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Posts tagged ‘Software’

8
Feb

Instagram confirms multiple account support is coming this week


The ability to post from multiple accounts inside the Instagram app is a feature users have begged the company to add for quite some time. After making an appearance in both the Android and iOS apps, the tool will go live this week. In addition to making things official today, Instagram says you’ll soon be able to add up to five accounts to the app. Of course, this means that you can toggle back and forth without having to log out and log back in each time you want to switch. What’s more, you’ll be able to receive notifications from each, so long as you have them turned on. It’s about freakin’ time.

Source: Instagram

7
Feb

Firefox OS will end support after version 2.6



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Even though we focus on Android here at AndroidSPIN, it’s been an interesting experience watching Firefox OS try and break into the mobile industry. It’s been enlightening, definitely for us, but presumably for the team at Mozilla as well. Unfortunately for Mozilla, however, that enlightening has informed them that it might be time to end the experiment that is Firefox OS and instead focus on IoT (Internet of Things) projects instead. Here’s Mozilla’s statement on the end of Firefox OS:

“Through the work of hundreds of contributors we made an awesome push and created an impressive platform in Firefox OS. However, as we announced in December, the circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones. We have decided that in order to succeed in the new area of Connected Devices we must focus our energy completely on prototyping the future and exploring how we can make the biggest impact in IoT.”


Firefox OS support will cease after version 2.6. This news is probably a bit of a bummer for the people who have sunk time into seeing whether Firefox OS might have the legs to steal a part of the smartphone market, but it’s probably a necessary lesson that will hopefully serve as a precedent for other companies thinking about having a go as well.

What do you about the end of Firefox support? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Mozilla via TalkAndroid

The post Firefox OS will end support after version 2.6 appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

5
Feb

Audio software can make phone calls more intelligible


It can be tough hearing each other on the phone no matter how much you shout if you’re in a noisy environment. Fraunhofer believes its new audio software can solve that problem, though, and make even garbled loudspeaker announcements at train stations more understandable. The German research organization’s ADAPT DRC software uses microphones to listen to and analyze ambient noise. If it senses that it’s rather noisy around you, it boosts certain parts of your speech, particularly consonants like “p,” “t” and “k.”

The sounds those consonants make are short and higher in frequency, making them hard to hear. Fraunhofer’s software can adjust sounds to ensure the other person hears if you’re saying “paste” or “taste.” It can also amplify your voice when you speak softly and tone it down if you’re being too loud, as high volumes can distort your words. The organization says ADAPT DRC is already available to industrial partners. If any manufacturer wants to incorporate it into their devices, they can simply install it on their phones since they already have microphones. Train stations, however, will have to put up mics to be able to analyze ambient sounds.

Source: Fraunhofer

4
Feb

Android Wear update adds new gestures and voice-to-text


Since Android Wear’s debut, Google has regularly added new features for the wearable software. Today, those gadgets are getting three more tools — the stuff we first heard about back in November. First, Android Wear is adding new gestures for navigation through what’s on your smartwatch. You can push, lift or shake your wrist to peruse cards, pull up a list of apps or return to the home screen. If you’re not exactly sure how the movements work, you can get a tutorial on your Android Wear device from the Settings menu.

Android Wear already allows you to search or control music with your voice. Now, you can use those voice controls to send messages. Apps like Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp will all accept your spoken cues, so you won’t have to pull out your phone to text someone. For example, saying “OK Google, Send a Hangouts message to Edgar: Does 5PM work?” will employ the voice feature to complete the task.

Lastly, if you happen to have an Android Wear device with a built-in speaker, like the Huawei Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2, you can take calls and listen to messages on your wrist. Of course, you’ll be doing so in a speakerphone-like scenario, so you’ll want to be sure you have some privacy. All of these features are rolling out “over the next few weeks,” which means you’ll be able to take advantage soon enough.

