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1 month ago

Making the case for WhatsApp as a digital payments platform in India

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WhatsApp isn't just a texting app. It's an all-encompassing platform.

WhatsApp usage is ubiquitous in India. Out of 1.2 billion global users, 200 million are located in India, making the country the largest market for the messaging service. Over the course of the last two years, WhatsApp evolved from a barebones messaging app — which is how it gained prominence in India — to a full-fledged communications platform that supports voice calls, (/whatsapp-officially-launches-video-calling), easy backups to Drive, a web client and desktop apps for WIndows and Mac, GIF support, and numerous tweaks to the interface.

The service hit 1 billion users early last year, and shortly enabled end-to-end encryption for all users. A key reason for its success was that it was lightweight, making it a viable texting app on phones with limited resources; and its availability on all mobile platforms. The former allowed users from markets like India that were making their way online for the first time to get started with the service, and the latter ensured that they could communicate with their friends irrespective of whether they were on Symbian, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, or iOS.

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1 month ago

LastPass users, here's what to expect in Android O

11

The company details what using LastPass will be like in Android's next tasty iteration.

Do you use LastPass? And do you plan to use Android O on your device? In a lengthy blog post, LastPass detailed what to expect from the password manager now that Android will offer auto-fill capabilities across the entire operating system.

From its blog:

Here at LastPass, the hands-down, most-exciting part of Android O is Autofill APIs. Users running Android O will save tons of typing time and stay more organized thanks to Autofill APIs.

Autofill More than Passwords

Using LastPass on Android makes you more secure, but it also saves you time. You don't have to spend time typing lengthy passwords in your browser or your favorite apps. Autofill APIs are going to let us save you even more time on your Android device, because we'll be able to help you fill in more than just passwords. The Autofill Framework lets apps like LastPass recognize credit card forms and addresses as you come across them. If you've got that information stored in your vault, we'll be able to safely fill it for you. 

As an example, let's say you're treating yourself to a new pair of headphones. You open the Amazon app, and to sign in, you'll just tap on the screen to unlock LastPass and we'll show you the matching sites in your vault. You find the right headphones, put them in your cart, and go to checkout. Do you want to ship them to work, or to the house? Tap again, and we'll present you with the addresses you've stored in LastPass. Which credit card do you want to use? Tap again, choose your Amazon Visa, and voila, you're two days away from new headphones. As long as they're in LastPass, you'll never have to type an address or a credit card number again.

Performance and Security Improvements

In addition to the time savings, we anticipate other performance improvements as well. Today, LastPass relies on Android's accessibility features to identify password fields we can help you fill. The accessibility approach has two drawbacks which we believe Autofill will address: (1) it's more processor-intensive, counteracting the time we want to save our users, and (2) it requires that users grant us extra permissions. The Autofill Framework is purpose-built to allow apps like LastPass to fill eligible forms on a user's behalf, and nothing else. We believe strongly in user privacy and security, and we're happy to see Google introduce this method for safer, more efficient browsing.

Overall, you'll be able to choose LastPass's virtual vault to store your passwords, credit card information, and oft-used addresses. The service will extend its abilities to the entire operating system, as per Android O's autofill mechanism.

It's unclear yet just how it will work on Android O, but it sounds like you'll be able to choose LastPass as the default password manager, which is nice if you're particularly invested in an account with the company. 1Password recently announced it would do the same.

Android O

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 month ago

Best Clips alternatives for Android

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What are the best Clips alternatives for Android?

Clips, "a new video sketching app from Apple that aims to give everything from your iMessage to your Insta a whole new level of lit", launched this week, and people are pretty pumped about it for a few reasons:

1) It allows you to shoot video with a wide variety live filters.

2) You can speak and have your words appear onscreen (almost flawlessly) in real-time, making editing captions after the fact totally unnecessary.

3) Forget knock-off, crummy, royalty-free music – you get to pick from tracks from artists like Hans Zimmer, Dick Haggerty, Alvin Risk, and more.

The app is a little bit of something new with stickers and filters and funky new features, and a little bit of your old fashioned standard video editor, but one thing that it isn't is available for Android.

While they won't come super-duper close to the real thing, here are three Clips alternatives that you can use on Android right now!

Funimate Video Effects Editor

Clips is a super simple app to use: just open it up, adjust your filters and live text settings, hit the big red button, add music, add stickers, save your clip, and you're good to go. Another app that mirrors that simplicity and effortless fun feel is the Funimate Video Effects Editor for Android!

