Google Now launcher now in Google Play for all Nexus and GPE devices

When Google updated Google Search for Android which introduced the Google Now launcher, they put in place the functionality and ability to be a standalone launcher that hinted at a possible launch to Google Play at a future date, and that date is today, with Google releasing the Google Now launcher to Google Play. The description stipulates that the Google Now Launcher is only 'Available on Nexus or Google Play edition devices with Android 4.4 (KitKat)' so if your Nexus is still lagging behind on updates, or isn't compatible with Android 4.4 - sorry Nexus One, Nexus S and... Continue reading

[MWC 2014] HTC ‘Power to Give’ lets you use your phone’s idle CPU time for good

Distributed computing projects are nothing new, but so far none have leveraged the ubiquity of the modern smartphone. During their press conference at MWC this morning, HTC announced the 'Power to Give' programme, which will initially target unused CPU cycles on the latest HTC phones, but will eventually expand to all Android devices. Distributed computing projects involve breaking large calculations or analytical processes down into small pieces, which are each performed on separate devices, reducing the need to rely on expensive supercomputers. Participants will download some software to their computer, which when not in active use, starts crunching... Continue reading

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras finally brings its Android app out of the closet

Well its that time of the year again where curling wands are flying around, glitter fills the night sky and music beats out loud to the sound of the nightlife folk. Yes it's the annual Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festival which began back on February 7 through to March 2 and now thanks to their new Android (and iOS) app, you can keep up to date with all the latest that is happening in and around Sydney City. The App, which is free to download now from the Play Store, is very much a direct native port of... Continue reading

Google Currents now merged with Newsstand in recent update

Well its official, Google Currents, which was a beautiful looking newsreader App, which allowed users to keep up to date with their favourite leading publications, from breaking news headlines to blogs all in one neat package has finally bitten the dust in a recent update. The update which is available through the Play Store now, users are prompted to click through to Newsstand when trying to access their library but before you fret over what will happen with all your subscriptions because Google has covered that for you, as all current subscriptions are ported over automatically to Newsstand. When... Continue reading

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $US19b, nets 400 million daily users

It must be nice to have billions of dollars to throw around. That's just what Facebook has done, announcing today the purchase of WhatsApp Inc (and its eponymous cross-platform messaging app) for a cool $US 19 billion in cash and stock. That sounds like a lot, and it is: contrast with Facebook's acquisition of Instagram for just $US 1 billion not all that long ago, and you can see very quickly that Facebook wanted WhatsApp bad. Why? WhatsApp claims to have around 450 million regular users which Facebook, as part of the acquisition, can now count amongst its own. WhatsApp will,... Continue reading

TuneIn Radio Pro now allows you to record to SD card

The makers of TuneIn Radio Pro have rolled out a new update which gives users the ability to record radio to their SD card. Of course there are other new features as well, but this is the headline. TuneIn Radio Pro has offered users the ability to record their favourite radio shows before, but this was limited to devices' internal storage. Internal storage can be kind of limited on all but the top-shelf handsets, so the ability to now record to SD cards gives users a lot more space to play with (and record to). Here is a couple of screenshots... Continue reading

LG adds more smarts to Knockon with Knockcode

Last week, LG revealed revealed to Korean press the latest device to follow up from its G Pro smartphone, the LG G Pro 2 The press were invited to have hands on experience with the G Pro 2 whilst also taking a look at the newest software addition, Knockcode. To fresh your memory about what Knock is all about, if an LG device features back-facing keys, users can double tap on the device’s screen to turn the display on and off. Now while this feature is still quite cool, the company has has programmed in a way for users to set... Continue reading

Strava Cycling — App Review

With so many running, cycling and various assorted fitness apps out there at the moment I thought I would take a look at one of the more popular cross fitness styled applications, Strava. Immediately there's a lot to like about the app, regardless of whether you're on Android or iOS (clearly my testing has been done Android, not the latter). The fact that there is an app for both major platforms is a huge bonus, so you're not caged into one or the other and you won't lose your data should you see the light and head... Continue reading

Blackberry’s BBM receives update to 2.0, new features added

Blackberry has begun pushing out an update for its messaging services, BBM, to Android, iOS and Blackberry users which has brought a raft of new and additional features which the company originally announced late last year. The features which the new BBM is bringing to users include: BBM Voice Blackberry are stating that BBM voice will enable iOS and Android users to make free calls to BBM contacts anywhere in the world using your Wi-Fi or data connection. It would seem it is somewhat similar to Google Hangouts and iMessage where free texts or calls can be made over WiFi, or your... Continue reading

Popular messaging app Viber sells for 900 million

The hugely popular cross platform messaging application Viber has sold for a whopping US$900 Million. With 225 Million users worldwide, the purchase (undoubtedly in large part for the userbase) makes users worth about US$4 each to the purchasing company, Japanese internet giant Rakuten. Viber is possibly the most genuine cross platform application of its type, supporting Android, Android Tablet, iOS, Blackberry, Nokia (Symbian), Windows and Mac OS clients with persistent notifications across all of the above listed platforms for a single login. While all major messaging platforms have their pitfalls, the only other competitors that... Continue reading

Rovio teases new Angry Birds instalment known as Stella

Look, we'll be up-front here, there's not much in this news. It looks like Rovio, the house behind the popular Angry Birds franchise, has another game on its way which is only known at this stage as Angry Birds Stella. There's not much more known, beyond the image released above, and a movie-style poster showing a number of the Angry Birds in silhouette, shown below: Lastly, we have Rovio's statement on the upcoming release which might indicate a slight change in the usual Angry Birds-style gameplay, but exactly what that change will look like, and how it will work... Continue reading

Google Play Music updated to version 5.4, brings new features

Google has updated their Play Music app this week to version 5.4, and with the new release comes a couple of new features and some improvements to existing options. Perhaps the biggest changes are the inclusion of a 'My Devices' interface, offline radio and refreshing your music. My Devices Play Music, like most online music services, limits the number of devices that can be linked to one account, and in this case, the limit is 10. However, there hasn't (previously) been a way to monitor which devices are connected to your account except for an option on the website (i.e. you couldn't... Continue reading

Aviate invites you to rock out with its new “Listening” space

The Aviate team today released an update for the popular launcher replacement which contains a new "Listening" space. Aviate now detects when you plug in headphones and displays your "Music" app group along with music playback controls in the new space. It'll also display additional information like the artist's bio (if it can find it), and sometimes even their top Twitter posts as you can see in the screenshots below. You'll also need to allow Aviate to access and perform actions on your notifications in order to enable music playback controls. The "Listening" space is Aviate's first space that isn't... Continue reading