Software / Applications
Amazon has announced Unlocked, a new service for Android apps that is similar to Amazon Prime with some of its offerings. Unlocked will let people download paid apps and in-app purchases for free. As great as that may be for users, the apps and other content downloaded for free can also be taken away if a user gets rid of their Unlocked subscription.
We’ve all been there: you’re hanging out with your friends in the kitchen, listening to Spotify on a bluetooth speaker, and suddenly a lyric dispute comes up. Quickly, your best friend becomes your mortal enemy as you rewind and play through the troublesome lyric in the chosen song over and over again. Maybe it’s just my group of friends, but we still remember the battle over Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.”
The new real time translation feature in Skype is beginning to roll out in a preview program. Those who are a part of the preview program will be able to use Skype Translator beginning today in English and Spanish. With the feature, users speaking to each other in different languages won’t have to worry about not understanding each other. Translated audio appears as text or sound for receiving users.
Another application has been launched by Biz Stone, one of the main co-founders originally involved in Twitter. Stone’s latest app, Super, lets people talk with others who are nearby and it includes meme-like features. Super includes pictures with all of the statements made by users, and each post must start with things like “The Best”, “I Wish”, or “My Favorite”.
A new Kindle update has been announced by Amazon that includes a family book sharing feature called Family Library. The feature will let people access the books in another user’s Amazon account, and therefore, let people share books. Amazon says the feature is restricted to family members like children, partners, and spouses, though it is not clear how that will be enforced.
A new app called Antix has launched, and it lets people easily edit their GoPro videos. When someone is using an action camera like the GoPro, hours of raw footage is normally captured, but few people are great at editing that sort of footage. Antix automatically determines what to take out of the raw footage and what to toss out.
A new Chrome extension has been launched by Google, and the extension is meant to improve the bookmark system included with the browser. The Google Bookmark Manager gets rid of lists in favor of more graphics, since each bookmark pulls picture data from websites. When installing and switching to the extension, bookmarks that are pre-existing can update to include graphics.
Google has officially passed Motorola to Lenovo in a nearly $3 billion acquisition deal. While Motorola was under the control of Google, the company’s phones received faster upgrades and were outfitted with “pure” iterations of Android. Even with the acquisition, those things will not change, according to Motorola Mobility president Rick Osterloh.
Google has revealed some of the new security features in Android L in a blog post. The company says Android L is the first version of the mobile operating system that turns on encryption by default, and it has many other security features that can be utilized if necessary. Google says these new features will roll out with Android L to devices within the coming weeks, at least for some smartphones and tablets.
A security flaw has been discovered in Find My Device from Samsung, a feature that helps people locate their smartphone or tablet. Security researcher Mohamed Baset has demonstrated the potential for people to use Find My Device to actually take over a Samsung device.
While I, personally, haven’t had the opportunity to play around with the Windows Kinect motion sensor, I’ve seen it in action and it looks quite fun. When it comes to gaming on an Xbox, who doesn’t like voice and full-body gesture control? But now, Microsoft is taking things to the next level with its latest SDK 2.0 for Kinect v2 sensors. Soon, we’ll see Kinect-compatible apps in the Windows Store.
Google is updating all of its applications to add support for Material Design, the new design that is being used in Android 5.0 Lollipop. One of the apps that is being updated is Gmail, and it turns out the next version of the mobile email application will have support for Outlook and Yahoo accounts.