Funimate allows you to create professional image slideshows and add soundtracks [to your video]. It boasts more than 30 video effects that you can play with, and the editing process is very easy, so you can make your video more enjoyable, creative and unique! (Liza Brown, Filmora)

After you're done recording your video with Funimate Video Effects Editor, you can add different transition effects, filters, text, and more. You can even upload your video to the Funimate community and connect with other video creators!

One big difference between Funimate and Clips is the live text – you can't talk with Funimate and have the text instantly appear on screen. If you have text you'd like to add, you're going to have to do it the old fashioned way — with captions.

Download: Funimate Video Effects Editor (free)

Magisto Video Editor & Maker

With Magisto, you can turn all of your stale mobile footage into a polished compilation video that's ready to be shared. With the help of Magisto's seemingly magical technology, the app analyzes your videos, picks out interesting clips, and automatically edits them together, complete with music and transitions. It requires no editing skills at all. (Jaymar Cabebe, CNET)

If you're looking for an auto video-making app that will make sharing your videos simple (like Clips), allows you to add filters and effects (like Clips) and lets you pick your own music or select from its massive music library (like Clips), then take a peek at the Magisto Video Editor & Maker for Android!

Magisto Video Editor & Maker has been downloaded and used by over 80 million users worldwide, and was featured in Google Play Editors' Choice, Google's list of Best Android Apps, and CES best app of the year, so you know it has to be good.

After selecting your clips and uploading them to Magisto, you can pick your theme (there are options like Dance, Storyteller, Memories, Travel, etc), select your perfect soundtrack, set your movie length, and then make your movie. It's that simple!

While this app is super similar to Clips, there are a few differences: one, you can't add stickers or random captions across your movie, and two, there's no live text talking option. But it's still the closest thing we Android users have!

Download:Magisto Video Editor & Maker (free)

Quik - Free Video Editor

If you want a video app that does super similar things to Clips for your Android, that's just as reliable and fun to use, and has almost as much potential for you to edit and get creative with your footage, then keep the Quik - Free Video Editor in the back of your mind.

I mean, a video editing app from GoPro has to be pretty awesome, right?

It's designed to create videos that look professionally edited in just a few taps, whether or not you know how to edit. Users can select multiple videos that are stored on their phone, pick a soundtrack, and Quik automatically edits the videos together to the beat of the music. The app uses algorithms to search for the best moments in each video, and can even add transitions, effects, and filters. When the video is done, users can either post directly to social media or go back in to make minor tweaks to the finished product. (Sean O'Kane, The Verge)

With the app, you can either choose to record on the spot, or you can upload up to 75 photos and video clips from your albums, galleries, Google Photos, Facebook, or even GoPro Plus. The app does a ton of work for you, using face detect to frame each photo and video clip perfectly (and if you're not happy with the auto-edits, you can always change it yourself).

With Quik, you can pick and edit over 22 video styles with different transitions and graphics, while still having creative control over font, eye-catching graphics, and effect filters for any type of video.

The only big difference between Quik and Clips? You guessed it – no live text talking option, so you'll have to add in any speech/talking afterwards with captions.

Download: Quik (free)

What would you say is the closest app to Clips?

Is there an app that we missed on our list that you think is a dead-set dupe for Clips? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

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1 month ago

Facebook's AI assistant 'M' is finally available for Messenger

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Facebook Messenger users in the U.S. will now get contextual suggestions from M.

Facebook started testing its AI assistant for Messenger — simply called M — back in 2015, and the company is finally rolling out the service to everyone in the U.S.

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1 month ago

Best adult apps for Android

In an ocean of adult apps done poorly, these rise to the top.

If you're reading this, chances are you have an awesome pocket computer running Android at your disposal. Today's Android phones and tablets can pretty much do anything, and that includes things of an adult nature. We want to help you find and see that content the best way possible.

Updated, April 2017: This post has been updated with the best adult apps available right now.

Android After Dark

It's a big world out there, and it's not all Rated G. Welcome to Android Central's NSFW section — home to sex, booze and other stories of an adult nature. It's not for everyone — especially if you're underage —and that's OK. Be adult. Be respectful. And be responsible.

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

We're not here to condone or condemn anyone or anything — and by all means let's keep things legal — but we feel that adults using their Androids to peruse adult content is just fine and dandy. We bet a good number of you guys and gals feel the same way.

If you don't agree, that's cool, too. We also are firm believers in the "live and let live" philosophy, and fully respect your opinion and support your right to have it. We also advise you to not click through the break if you think you might be offended. We love you regardless.

