the Play Store, or if you have the app already installed, check for updates and you should see it available to download right away.
apps Stories February 12, 2016
SMS function could return to Facebook Messenger for Android
Facebook has been busy testing new versions of its Material-inspired Messenger in recent weeks. Three weeks ago, the Material Design refresh started showing up for a handful of users with an account-switching feature and new FAB (floating action button), while others last week reported a fresh new blue lick of paint.
More recently than that, it seems some Messenger users are seeing the inclusion of a new feature. Or rather, the return of an old, discontinued feature.
ASICS will acquire Runkeeper, following Adidas and Under Armor’s example
Following in the footsteps of competitors, Adidas and Under Armor, ASICS will buy fitness app-maker, Runkeeper. The move was announced on Medium by Runkeeper’s founder, Jason Jacobs, and indicates that all fitness apparel companies clearly see the need to embed tracking technology, and/or tie-in apps with their brands.
apps Stories February 11, 2016
6.2 billion – the number of smartphones & tablets on the planet by 2020, says App Annie
Data from App Annie suggests that the total number of smartphones and tablets on the planet will hit 6.2 billion by 2020 – up from 2.6B today. That would be 80% of the forecast population of 7.76B people.
The analytics company told Bloomberg that the strongest growth will be seen in India, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey as cheaper phones hit the market. For many of those in developing countries, the post-PC era has already arrived, a smartphone or tablet serving as their only Internet-enabled device …
apps Stories February 10, 2016
Play Store will begin using Gmail itineraries to recommend apps
The Play Store currently recommends apps based on various signals from the people you follow on Google+. Starting with version 6.2, the store will also begin using a user’s Gmail itinerary to make app suggestions. Here’s how it will work:
Crowd-support project wants to turn Monument Valley in to official LEGO sets
Monument Valley is undoubtedly one of the best, and most attractive, puzzle games to ever hit the Play Store. Its gorgeous Escher-esque art and smooth, minimalist animation ensures that it’ll almost certainly gain ‘legendary’ status among the mobile gaming community. Now, with the help of a crowd-support project on LEGO Ideas, it could become immortalized in the form of an official LEGO set.
The concept was created by LEGO Ideas user Isometry, and, if you were worried that it’ll just be a static set of aesthetically pleasing geometric structures, your fears are miss-placed. The aim is to make them interactive.
My Lego Ideas project is inspired by the Monument Valley game, and aims to capture the journey through a creative 3-D experience. This set includes four minimalist landscape themes that are modular and interactive; featuring rotating walkways, platforms, pillars, staircases, bridges and water wheels; along with three main characters, Ida, Totem and Crow. It is an original Lego design concept with visually attractive elements that are appealing and intriguing to a wide audience.
The project has 1,590 supporters so far (at time of writing) and has some way to go before LEGO will build it and place it in stores. But, of all the mobile gaming tributes, I can hardly think of one more fitting than a build-able interactive Monument Valley set.
The set concept includes The Garden from chapter II, Labyrinth from chapter VI, Water Palace from chapter IV, Halcyon Court from Appendix IV and three characters; Ida, Totem and the Crow. There are also three illusion stickers to add dimension through illusion of shadows, buttons, doorways and windows.
Unlike most crowd-support sites, LEGO Ideas doesn’t ask members for money. Instead, you offer your official support and fill in a very quick poll on how popular you think it would be if it hit store shelves. Once it gains 10,000 supporters, LEGO will review it and might even launch the sets.
apps Stories February 4, 2016
Update: VentureBeat received information from a source, shedding a little more light on the situation.
A source close to the situation indicates that Google considers this a “unique case” because two apps are required to invoke the ad blocking. Furthermore, the source adds that Google has no problem with browsers which can block ads within themselves via built-in functionality (like Adblock Browser) or via plugins.
Earlier in the week, Samsung’s new browser API meant developers, if they wanted to, could build ad-blocking apps to work alongside the browser. It’s similar to the ad-blocking feature Apple introduced in iOS 9 with Safari, which lead to a number of ad and tracker-blocking apps become popular within the first few weeks of iOS 9’s arrival.
