SwiftKey launched its Neural Alpha keyboard in October of last year, and today — almost a year later — the company is introducing neural network-powered word predictions to its namesake main app. This means better word predictions and autocorrect, since the app now better understands the context of what you’re trying to say…
update Stories September 16, 2016
update Stories June 28, 2016
PSA: Android Wear 1.5 rolling out to the Fossil Q Founder
Most watches have received the Android Wear 1.5 update at this point, but now we’ve spotted the first report of the update hitting the Fossil Q Founder. Still based on Android 6.0.1, the Android Wear 1.5 update contains just a few incremental tweaks…
update Stories June 22, 2016
Dropbox is getting some notable updates today for both the mobile apps and desktop that bring a number of new productivity tools and features to the service. It’s also changing its mobile camera uploads feature for basic users to require they have the desktop app installed or a paid Pro account.
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…
update Stories June 15, 2016
OnePlus has had an interesting history to say the least. Yesterday the company launched its fourth smartphone, the OnePlus 3, and it’s actually really impressive. It packs powerful specs, great hardware, and an incredibly low price tag. The company still has some serious work to do, however.
update Stories June 14, 2016
Nest today has added some new views to the Farsight feature of its flagship thermostat product. Rolling out to all thermostats soon, users will soon be able to show the current temperature and a new animated weather screen from across the room:
People love Farsight. But we heard from a lot of customers who wanted it to show the current temperature in big numbers you can see from across the room. So now, it can. And we’ve also added an animated weather screen. (You know, to satisfy meteorology fans.) Just go to Display Settings on your thermostat and choose your view.
update Stories June 13, 2016
Apple took the stage today at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California to announce the latest new features — for developers and consumers alike — for its four main platforms: watchOS, tvOS, macOS (previously called OS X), and iOS. There is tons of new stuff in these releases set to go public later this year, but one thing that became increasingly clear as the event progressed was that the Cupertino company is playing a lot of catch up.
It’s not a new trend, really. Google has always introduced features and potential products to the public not long after they become barely workable experiments, leaving other companies like Apple to appear behind at times — whether or not they actually are “behind” in reality. It goes without saying that there are always things being worked on in the background (that’s why I put “copied” in quotes), but with many of today’s announcements, Apple brought those things to light.
update Stories June 9, 2016
The Nvidia Shield set-top box is about to become the “first all-one Plex box” as Plex announced today the Android TV-based device will gain full media server support later this month. That’s in addition to the Android app offering it currently has and will make the Shield the first device other than a dedicated PC, Mac or NAS with full support for the popular Plex Media Server.
update Stories June 8, 2016
We’ll get the official name for Android N in ‘a few weeks’
We’ve had the Android N developer preview for a few weeks now, but we still don’t know what the nickname for the new version will be. Speculation has been going on for months and Google even allowed users to submit their suggestions for what the name should be. Now, Google has confirmed on Twitter that we’ll be getting that name within the next few weeks.
update Stories June 7, 2016
It’s no secret that Google has struggled to get people to upgrade the software on its phones (but perhaps more accurately, the software on other companies’ phones). It’s one of the most blatant examples of an area that Google and its OEMs are just so far behind, especially compared to the adoption rates of iOS on Apple’s devices. And with every passing month, it just doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
It’s been about 8 months since its release, and the latest Android distribution numbers reveal that the newest version of Google’s mobile OS, Marshmallow, has just now passed 10% adoption. Google’s most popular version of Android at this point, Lollipop, lost 0.2 percentage points this month and KitKat, which was announced in 2013, still holds more than a 30% share…
update Stories June 6, 2016
June security patch for Nexus devices rolling out, factory images and OTAs now available
Last month, Google renamed its monthly advisories for Nexus devices to the Android Security Bulletin and began listing vulnerabilities that apply to the entire ecosystem. June’s patch includes 21 vulnerabilities rated from moderate to critical that apply to all Nexus devices.
update Stories June 1, 2016
Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 gets updated to Android Marshmallow
After rolling out a Marshmallow update to the Galaxy S5 yesterday, Verizon is now rolling out the same to its variant of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. The update carries version number MMB29K.T817VVRU2BPE1 and packs the standard Marshmallow features we’re all accustomed to at this point. Those include Doze, app permissions, and Google Now on Tap among other things…
Update: In a blog post, Google details new features currently available in English and rolling out soon to other languages. Now on Tap now officially works in the camera app and for images. For instance, users can open the camera app and initiate Now on Tap to identify landmarks. It can also be used in apps like Pinterest to identify artwork.
