One of the cool features of iOS is that the screen lights up whenever you get a notification. This does consume a bit more battery than just having a notification light but it’s far more informative, and you know not just what the notification is about but can also get a brief look at the contents of the notification, making it easier to decide if you should act upon it or ignore it.
With the updated lockscreen notifications in Android Lollipop, Google has now also added a feature called Ambient display mode. This will allow the phone to light up the display when notifications arrive. Even better, it will wake the screen when you pick up the device, similar to the Moto X. Read more »
The next version of Google’s beloved Gmail app for Android will feature a a lot more than new material design. Gmail 5.0 for Android is bound to make most email clients for the OS redundant by offering support for accounts beyond those hosted by Google.
Gmail’s hot new feature appeared in a short walkthrough video. Read more »
Microsoft has published a new update for Skype in the Windows Phone app store. The new version is 2.24, and it debuts an interesting feature: drawing.
It’s just as it sounds, basically. You can tap the “+” icon in any chat and then select “drawing” to, well, draw – a picture, or whatever else your talent level allows you to. There’s also the possibility of adding a “personal touch” to a photo, or to annotate a Bing map. Read more »
Dropbox has updated its mobile app for iOS today, and with the new version comes support for Touch ID. Specifically, you can use the fingerprint sensor embedded into Apple’s wares to get access to your Dropbox.
This means no more entering passwords to view the files you have stored in this particular cloud service. Read more »
Thanks to the hard work of very talented developers over at the XDA-Developers community, the LG Nexus 4 has received Android 5.0 Lollipop earlier than Google is rolling it out officially. In addition, you can now get all of the Google apps with the updated looks on your own phone.
However, only rooted users may apply and the apps won’t work on all smartphones. Currently, the latest Material Design Google apps that are available as downloadable .apk files include Play Music, Play Books, Keep, Calendar, Gmail, Drive, Maps, Messenger and Fit. Read more »
Jolla and Rovio have teamed up to introduce the Angry Birds Stella launcher for Android. Jolla did an Android launcher in the summer, but now the latest version comes with an Angry Birds theme focusing on one of the game’s latest characters, Stella.
Since in its functionality, the Jolla Stella launcher is the same as before, you can experience the nice gesture-based controls while quenching your Angry Birds thirst. On top of that, the launcher comes with unlimited access to ToonsTV. It is accessible by making a swipe from the edge of the screen. Read more »
A small team at Skype went the startup route with the popular “send [arbitrary number] second videos!” formula. The new app is called Skype Qik (“quick”) and lets you record 42-second videos that you can send to one person or a whole group.
The app is available on Windows Phone, Android and iOS starting today. Read more »
Renowned optics manufacturer Carl Zeiss is making its own alternative to Samsung’s Gear VR headset that uses an inserted smartphone to generate a 3D world.
Unlike Samsung’s offering, the Carl Zeiss VR One will be compatible with a wide range of smartphones between 4.7″ and 5.2″, although you will have to purchase a special tray for each new device. Read more »
Free from Microsoft influence, Nokia quickly reoriented and made its HERE maps available on Samsung devices. And it would have you know it’s so much better than Google Maps where the offline mode is “a glorified screenshot.”
Google is an Internet company so offline mode was never much of a priority, while Nokia has been offering navigation software on its phones since less than 10 people had mobile Internet. Read more »
Google released a standalone News & Weather application for iOS. Available for download in the App Store, the app joins the rest of Google’s already extensive range of apps for Apple’s mobile platform.
Google News & Weather for iOS delivers coverage from 65,000 publications. Read more »
CyanogenMod 11 is now unofficially available for Android One devices. The ultra-popular custom ROM for Android made its way to the lineup of entry-level devices thanks to a crafty member of XDA Developers.
As is the case with most early unofficial ports, some hardware features of the MediaTek device are not ready for prime time just yet. Read more »
Adobe has launched a new video editing app for iOS today. It’s called Premiere Clip and it’s basically a mobile-friendly interpretation of Premiere Pro, the company’s desktop video editor.
Adobe Premiere Clip is created with the mainstream user in mind, and not just video professionals. It’s a bit similar to iMovie, allowing you to trim and arrange bits, filter your video, as well as add transitions and effects – though these are rather basic compared to what you can do on a computer. Read more »
This sure took a while, but Facebook is now officially the owner of WhatsApp. The social network agreed to buy the mobile messaging service on February 20, shocking the tech world by offering $19 billion for that privilege.
All the regulatory hurdles have now been cleared, so WhatsApp is finally part of Facebook. Read more »
Snapchat is one of the most popular messaging servicess among the teens. It’s been around for over three years now and even though it’s yet to monetize its user base, things are going very well for it. There were even rumors Snapchat refused acquisition bids from Facebook and Google worth $3 to $4 billion.
It seems the Snapchat CEO was right to turn those offers, if real. The company is estimating its value at $10 billion as it prepares for another round of financing. Read more »