If you’re the type who maintains a massive amount of to-do lists and notes, you likely need a system to organize the things that keep you, well, organized. That’s probably why Google has introduced labels for its Keep note-taking app on Android. It’s pretty self-explanatory: you can tag files with labels of your choice (such as “Travel,” “to pack,” “shopping,” “grocery,” etc.) to make them easier to find later on. They’re not exactly folders that can keep things tidy, but tags can prevent you from wasting time finding a list that’s supposed to save you time. In addition to the new labeling system, the updated app now also features recurring reminders, which you can set to nudge you every day, week, month or year.
3D Robotics develops the open source software that powers a lot of home brew UAVs. Today it’s introducing a new tool to the public: DroneKit, software that allows anyone to create apps for, well, drones! DroneKit works with any craft that uses 3DR’s “APM” autopilot (a small device you add to your ‘copter), and apps can be created for Android, web and standalone “companion” devices (that you then connect to your quadcopter). What can you do with these apps? So far, mostly the same things you can do with existing flight planning software (like 3DR’s own Tower app). That means controlling fly paths with waypoints, following GPS targets and access to all the telemetry of the drone. But, of course, now you can do it in new and creative ways. That’s a good start, but its 3DRs promise to support the tool and keep adding new features that will change what we can do with these increasingly popular aerial craft.
Filed under: Misc
A custom map you’ve created for a trip is only useful if you can access it when you need it. Thankfully, Google’s bringing back My Maps integration with Android, so it’s now easier to view your personalized files on mobile. As you might know, you can use My Maps to plan for hiking, canoeing or even for commuting or daily walks, as it lets you place markers on locations and draw lines or shapes to indicate routes. It also allows you to create layers for different kinds of content and even import geographic data, such as a place’s name and coordinates. To view your creations — or others who have shared theirs with you — just launch Google Maps on Android. The update has begun rolling out today, so keep an eye out if you’re planning for a road trip.
If you’ve ever been saved from visiting a virus-laden website by Chrome’s malware-blocking technology, we have good news: You can expect to see this safeguard in other apps, too. Google has added tools for spotting “unwanted software” to its Safe Browsing developer kit, so any program can stop rogue web downloads. It’ll take a while before you see this show up elsewhere, but don’t be surprised if future apps with built-in web viewers are smart enough to raise a red flag.
[Image credit: Shutterstock/bioraven]
Source: Google Online Security Blog
OpenTable is a utility whereby participating restaurants allow bookings to be made using the companion app, and now it has come to Android and more than 32,000 restaurants with it.
Simply add a credit card in the OpenTable Android app and not only can you book a table at a restaurant but can also pay your bill.
To pay with OpenTable, diners who book at participating restaurants simply add a credit card in the OpenTable Android app before they dine and can then view and pay their check with a few taps. There’s no separate app to download; no codes to enter; and no scanning or barcodes involved. Diners who pay with OpenTable simply get up and go whenever they’re ready.
You can visit http://pay.opentable.com/ to view the current list of participating restaurants and grab the app using the link below.
Developed by STARS ASHES, Moonshine Rabbits is an arcade game with a very simple objective; smash the objects that are flung at you.
The scenario is that you’re a moonshine drinking resident who now finds multiple rabbits hurling objects at you on your property. You have to tap the objects as they come towards you in order to smash them. They get more frequent and quicker as you progress, with the number of rabbits increasing as you continue through the levels.
Moonshine Rabbits is very simplistic at its best and I did struggle with some graphic errors. As shown in the screenshot above running on my Note 4, on-screen graphics are tiny, with the instructions barely legible. I also seemed to have some odd black lines on the bottom left of my screen throughout my time playing Moonshine Rabbits, and for some reason the app wasn’t registering the number of objects I’d successfully smashed.
With a bit more variety and perhaps moving to a swipe motion instead of a tap (to cut the fruit rather than smash it) in order to enable combos and multipliers to be introduced, Moonshine Rabbit would be a solid game, but in its current state, and with the bugs mentioned above, the app is definitely worth checking out if only to kill a few minutes on the train on the morning commute.
Users looking to improve their productivity have a new tool available on the Android platform to help them get to work on tackling their to-do list. Swipes was named a Best New Startup of 2014 by Evernote and has been receiving a favorable reception from users, quickly rising through the ranks to become a popular tool. The expansion to Android will help those who wanted to use Swipes unique gesture support for planning their tasks using a timeline.
The Swipes team made sure to utilize Google’s Material Design concepts in rolling out their Android app that works on both smartphones and tablets. With the initial release, Swipes comes with support for Evernote and Email integration, although they are planning to add support for Dropbox and Google Calendar. Swipes supports the usual complement of task management features like snoozing tasks, reviewing accomplishments, setting priorities, and getting reminders via notifications.