Rolled out last night to all users, Now on Tap has a new interface and the ability to manually select text from anything in a screenshot to perform a search. Due to a number of factors, Now on Tap has yet to become a hit feature and today’s update is a meaningful change to the product.
update Stories May 31, 2016
Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy S5 gets Android Marshmallow
Android has some problems. One of those is that it takes pretty much forever for its OEMs to update their devices. That trend doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. But if you’re an owner of Verizon’s Galaxy S5 and have been waiting (un)patiently to have somewhat modern software, worry no more: your phone is finally getting updated to Android Marshmallow starting today…
update Stories May 27, 2016
Google announced Android Wear 2.0 at I/O 2016, featuring more customizable watch faces, the ability to go without your phone when you are running or want to track a hike, AI-powered Smart Reply, a handwriting recognition mode, and more. But the question remains: which devices are going to get the update? Read on for a complete list of devices we know are getting 2.0…
update Stories May 21, 2016
At Google I/O 2016, the Mountain View company decided — although admittedly not an entirely new theme — that it would be a good idea to spread its announcements across three days. The keynote showed off Google’s vision for the future: virtual reality, its new AI and machine learning initiatives, Google Home hardware to take advantage of them, and a few sprinkles of Android Wear 2.0 goodness. The second day saw the announcement of the Play Store coming to Chrome OS.
But the third day was ATAP day, admittedly my favorite day of Google I/O. Last year the Advanced Technologies and Projects group at Google showed off Project Jacquard, Project Soli, some more details on Project Ara, and more. And then the company went silent. For pretty much an entire year.
Maybe that’s a good thing, as Google tends to show its projects and technologies off a little early in general. It’s not exactly out of Google’s character to show a product or service, say that it’s coming in 6 months, it not arrive for 12 months or 18 months, and then the final product share hardly any resemblance to what was originally announced. Admittedly that’s happening with some of ATAP’s projects either way (I’m looking at you, Ara), but at least it’s not a constant barrage of teases and false hope.
Anyway, Google ATAP finally came out of hiding on the third day of I/O yesterday, and with it came updates on Project Jacquard, Project Soli, Project Ara, and Spotlight Stories. Jacquard brought the announcement of the first retail product based on the tech, Ara brought a little update on how progress is coming including the most current prototype device with new module connectors (and promise of a dev kit coming soon), and the Spotlight Stories mention came with some progress in VR storytelling. All cool stuff.
But Soli is what makes my jaw drop.
update Stories May 16, 2016
Google’s Android Developers site gets a minor refresh leading up to I/O 2016
Google’s annual developers’ conference is set to kick off in just a couple days, so it seems appropriate that Google has today updated its Developers site with some refreshed navigation…
update 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…
update Stories May 11, 2016
AT&T’s HTC One M8 and M9 to get Marshmallow starting tomorrow
There’s a reason that Marshmallow is only on 7.5% of Android devices — the rollout for the “new” (that’s in parentheses because it was announced almost a year ago now, and its successor is already in developer preview) version of Google’s mobile OS has been horrendously slow. The wait for a lot of phones has finally been coming to an end as of late, however, and now it’s time for the HTC One M8 and M9 on AT&T to get M.
The word comes from good ol’ Mo Versi, VP of Product Management at HTC. He’s the source of most news on the update front for HTC’s myriad of devices. The tweet follows his other most recent update on the update, say that it would have “approval within the next couple weeks.”