Don't worry, we're not trying to push any boundaries or limits (too terribly far), we just want to share a list of the best ways to find and browse adult content on Android. And do it in an adult way.

Namaste my friend. Namaste.

There are countless ways to see adult content on your Android out there, covering a broad range of subject matter. This is our list of the best of the best, and ones we feel confident to recommend. Be sure to tell us in the comments if you know another we should have a look at. Sorting through apps is a tough job, and we always love hearing input about the great stuff we need to check out.

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1 month ago

Encrypt your family: How to send safer, smarter messages

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I just wanted my family's messaging habits to be a little more secure. And the move was easier than I expected.

Nothing scares a parent more than letting their kid roam free — even just a little bit — online. I'm under no illusions that my daughters won't run into something nefarious at some point, be it adult content, or a phishing scheme, or cyber-bullying. For the most part that's all part of growing up. It's just digital now, wherein back in my day (get off my lawn!) it was almost all analog.

Those are all things I can help educate against, though. Same goes for the basics — like having good password security.

What I can't do anything about is the bad actors out there. True sniffing and hacking and what not. While I'm not quite ready to explain VPNs to my family, I have taken a couple of steps that should at least make things a little harder on anyone who targets us. (And, I'd argue, taking little steps instead of going full-IT on the folks you live with is probably the better route anyway.)

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WhatsApp and Signal

Messaging

We've all used text messages, of course. But they're hardly secure. Things get better if you're in an all-iOS household, of course, because then iMessage gets thrown into the mix. That in and of itself is not a bad thing at all. But my household is mixed. (And platform-specific apps like iMessage are bad on principle anyway.) So it was time to move us to something new.

The wife and kid and I used Google's Allo for a bit. It's a very nice app. Runs great on Android and iOS. But nobody else we know uses it. (And it doesn't do encrypted messages by default.)

Then we switched to Signal for a bit. Think iMessage, only for everyone. It does SMS text messages and secure, encrypted messaging, in a single app. It's open-source, which is great. And it's free. I like it a lot.

Ultimately we moved to WhatsApp, though, along with roughly a billion or so other people. And that's mostly why. Signal is great, but we know more folks on WhatsApp. Both also have good web components, so you can type longer messages on a real keyboard.)

So if you need me, I'll be on one (or both) of those. It's certainly easy enough to switch at any time.

Also: Privacy matters more now than ever

ProtonMail

Email

Email is a little trickier, and I'd argue maybe not quite as important. Not that I'm passing secret messages all day long — I just wanted an option for easily encrypting email if I so desired.

Encrypting the content of an email is a tradeoff between security and convenience.

So I went down the rabbit hole that is PGP is pretty quickly decided it wasn't something I wanted to (or had any real reason to) mess with, to say nothing of trying to explain public and private keys to my 10-year-old kid. ... (I think I'll try to slip that in when it's time for The Talk. But let's face it, my kid's probably already smarter than me anyway, right?)

The general consensus (both out there in the real world as well as here at AC) is that ProtonMail is a really good place to start. So I gave it a shot and quickly made it my personal email service. It's got a free version, which might well be fine for you. But I went ahead and ponied up $48 for the yearly upgrade, which lets me use a custom domain.

The gist: It looks and acts a lot like Gmail. It's got a nice web interface, and the Android and iOS apps are excellent.

It does the usual end-to-end encryption for messages sent to other ProtonMail users. And it's super simple to encrypt messages to recipients outside ProtonMail. Just hit the little lock icon, add a password (that you'll have securely shared somehow beforehand), and then send. The person who you send that message to will then open the decrypted email in a web browser.

It's an extra step, yeah, and not one I use every day. Or even every week. But it's available if I need it, and it's easy to use. And that's really all I wanted.

The bottom line

There's no one right way to do more secure messaging. (There are a lot of really good ones, though.) And there's no way to guarantee that you might not get hacked somehow. Brute force is still very much a thing, and social engineering is even easier.

I just wanted to make it harder on someone who might just be sniffing around to get into our lives. So for that we've turned to WhatsApp for messaging, and I'm using ProtonMail for email.

Now I just have to figure out the best way to get the family onto a VPN when they need to.

Modern Dad

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 month ago

Gboard update adds a floating keyboard, cursor control, and GIF suggestions

27

Gboard is turning into the most feature-rich keyboard around.

Gboard has picked up a significant update to version 6.2 that introduces a slew of new features. In one-handed mode, you now have the ability to resize and reposition the keyboard, allowing you to move the keyboard to a location where it's comfortable to use. All you have to do is switch to one-handed mode, select the pop-out icon from the bottom left (or right, based on the orientation) of the keyboard, and move it around the display.