With this feature added, more developers could develop standalone ad-blockers for Android which work with Samsung‘s mobile browser. It turns out however, that Google has pulled some apps, and rejected updates for others. It seems the company isn’t keen on having standalone apps — designed to work alongside browsers to block ads — on the Play Store…
apps Stories February 3, 2016
It wasn’t that long ago that rumors predicted that Google was planning to bring a new podcasts feature to its popular Play Music app. This would see Google add yet another media platform to its already large list of options available in the Play Store. With it already offering books, movies, music downloads and streaming, apps and games, it would mean Google would now offer virtually every kind of popular media. Popular podcaster, Bill Simmons confirmed the move on Twitter before taking down his tweet earlier today.
Thanks to Android Police, we now have a good idea as to what the podcasts user interface will look like and the features it’ll bring along with it…
Nintendo: Our second mobile game will feature a ‘very familiar’ character
When Nintendo first announced that it would finally be launching a smartphone game, it’s safe to say, many of us children of the 90’s got a little excited. Sadly, we got excited too soon. Excitement turned to bemusement once the company revealed it would be launching a weird game called Miitomo, which wasn’t exactly a game, but rather a social network.
Following its disappointing Q4 results, Nintendo has confirmed that its second title would include a “very familiar character”, and won’t be another social network attempt. It did, however, stop short of confirming exactly which character we’re going to see.
apps Stories January 28, 2016
Since Tesla launched the Model S in 2012, the automaker has been talking about releasing a software development kit (SDK) to create a full third-party app ecosystem for its 17-inch touchscreen, which acts as a center console for the Model S and X, but despite several inquiries from eager app developers, there has been little communication about the project until now. expand full story
apps Stories January 22, 2016
SwiftKey Stats brings signature emoji, your most-used topics to beta Android app
SwiftKey has updated the beta version of its popular keyboard app to include in-depth, personalized and visualized stats for all its users. Using SwiftKey Stats in the SwiftKey beta app for Android you can now see more than just the usual set of statistics. It looks at your typing habits, and brings you a pretty fun look at your most-used emoji, topics and more.
- Topics – 3-5 different subjects you type about the most. We created a bunch of fun, diverse categories to show you some of the topics you love to talk about – from Art & Design to Comics and everything inbetween.
- Top Emoji – the emoji you use most often. This is a cloud-like visualization of the emoji you use the most – the bigger the emoji in the ‘cloud’, the more you use it.
- Signature Emoji – the emoji you use more than other people. This emoji is generated by the emoji you overuse compared to the average (this is not the emoji you use most often).
- Vocabulary Size – how many words has SwiftKey learned from you? This number starts at zero when you install – find out how much your personal SwiftKey vocabulary has grown!
If you’re intrigued and want to try it for yourself, you can download the beta for free from the Play Store. Once installed, go through the set-up process and then sign in to your account. As soon as you start typing, the app starts collecting information and will be able to give you your stats.
apps Stories January 20, 2016
apps Stories January 19, 2016
A new app called Document Viewer for Android Wear was recently released by appfour, and you’re probably either excited or rolling your eyes. I’m definitely in the latter category. But then again, most times developers have tried to take apps that typically require a decently sized screen and shrink them to the size of teeny tiny Android Wear, the results haven’t been great. I’m looking at you, emulators that are definitely cool–proofs–of–concept-but-completely-impractical.
This one may not be as ridiculous as running a PSP game, but I’d say—and I mean absolutely no offense to appfour—it’s very unlikely to become an app you use daily…
Pocket Casts update adds ‘Ok, Google’ commands to play podcasts
From a good Material Design interface to implementation of new Android features, Pocket Casts is one of the best apps on the Play Store. The podcast player received an update today that added improved voice controls, Marshmallow support, and date-based filters.
apps Stories January 18, 2016
WhatsApp’s founder Jan Koum has announced today that the widely-used messaging service is now free to customers. The Facebook-owned company is dropping its subscription service immediately. While it’s only 99 cents per year to use WhatsApp‘s multi-platform messenger app, Koum states that the annual subscription was still a barrier to some users…