And here we are:
The update is set to start rolling out over-the-air tomorrow, so keep an eye out for a popup on your phone. This will likely be a pretty big update, so try to have just as much patience while it’s installing as you have had waiting for it to arrive.
update Stories May 10, 2016
You may know that you can access Hangouts via classic Google+ and Gmail, but did you know it also has a standalone web client over at hangouts.google.com? Now, Google has announced that you can show the list of conversations at all three sites in a new denser view.
This might be particularly enticing if you were a long-time GChat user, as it ditches the profiles images and frills to provide an experience that’s straightforward and simple…
update Stories May 6, 2016
Google Opinion Rewards expands to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
If you’re fond of purchasing new apps, movies and music on your Android smartphone, you might be interested in a less-than-well-known app from Google called Opinion Rewards. You’re obviously not going to get rich quick, but it’s a great way to earn small amounts of Google Play Credit a quarter at a time by answering quick 2-5 question surveys. Today, Google has expanded the app to three new countries: Denmark, Norway, and Sweden…
update Stories May 4, 2016
update Stories May 2, 2016
Google just released the biggest update to its stock Google Keyboard in quite some time, and it’s rolling out on the Play Store now. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out for yourself quite yet, we put together this quick video rounding up the biggest new features. Among them are a one-handed mode, new emoji suggestions, and the ability to show key borders…
Renamed Android Security Bulletin now lists vulnerabilities for all devices, May security patch for Nexus rolling out
Like last month’s, the May security patch for Nexus devices is full of fixes across the board. This month’s bulletin includes several procedural changes that expand the security bulletin to list vulnerabilities for all Android devices.
update Stories April 27, 2016
Google Calendar update lets you ‘find a time’ for a meeting with your coworkers
The Mountain View company has today launched a new feature for its Calendar app that lets you find the perfect meeting time that works for everyone. After adding the people who are attending the event, the new “Find a time” option analyzes schedules and suggests a time with no conflicts…
update Stories April 26, 2016
After a few weeks testing the software with a select group of beta participants, BlackBerry is finally rolling out the Android Marshmallow update for the PRIV from today. It comes with all the usual Marshmallow features, as well as some performance improvements and a handful of additional features for BlackBerry’s custom UI, keyboard and apps.
update Stories April 18, 2016
Samsung’s Good Lock updated with case support, darker colors, and many bug fixes
With frequent updates that take into account consumer feedback, Samsung appears to be fully behind its alternate Good Lock UI. Announced last month, the lock and homescreen replacement has been praised for its close to stock notification shade and interesting UI ideas. Today’s update fixes many bugs and adds more customization options.
update Stories April 13, 2016
Popular short-form video sharing service Vine has today announced a new feature that avid users of the service could appreciate. In a blog post, the Twitter-owned service announced that there is now a “Watch” button on all Vine channels that allows viewers to seamlessly watch all of the content from a single channel with one tap.
In a post on its Research Blog, Google today announced that it is making some significant improvements to TensorFlow. For those unfamiliar, TensorFlow is the company’s open source machine learning software that powers things like Google Translate and many Photos features. Today, Google revealed that it is adding the ability for TensorFlow to run across multiple machines at the same time with distributed computing support.