Source: Google

3
Feb

Podcasts are showing up in Google Play Music for some users


Yesterday, HBO’s Bill Simmons tipped the arrival of podcasts in Google Play Music this month, and the launch appears to be close at hand. In fact, Android Police reports that podcasts are showing up inside the app for a few users. Google revealed its plans to bring the episodic audio content to its app back in October, but there was no word on a launch date or how they would work with the existing software. Thanks to an apparent server issue during the test phase, we now have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

As you might expect, the Podcast section looks like the rest of Google Play Music. Shows are arranged in a card-like interface with artwork and detailed descriptions. On the show screen, there are controls for playing the most recent episode, subscribing or reading all of the info on the podcast. If you opt to subscribe, the app will ask you if you want to automatically download the five most recent episodes or receive notifications when new material is posted.

When you begin playing an episode, the interface offers those skip ahead and skip back 30 seconds buttons that are a must alongside the usual play/pause and skip controls. There are some other features we’d like to see in the final version (like playlist controls), but the integration looks pretty straightforward. We just hope the selections aren’t limited to a collection of popular shows. Podcasts will also show up when you search from the main menu, so you don’t have to navigate to the dedicated section in order to hunt for one. There’s still no word on when this will go live for everyone, but it looks like Mr. Simmons may have been correct after all.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Android Police

2
Feb

SoundCloud adds stations to encourage music discovery


It’s no secret that SoundCloud is aiming to roll out its audio streaming service this year, and the company is laying the groundwork with new features. With an update to both the Android and iOS apps, SoundCloud added a new stations feature to encourage music discovery. The continuous play tool will help you find songs that aren’t available anywhere else by starting an endless mix from any track. And yes, it’s a feature that the likes of Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music already offer.
The stations feature uses your listening habits and the tracks you’ve liked to determine the mix. All you have to do tap the three-dot menu next to a track and select the “start track station” option. After the first song your station is based on plays, you’ll still get the title under what’s currently playing to you’ll know where you started. You know, in case something really strange pops up. If you find mix you like, you can revisit them from the “recent stations” under the “likes” section of your profile. The feature is live in both the iOS and Android apps now, but it hasn’t made it to the web just yet.

Via: The Next Web

Source: Google Play, iTunes

2
Feb

Nexus factory images with February security fixes are available today



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Right on cue, Google has today released new Nexus factory images which contain the security patch fixes for February. The images will have build numbers of either MMB29Q, MMB29U or MMB29R, and are available to download for the usual suspects: the Nexus 6P, 5X, 6, 9, 5, 7 and Player. Naturally, the software version number stays at Android 6.0.1, but as for what is actually fixed in this release, Google says it’s resolved some Critical security flaws:

“The most severe of these issues is a Critical security vulnerability that could enable remote code execution on an affected device through multiple methods such as email, web browsing, and MMS when processing media files. The Remote Code Execution Vulnerability in Broadcom’s Wi-Fi driver is also Critical severity as it could allow remote code execution on an affected device while connected to the same network as the attacker.”


To get the full, technical low-down, you can check out the rest of Google’s security bulletin here. And for those of you who want to flash the factory images to your device, you can get them from the Google Developers site. As always, make sure to back up your data before attempting this, otherwise sit tight and wait for the OTAs to start flowing.

What do you think about this month’s security patch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Google Developers, Android via Android Police

The post Nexus factory images with February security fixes are available today appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

2
Feb

Nexus factory images with February security fixes are available today



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Right on cue, Google has today released new Nexus factory images which contain the security patch fixes for February. The images will have build numbers of either MMB29Q, MMB29U or MMB29R, and are available to download for the usual suspects: the Nexus 6P, 5X, 6, 9, 5, 7 and Player. Naturally, the software version number stays at Android 6.0.1, but as for what is actually fixed in this release, Google says it’s resolved some Critical security flaws:

“The most severe of these issues is a Critical security vulnerability that could enable remote code execution on an affected device through multiple methods such as email, web browsing, and MMS when processing media files. The Remote Code Execution Vulnerability in Broadcom’s Wi-Fi driver is also Critical severity as it could allow remote code execution on an affected device while connected to the same network as the attacker.”


To get the full, technical low-down, you can check out the rest of Google’s security bulletin here. And for those of you who want to flash the factory images to your device, you can get them from the Google Developers site. As always, make sure to back up your data before attempting this, otherwise sit tight and wait for the OTAs to start flowing.

