1 month ago

Best eBook Reading Apps for Android in 2018


Get your book fix with an ebook reading app!

Books can be heavy, expensive, and take up valuable space in a cramped apartment. If you've been considering the jump from physical books to ebooks, you'll need to figure out the best e-reader for the job. Thankfully you've got a few options, depending on where you want to get your books, and how you want them to look on the screen.

Take a peek at our picks for the best ebook reading apps on Android!

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle pulls ahead of the pack of ebook readers with its access to a huge library of content, which includes free books and content from indie publishers. Many classic books like The Count of Monte Cristo are absolutely free, and you can read them on your mobile device, or desktop with the Kindle app. There is a book out there for you no matter what genre you are looking for, and even includes independently published content.

Kindle Direct Publishing even publishes content of varying lengths from self-published authors, or are otherwise unable to find a brick and mortar publisher. You can find titles ranging from Stephen King or Joe Hill to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Bell Hooks. Kindle Unlimited offers an endless selection of ebooks for a monthly fee.

In the app, you're able to customize fonts, margins, line spacing, and organize the books you've downloaded into collections so that it's easier to find the book you want to read. Kindle will also remember the page that you left on when you switch devices. This means that you can switch between your phone, Fire Tablet, and PC without ever losing your page in the process.

Download: Amazon Kindle (Free)

Google Play Books

Google Play Books gives you access to a vast bookstore, some of which are free. You'll also find some textbooks, although we'd like to see the textbook selection improve in the future. You can read books offline, use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words, and have your notes and place in the book saved across multiple devices through your Google account.

If you have a family account set up, then you can share books between everybody without having to purchase them multiple times. As you purchase more books, Google will also show you books that are similar to ones you have already purchased, in order to find new authors you may not have heard of before.

Google Play Books has a great selection for the bibliophile in your family, and will likely be loaded onto your Android phone when you purchase it. Staying within the Google ecosystem also makes it easy to share your purchases with family members, and keep all of your media in one place.

Download: Google Play Books (Free)


Kobo is a great way to read your favorite books whether it's on your phone or tablet. They have a gigantic selection filled with both new and established authors, including magazines and children's books. The most popular and trending ebooks are even updated hourly so that you don't miss an amazing story, even when it's coming from an author you've never heard of.

Kobo also includes a reading list, which lets you add items you are currently reading, as well as the books you intend to tackle. This makes it easy to keep track of your reading list, even when you're on the go.

As you begin to buy books and Kobo learns your likes, it will also build a recommendations list. This is made up of suggestions for new books or magazines, based on what you've already purchased. There is also a really awesome reading activity feature. It will show you how much time you've spent reading in the app, what books you are currently reading, a running tally of how many books you've read and how many pages you've turned in the process.

Kobo delivers an awesome reading experience with plenty of books to read through, as well as features that make finding a good book easier than ever. You can customize your reading experience, and since Kobo will learn your preferences over time, you'll find new authors with just a tap. As a final perk when you sign up you'll get a $5 credit to be used towards your first book purchase.

Download: Kobo Reader (Free)


If you want to continue shopping at Barnes and Noble, the Nook app is what you're looking for. It's the company's branded app, which gives you access to a huge library of books, magazines, and periodicals.

Since this is the official app from Barnes and Noble, if you buy into their yearly membership you can apply those discounts through the app. You also get access to tons of features to customize your reading experience, like spacing, sizing, and font selection. You can also share your library with family members, organize the way you like, and bookmark upcoming books that are available for pre-order.

Download: Nook (Free)


While being able to purchase books from a major retailer and download them to your phone is awesome, sometimes the books you want to read are ones that you already have the files for. Whether you've picked up ebooks from an independent publisher, or you've gotten the files from a now-defunct program, being able to open and read them is key. That's where Moon+Reader comes in.

It has support for 12 different file formats, from .rar files all the way to .epub files. On top of that, you still are able to customize the way words look on the screen, lets you back up your library online, and gives you access to 5 auto-scroll options on top of plenty more fantastic features.

Download: Moon+Reader(Free)

Are you reading?

While you might miss the feel of a book in your hands, or the smell of aged paper, there's a reason ebooks are so popular: they can save you space and money. If you've made the choice to move solely to ebooks, you have a variety of different e-readers to choose from. Do you use an e-reading app? Let us know about it in the comments below!

December 2017: We've added Nook and Moon+Reader to our list, and updated the info on all the best ebook apps!

Read more and comment

1 month ago

YouTube signs deal with two music labels ahead of new streaming service


Universal and Sony join the mix.

Following Google Play Music and YouTube Music, Google is expected to launch its third streaming service at some point in 2018. Referred to as "YouTube Remix," YouTube just signed two deals with major labels in the industry to help give the service as much of a fighting chance as possible.

The current YouTube Music app.