update Stories April 12, 2016
update Stories April 11, 2016
Android Marshmallow now rolling out to Galaxy S6 in Canada, LG V10 on T-Mobile
Android Marshmallow is making perhaps the slowest crawl ever in adoption, only just recently managing to find itself installed on a measly 4% of Android devices. Now, reports suggest that more handsets are finally getting the latest version. In today’s updates, we’re hearing of Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge owners getting Android Marshmallow in Canada, as well as users of T-Mobile’s LG v10…
update Stories April 4, 2016
“24.0.6 Feedback applied. More feedback will be provided soon,” Samsung says to open up the changelog for a substantial update rolling out for its alternate Good Lock UI today. Besides a less-than-perfect translation, the changelog also features a huge list of much-requested bug fixes and additions. Among other changes, this update adds a swipe gesture to delete in the recent apps view, fixes an issue that caused the SD card to stop working, removal of the permanent location prompt, and more…
Google announces new faster API for Google Cloud Datastore
Today Google has announced a new faster API for its NoSQL database for web and mobile apps. It goes without saying that this is read as a foreign language to anyone without a development background, Google says that it has “redesigned the underlying architecture that supports the cross-platform API for accessing Datastore outside of Google App Engine, such as from Google Container Engine and Google Compute Engine“…
April security patch for Nexus devices rolling out, factory images now available
While last month’s security patch for Nexus devices also included performance and stability fixes for the Nexus 5X, April’s update is full of fixes across the board. A majority are rated critical or high and this update includes a fix for a Linux security issue that caused Google to issue a mid-cycle patch last month.
update Stories March 31, 2016
Check out this Google I/O 2016-styled Android Wear watch face
Google I/O is coming up in just a couple of months, and Google recently launched their I/O 2016 site with a really cool countdown clock. And while it may not be as strictly Material Design-inspired as the one from last year (might I say the new one even reminds me a little of iOS?), I think it’s a really nice looking design. Now, you can get an unofficial I/O 2016 watch face featuring the same font as the new countdown clock…
update Stories March 30, 2016
Skype launches ‘Bots’ feature & developer platform for Android app
As part of announcements at Microsoft’s Build 2016 conference today, Skype announced a new ‘Bots’ platform that it’s launching today in preview mode for developers and users in the Android app (as well as the iPhone, iPad and Windows apps).
Google has been slowly moving many of its stock apps to be available on the Play Store, and today marks the day that the Calculator app gets the honor. The Play Store listing, which of course offers the app for free, also brings an update to version 6.0 which includes a new Android Wear app…
update Stories March 29, 2016
Waze app will now alert you when driving over the speed limit
Now when you’re using the Waze app to navigate, you’ll automatically see a visual warning (pictured above) if you go over the speed limit, and you can also manually set audio warnings for reaching the limit or hitting 5, 10 or 15% over.
update Stories March 28, 2016
Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for Sony Xperia Z5 being pulled following Play Store issue
update Stories March 24, 2016
Apple today has released an update to the Apple Music app for Android users. The update over month after the app’s last update that added support for saving music to SD cards for offline listening. Today’s update adds yet another feature that isn’t supported on iOS: the ability for users to add an Apple Music widget to their homescreen. The Beats Music app offered a widget when it was available for Android, but Apple Music has lacked it since release.
You can now change themes, filters & layouts in updated Google Sheets and Slides for iOS
Google is updating its Google Sheets and Slides apps for iOS today with new features that allow changing themes, filters and layouts on the fly from within the mobile apps.
For Google Sheets, the update brings the ability to view and change existing filters applied to a spreadsheet.
update 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.
update Stories March 22, 2016
Android Marshmallow update for Galaxy S5 begins international rollout
It may be two years old, but that doesn’t mean Samsung is going to completely neglect the Galaxy S5. As it turns out, the Korean tech giant has just started pushing the Android Marshmallow update to S5 (SM-G900L) users in Korea.
update Stories March 16, 2016
Uber is beginning to test a new feature that will make it easier for family and other close-knit groups to share an Uber account. That means that your family could use a single credit card for Uber across several devices, making it easy for parents to pay for their kids or other family members, for example.
update Stories March 15, 2016
Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Instagram today announced in a blog post that it will soon adjust the way in which content is presented in its iOS and Android apps. While content is currently shown in chronological order, Instagram will soon switch to a new personalized algorithms based on each user…
update Stories March 10, 2016
When Google+ launched in 2011, one of its marquee features was grouping people into circles. There was a nifty drag-and-drop interface and the ability to limit posts to specific circles. Last year’s Google+ redesign hid the feature, but an update to the Android app now resurfaces it. The social network is also launching Google+ Create to recognize top content creators and give them access to early features.