App and Software News
Google has rejuvenated its mobile search page with the Material Design theme to bring it in line with its other apps and services.
Check out Google's search page on your iOS or Android device and you'll spot a few changes. The search field now has rounded corners in contrast to the previous rectangular design. Swipe down the screen and you'll find that the... Read More »
Android's share sheet in Google Maps (download on iOS or Android) is getting a speed boost with the latest update, version 10.6.1. Historically, share sheets on the Android platform have lagged when loading. Since it takes a few extra seconds for the entire suite of options to load, sometimes users can tap the wrong icon.
Last month, Dave Burke, the vice president of engineering for Android assured users on Twitter that Google was working to resolve the issue.
"It's... Read More »
The Australian government's Assistance and Access bill is an attempt to try to force tech companies to create backdoors into their encrypted communications. But one company that won't comply is Signal.
The Signal private messenger app (download on iOS and Android) offers its users a way to send and receive secure, encrypted SMS messages and voice and video calls. But the company, Signal Messenger, says it has no... Read More »
Facebook has decided to heed the calls of critics by adding a bevy of games, apps and a fresh new web browser to Portal, the smart display it unveiled this year. After a rough initial rollout of the video-chat device, Facebook is beefing up Portal's offerings while lowering prices during the holidays for both the small and large versions.
Specifically, Portal's latest software update will see the video chat device gain access to a fresh, Chromium-based web browser that basically... Read More »
Brave, one of the most interesting and more privacy-focused web browsers on the market, has officially moved over to the Chromium browser engine after initially launching with Muon, its own own in-house engine. Maintaining its own browser codebase proved to be costly and time consuming, the company said.
Child monitoring apps have been available to parents for several years, but only recently have the app platforms themselves begun integrating their own website filters, timers, app whitelists, and content management within apps. For adults and kids, Apple introduced Screen Time with the arrival of iOS 12 in September, and Google came up with Digital Wellbeing for Android 9 Pie.
While Apple Music has been quite successful by anyone's standards -- though it certainly gets a boost as a featured and pre-installed app on every iPhone and iPad on the store shelf -- not every aspect of the company's music streaming competitor to Spotify (download on iOS or Android) has been a smashing success.
Tumblr is alive and well in Apple's iOS App Store once again as the deadline looms for a ban of all "adult" content.
In an update to its Help Center, Tumblr confirmed the iOS app's reappearance on December 12, saying that it was again available for download in the App Store and thanking people for their patience. The return of Tumblr comes just a few days ahead... Read More »
If you've been following Facebook in the news this year, you know that 2018 has been a particularly challenging year for the company, as it continues to face scrutiny over its user data management practices. And along the way, the social network has suffered from several security incidents.
Today, Facebook disclosed another personal data breach, one that it says may have affected the photos of up to 6.8 million members during a brief window in September.
In the statement, Facebook engineering... Read More »
In the news app business, what do you do when Apple News has such a big presence on iOS, and Google News is big on Android and seemingly everywhere else? Even if you have deep pockets like Microsoft, which relaunched a news aggregator app of its own a few months ago, the answer may lie in using AI to leapfrog the capabilities of us humans when it comes to selecting and personalizing content.
At least, that's the pitch for Microsoft's second... Read More »
Facebook Watch, the social media giant's video platform, has gained immense popularity in its short life. Though the video service is not even two years old yet, 400 million people spend at least a minute watching one of the network's videos.
Shows like Jada Pinkett Smith's "Red Table Talk" and "Sorry for Your Loss," a drama starring Elizabeth Olsen, draw some of the largest audiences.
The best way to ring in the new year is with a New Year's Eve party.
Sure, you could go out on New Year's Eve and spend hundreds of dollars to hang out with strangers and oftentimes feel let down by the lackluster crowd, alcohol selection and entertainment you encounter. Or you could count down to 2019 in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your nearest and dearest.
Plus, with your home court advantage, you'll be able to prepare a... Read More »
You may have noticed bikes and scooters docked every few blocks in your city. Lime bikes and scooters (iOS, Android) have sprung up as initiatives in certain cities to help reduce traffic and carbon emissions.
Here's how to find the nearest bikes and scooters for rent in your city:Open the Google Maps... Read More »
As 2018 draws to a close, it can be fun to take a look back at the year. Apps like Facebook (iOS, Android) and Spotify (iOS, Android) both have features that recap your year in a neat package and allow you to share those memories with your friends on those platforms.
Going into Memories on Facebook around December will show a personalized video from the social media site called "Your Year on Facebook." Spotify creates a playlist... Read More »
Prisma Labs is bringing its photo editing app to Android next year. Previously, Lensa was only available on iOS.
Prisma calls Lensa the "one-button Photoshop" app, as it offers a number of tools to tweak and perfect any portrait photo. The app claims to use Artificial Intelligence to retouch your selfie automatically, so you don't have to waste time tweaking it. The option to manually adjust your photos is still available.
Some of Lensa's enhancement features include teeth whitening, skin smoothing,... Read More »
You spot an appealing product at a store, an interesting animal in nature, an unusual dish on a menu, an intriguing landmark in another country, or a fascinating painting in a museum. And you want to learn more about that item or object. Normally, you might run a regular Google search. But in this case, you may not know what to search for. That's where Google Lens can help.
Using Google Lens on your phone, you... Read More »
Over the past couple years, the general public has heard a lot about how your personal data can be collected on the internet and sold without your knowledge or consent. A VPN, or virtual private network, can be one way to improve your privacy, but some details about our lives remain difficult to keep on the down-low. One nagging problem is how many documents available to the public online can be tied to your phone number.
Keepsafe, a developer of privacy-oriented... Read More »
In the wake of the unexpectedly messy October update for Windows 10 that ended up stretching well into November, users of Microsoft's operating system may be scratching their heads about how it went so badly. While Windows 10 isn't as widely praised as Windows 7, it rarely experiences the issues that we saw recently, which included deleting entire directories of files.
To address the growing uncertainties about Windows 10 and the integrity of its update system, corporate VP Michael Fortin... Read More »
With the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, the internet figured out a way to exchange digital goods with the same level of confidence as physical goods, but the concept isn't necessarily restricted to monetary transactions. When Ethereum arrived in 2015, it expanded the notion of a community-verified ledger to apps, which can be specially designed to run in a decentralized manner within the Ethereum network.
Think of Google Docs, but instead of connecting to a regional Google server to access your... Read More »
Google is teaming up with a group of nonprofit organizations to help you make donations through the Google Play Store during the holiday giving season.
The portal is currently listed as "Coming soon to Play."
"We're inspired by the many ways that the Play community shares resources, supports each other and creates positive change," Google said in a blog post. "We hope this update offers a way to help other communities outside of our own in need."
Here's... Read More »