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1 month ago

Twitter Lite is a Progressive Web App that's designed for emerging markets

2

Twitter Lite is a 1MB Progressive Web App that has all the features as the native app.

Unlike Facebook, which is ubiquitous in India, Twitter hasn't managed to gain mainstream acceptance in the country. With growth stalling in developed countries, Twitter is now looking to emerging markets, and its latest attempt at gaining momentum in countries like India is a Progressive Web App called Twitter Lite.

The app —designed in collaboration with Google — takes up less than 1MB, and has all the features as the native app, including the timeline feed, direct messages, media uploads, offline support, trends, push notifications, and more.

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1 month ago

Google Play Music All Access finally goes live in India, starts at just ₹89 per month

9

Google Play Music All Access is the most affordable way to listen to music in India.

Google Play Music went live in India last year, offering customers the ability to buy and download millions of tracks starting at just ₹15 ($0.20). However, Google Play Music All Access — the company's subscription service that costs $9.99 in the U.S. — wasn't available at launch.

It took Google over six months, but All Access is now going live in the country. The best part about the service is that it costs just ₹89 per month ($1.4), an absolute steal when you consider the fact that you get unlimited access to Play Music's vast catalog. Google is offering a 30-day trial, and there is no reason whatsoever to not try out the service right now.

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1 month ago

Amazon will refund $70 million in accidental in-app purchases

4

A great reminder of why most app stores now require a passcode.

Amazon has effectively rescinded its appeal this week against the 2016 federal court decision which found the online retailer guilty of illegally billing users for unauthorized in-app purchases. Amazon had been ordered to provide refunds to those who had been affected.

In 2016, a US federal judge ruled that Amazon had failed to properly inform users before charging for in-app purchases, which are frequently found in free-to-play games. The in-app purchase mechanism failed to offer a password lock that could help parents block their children from making unwanted in-app purchases while playing games.

More than $70 million worth of in-app charges made between November 2011 and May 2016 will be eligible for the refunds. The refund program will be operated by Amazon, though there are no details on when it will start. Amazon won't just be doling out store credit either; it was ordered to deliver the refunds as paper checks or direct deposits.

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1 month ago

Netflix's new ratings system gets a thumbs-up

31

Netflix has a new ratings system, and it's all about simplicity.

Netflix has rolled out its new ratings system and recommendation engine, replacing the five star-based option for the simpler, more participation-friendly "thumbs-up, thumbs-down."

Netflix has had star ratings for much of our history, but we've learned through over a year of testing that while we've used stars to help you personalize your suggestions, many of our members are confused about what they do.

That's because we've all gotten used to star ratings on e-commerce and review apps, where rating contributes to an overall average, and the star rating shown next to a restaurant or a pair of shoes is an average of all the reviewers. On those apps, being a reviewer can be fun and helpful to others, but the primary goal isn't always to help you get better suggestions.

In contrast, when people see thumbs, they know that they are used to teach the system about their tastes with the goal of finding more great content. That's why when we tested replacing stars with thumbs we saw an astounding 200% increase in ratings activity.

That 200% increase in ratings activity, according to the company, should lead to more accurate recommendations, since an increasing number of Netflix's near-100 million user base is going to be participating in the program, improving the algorithm for everyone.

Netflix is doubling streaming quality without increasing bandwidth

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1 month ago

YouTube Go beta officially kicks off in India

5

YouTube Go is aimed at Indian customers on spotty connections.

Last year, Google announced that it would be introducing a barebones version of YouTube for Indian consumers primarily on 2G connections. Dubbed YouTube Go, the app is now available in beta from the Play Store for those located in India, offering a simplistic user interface and the ability to save videos offline.

Update: The app landed in the Play Store in February, but its availability was limited to a few users. Today, Google is making the beta available for everyone.

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1 month ago

Pinterest for Android now works with Nougat's app shortcuts

3

The social collaging app takes advantage of a new feature introduced in Android 7.1.

As Android users, we can appreciate when an app maker attempts to take advantage of some of Android native abilities. The app action shortcuts introduced in Android 7.1, for instance, are a worthy feature to add to marquee apps. Pinterest has certainly caught on.

The latest update to the Android app adds the aforementioned app action shortcuts. You can tap and hold on an icon from the Home screen for quick access to many oft-used tasks. There's even a shortcut for the new Lens feature, which uses your camera to find pins relevant to what you're seeing in real life. If you start to see you're using one particular feature more often than the others, you can drag it down and out to sequester it into its own shortcut icon.