What do you think about this month’s security patch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Google Developers, Android via Android Police

The post Nexus factory images with February security fixes are available today appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

28
Jan

Yahoo Mail app lets you customize your inbox swipes


Yahoo debuted a new Mail app back in the fall, and today the mobile software is getting a few new features. First, both the Android and iOS versions will allow you to customize your swipes. This means that when you’re looking at your inbox, you can opt to swipe right to archive or swipe left to mark as spam. Other actions include starring a message and marking it as read. When using a long press to select multiple messages, you can now star a group of emails or mark them as spam from the so-called multi-select toolbar in the app.

For the iOS version, Yahoo is looking to make hunting for the file you’re trying to attach easier. The app will display a collection of recently received photos and files alongside a search bar so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for quickly. The iOS version also allows you to create, delete and rename folders and subfolders with a long press. Android users can now move or star messages as soon as they arrive. Thanks to actionable notifications, you can deal with an email the moment it arrives on your device. Updates for both OSes are rolling out today.

27
Jan

Dating app Lulu’s controversial guy reviews are no more


When Lulu launched over two years ago, its approach to mobile dating raised more than a few eyebrows. Instead of connecting girls with eligible dudes nearby, the app let them share anonymous reviews of men they knew, complete with hashtags like “#LifeOfTheParty,” “#TallDarkAndHandsome” and “#PlaysDigeridoo.” Some loved it. Some were mortified. Still others wondered what the service could mean for the future of dating. The answer: apparently not much, because Lulu as we knew it is dead. A few days ago, the company quietly replaced its original app with a new version that cut out all of those juicy reviews in favor of a more generic — and very familiar — dating experience.

The updated software is live in both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, but its existing website still refers to the old, review-heavy version. It’s only when you go to new.onlulu.com that you get a sense of the company’s new mission. And more importantly, users are pretty pissed off too:

No wonder they’re miffed. Say what you will about the value of anonymous reviews; Old Lulu was a platform based more on information than action. You went there to see if that guy you just met was a creep, not to strike up a conversation or send emoji (though you could if you really felt like it). The new, neutered Lulu pegs itself as a “fresh way to meet new people,” letting users see others they’ve crossed paths with while traipsing around in the real world. One thing becomes obvious after even the briefest moment spent poking around in either the app or the new Lulu website, though: they’re both carbon copies of UK dating app/site Badoo. In fact, Lulu didn’t even take the time to scrub the Badoo logos off the images plastered on their “new” site:

Now, before anyone cries foul (or copyright infringement), know that Badoo has a white-label program that allows other companies to build services on top of its sizeable social network, and those companies seem to be able to just swap out logos if they feel like it. Lulu isn’t alone, either. Consider Blendr, the app often referred to as Grindr’s counterpart for straight people. Total Badoo clone. And remember Hot or Not, one of the best/worst ways to waste time in the early 2000s? It’s goddamn Badoo again! We’ve reached out to both Lulu and Badoo in hopes of clearing up the exact nature of their relationship, but neither responded yet (and we’re pretty sure it’s a white-label deal anyway).

At the very least, New Lulu/Badoo pays a little lip service to the idea of dating intelligence by showing off a ratio of how many times a person has been liked versus disliked. Still, the snarky, valuable and sometimes upsetting original has been replaced with a toothless impostor that mashes up features from rival services.

It’s not clear why Lulu took such a drastic leap, but we can hazard a few guesses. The one-sided nature of Old Lulu meant mostly women extracted value from the service; they’d get juicy tips on all the little things that did or didn’t make a guy dateable. Naturally, being a guy on the other end could be tricky, especially if you got tagged with a string of less-than-stellar reviews.

This experiential disconnect led to plenty of debates — often about how the app could transform the conventions of modern dating — that didn’t make the process of building a functional business any easier. The revamp equals the playing field in that both men and women can use the service, but man — if Lulu was looking for a competitive advantage, literally turning their product into a carbon copy of multiple others was not the way to do it.

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