Swipes is a cloud-based service, so changes made on one Android device will be reflected on other devices or in the web interface. The service and app are free to use, although Swipes indicates they have plans to release some subscription-only premium features later in 2015. You can install Swipes and give it a try using one of the download links below.
Come comment on this article: Swipes productivity app now available for Android
Tinnitus affects the ears but it originates in the brain. The condition, which causes ringing in the ears, is mainly triggered by age-related hearing loss and prolonged exposure to excessively loud noise. But neuroscientific studies reveal that tinnitus is a symptom of abnormal hyperactivity in the brain’s auditory cortex. While most people affected by it resign themselves to chronic pain, Tinnitracks, a new web-based app, claims to treat the cause of the problem through filtered audio therapy.
The premise of the app, from German startup Sonormed, is neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to adapt and constantly learn new things. The app analyzes individual tracks and filters the frequency that causes tinnitus for each user. On playback, the listener’s hearing adapts to the audible alteration (or notches) and over time the hyperactivity in the brain is toned down. Essentially, it takes three steps: select music files from personal collection, filter tinnitus frequency and upload a personalized track to an MP3 player to start therapy.
Tinnitracks was one of nine winners at SXSW’s Accelerator startup competition this past weekend. The therapy breaks ground by going a step beyond conventional methods of managing symptoms and effectively treats the condition that affects 50 million Americans. The prescribed music listening experience is one to two hours a day for at least six months. With consistent effort, the therapy could treat subjective, tonal and even chronic conditions. For those who still insist on taking on the high-decibel concert season without earplugs, this might be a good app to bookmark.
[Image credit: Tinnitracks]
Google on Tuesday announced two changes to the Play Store that it hopes will result in an improved experience for both developers and users. The first is a new review process where apps submitted for approval are manually reviewed by a team of employees at Google before the software is published on the Play Store. Google claims it began manually reviewing apps several months ago, with no noticeable change in approval times during the rollout.
The move to human reviewers marks a significant change for the Play Store, as the ability for developers to have apps go through a quick and automatic review process was a major differentiating factor over Apple’s tedious review process for the App Store on iPhone and iPad. Nevertheless, Google says it will continue to help developers get their apps published on the Play Store within hours of submission, rather than days or weeks.
Apple has been rather controlling and inconsistent at times in regards to enforcing its App Store review guidelines over the years. Last month, for example, the iPhone maker began rejecting apps with violent screenshots for infringing upon a long-standing review guideline. Developers also face long waits with Apple, as the average approval times for apps is roughly six days for the App Store and seven days for the Mac App Store.
The second improvement is the introduction of an age-based rating system for apps and games on the Play Store, based on official rating authorities such as the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in the United States, Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) in Europe and Classification Board in Australia. Territories with no specific rating authority will display age-based, generic ratings for apps.
“Today we’re introducing a new age-based rating system for apps and games on Google Play. We know that people in different countries have different ideas about what content is appropriate for kids, teens and adults, so today’s announcement will help developers better label their apps for the right audience. Consistent with industry best practices, this change will give developers an easy way to communicate familiar and locally relevant content ratings to their users and help improve app discovery and engagement by letting people choose content that is right for them.”
Google encourages developers to visit the Developer Console and fill out a content rating questionnaire to ensure that their apps remain available on the Play Store. Apps without a completed questionnaire will be listed as unrated and, starting in May, all apps and updates submitted to the Play Store will require a completed questionnaire before being published on the Play Store.
Chinese mobile juggernaut Xiaomi is already in the wearables game, but it’ll soon equip runners’ training sessions. The phone and accessory maker is working on a pair of “smart” running shoes with Li-Ning — a China-based footwear company with a list endorsers that includes Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade. Each pair will have chips in its soles to track activity, beaming data to a mobile app to keep tabs on progress, analyze form and celebrate training milestones. The tech is being developed alongside Huami Technology, the wearable manufacturer that lent a hand with Xiaomi’s Mi band. There’s no word on pricing or availability just yet, but runners in China can expect “an affordable price,” according to a Li-Ning statement.
With an increasingly crowded fitness market in the US, and Xiaomi’s focus on accessories in the States, it’ll be interesting to see if the shoes make it across the pond. Li-Ning’s shoes are available to US customers, including the aforementioned Way of Wade sneakers. Of course, Apple and Nike put an iPod-friendly sensor in shoes back in 2006, and Adidas’ miCoach Speed Cell tallies speed, distance and more for a range of activities.