The update is slowly rolling out to compatible Android devices with the Pinterest app installed. The company says the feature will come to the iPhone in the near future.

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1 month ago

Apple Music for Android now looks way more like iOS

47

Who else just remembered that Apple Music for Android was a thing?

Apple Music for Android just received its first major update since its debut in the Play Store last summer. Version 2.0 brings with it on-screen lyrics and better navigation. The menu has also been reorganized into four major sections. Here's the full changelog for Apple Music:

  • An all-new design brings greater clarity and simplicity to Apple Music
  • Now Playing. Read lyrics for songs as you listen.
  • Library. Navigate your music easily and see the Downloaded Music you can play offline.
  • For You. Get recommendations for playlists, albums, and more—based on music you love.
  • Browse. Listen to new music first, plus playlists for any mood or activity.
  • Radio. Tune in to Beats 1 shows or listen to stations for any genre.

One major feature update to the Apple Music for Android app that wasn't mentioned in the change log was the adoption of a decidedly iOS-like aesthetic. There is virtually no Material Design display in the app, unless you count the three-pronged menu button to the left.

If you're intrigued, or you live a dual platform kind of life, you can download Apple Music in the Google Play Store. A subscription to the service costs $10 a month.

Are you a streaming music customer? Let us know in the comments!

The best streaming music services

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1 month ago

What is the Android Open Source project?

3

Google makes money from Android by giving it away to everyone else.

Android is a free open-source operating system. The AOSP (Android Open Source Project) is free to download, free to alter, free to build into a product that can power just about anything. But it's probably not something you've ever used when you picked up a phone or other gizmo that runs "Android".

Android is not a thing as much as something you use to make a thing.

At its heart, Android is nothing more than a platform that anyone can use to run applications plus the bits and pieces needed for it to talk to standard hardware. We tend to think of Android as an operating system for a phone or tablet (or even a watch or television), but it's just a part of the software needed to get any device to turn on and do things. That being said, it's one of the most important parts.

Having a huge library of code that anyone can use is great. Having all the things people build with it able to use the same applications is even better. It's better for us because we will have a huge list of applications that work out of the box when we buy an Android-powered device. It's better for the companies making the devices because we'll want to buy them and they don't have to put in the work to build their own application platform. It's also great for Google because it means more devices will be able to use the internet and its services.

That last part is why Google maintains the AOSP. Google has always held the belief that everyone should have access to the internet. While some of the reasons may be altruistic and good-natured, the main reason Google as a company has these goals is because the internet is how it makes money. All companies exist to make mone, but with the AOSP, Google has found a new way to make money from everyone while giving away one of its most expensive products: Android.

This is done through the AOSP. Google maintains the Android source code. That means exactly what you think it does: It keeps things clean and tidy and up-to-date, then makes it available for other people. It also has people working full time to make improvements and add new features to Android. All of this is made available for anyone to freely use under a liberal license that allows changes to be made to the code and not submitted back to the maintainers. Samsung is allowed to do whatever it wants with the AOSP. So are you, and so am I. If we do something different, we can keep those changes to ourselves to offer a (hopefully) better product than anyone else can.

But the phones and gadgets we buy aren't running the AOSP as an operating system. What we see is the end result of someone or some company using it to create software that is unique and their own. This can be done by changing the code or by adding more code or even adding applications that aren't open sourced like the AOSP is. Every company that sells Android-powered gadgets, including Google itself, is doing this. But even this fits into Google's methods to make money because there are some restrictions when a company wants to use Google's popular applications and services.

The process is a circle. Google gives Android away. A company uses it on its phone. As consumers, we want Android phones that can use Google Play and Gmail and Google Photos and all the other things that make Android great. The company making the phone can bundle those features in for free as long as it makes sure its product can use every other application found in the Google Play store. Phone manufacturers, like Samsung, save time and money by not building their own application platform and application storefront; we get a phone with access to all the apps we love plus a market with over a million others, and Google gets a lot of people using its services and being on the internet to see Google's ads.

By making Android a big piece of an operating system that anyone can use for free, Google's investment in it pays off.

This couldn't happen without Android being free to use, so the time and money Google invests in Android makes it a very lucrative part of its business. By providing Android as source code anyone can use instead of a standalone product like Windows, Google can reap the benefits while another company does the work of building and maintaining a living operating system. AOSP means everyone wins, and that's the way we like it.

Android Nougat

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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