According to Bloomberg, YouTube has signed deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Part of the deal has to do with allowing YouTube to continue to host uploaded videos featuring songs by the labels, but there's also a clear intent of adding more content to the new streaming service.

Sony, Universal, and Warner are all on board for YouTube Remix.

For years now, YouTube's been at arms with music labels about whether or not it's paying enough money to copyright holders for users that listen to songs for free on the website. With the launch of YouTube Remix (or whatever it ends up being called), YouTube will likely make a strong push to convert regular YouTube users to paid Remix subscribers to help strengthen its relationship with these labels.

In addition to Universal and Sony, YouTube has also signed a deal with Warner Music Group.

We're anticipating YouTube Remix to launch at some point next year, but it's still unclear how much it'll cost or where it'll fit in with Google's other music services.

Google reported to launch its third music streaming service in 2018

Read more and comment

1 month ago

YouTube TV won't come to Roku or Apple TV until 2018


The app is scheduled for a launch in Q1 of next year.

This past November, YouTube TV finally started making its way to the big screen. The app first launched on Android TV and Xbox One consoles, and this was soon followed up with a release on select Samsung and LG smart TVs. Two of the biggest platforms still missing out on YouTube TV are Roku and Apple TV, and it looks like we'll have to wait a while longer before we get to use it.

YouTube TV was originally scheduled for a launch on Roku and Apple TV at some point before the end of 2017, but when speaking with CNET, a representative from YouTube stated that this has been pushed back to Q1 of 2018. The reason for this delay is unknown, but it certainly is irritating for owners of either television platform that have been anxious to give YouTube TV a shot.

Since its launch, Google has expanded YouTube TV to over 80 markets across the United States in an attempt to get as many people using it as possible. I enjoyed my time with YouTube TV when I had it, but as good as the service already is, a delayed launch on Roku and Apple TV isn't going to do anything to help it.

The YouTube TV television app.

Competitors like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and even newcomers like Philo are already available to use on Roku, and even T-Mobile has plans to jump in the Internet-based television market at some point next year. Apps for Roku and Apple TV should make a lot more people consider using YouTube TV, but with so much stiff competition in this industry already, Google will be looking at a pretty tough fight going into the new year.

T-Mobile is getting into the streaming television business with Layer3 TV acquisition

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Google Chrome's ad-blocking feature launching in February


Get ready for a cleaner Internet.

Following a report that came out in April, Google announced in June that it'd be introducing a new feature to its Chrome web browser that blocked obtrusive advertisements. The company originally stated that Chrome's ad-blocker would launch at some point in early 2018, but we now have a specific date of February 15, 2018, as the official launch of it.

As a quick refresher, Chrome's ad-blocker will help filter out advertisements that don't meet new standards that have been created by the Coalition for Better Ads. The Coalition for Better Ads has a list of rules and guidelines that online advertisements need to follow so they don't get blocked from Chrome, and violations include the likes of pop-ups, ads that take over your entire screen, automatically playing videos, etc.

Following the launch of the ad-blocker on February 15, any advertisements that have a status of "failing" in the Coalition's Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days will be blocked from Chrome. The idea of the whole thing is to prevent online ads from becoming too aggressive or in your face, and I'm sure that's something anyone who's ever gone online can stand behind.

A few examples of "least preferred ad experiences" that the Coalition is fighting against.

Chrome's ad-blocker doesn't appear to be launching with a new version of the web browser, so it's likely a server-side feature that Google will be able to turn on for all users over the course of a few days. The ad-blocker will be available for both desktop and mobile, and it'll be quite interesting to see how the online landscape changes following its release.

Google, an ad company, will soon block 'bad ads' in Chrome

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Android Oreo beta now available for Nokia 6


Launching first through Nokia Mobile Beta Labs.

HMD Global, the company in charge of Nokia-branded Android phones, has been doing a commendable job with fast software updates. So far we've seen Oreo updates pushed out to the Nokia 8 and Nokia 5, and the next handset to share in on the Oreo love is the Nokia 6.

Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, Juho Sarvikas, made the announcement via Twitter on December 19, and like other Nokia devices, the Nokia 6 will first get Oreo through the Nokia Mobile Beta Labs program.

You can enroll in the program and register your device on the official Nokia website, and once you do, you'll receive an OTA update for 8.0 Oreo within a matter of minutes.

An official build of Oreo should be available soon, but if you want to test it out now and put up with the possibility of a few bugs here and there, today's your day.

Android Oreo

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Best Android messaging apps of 2018


Which apps are worth using to stay in touch? We've got the scoop.

When it comes to keeping up with everyone involved in your life, staying in touch can be easier typed than spoken, right? If you're trying to figure out the best messaging app to ensure you never miss an invitation, or always get the scoop from your best friends, you've come to the right place.

We've got the best messaging apps on Android for you right here!


There is almost no contest. WhatsApp is an all-inclusive messaging app that's all you need for staying in touch, no matter where you are in the world. WhatsApp merely relies on whether your phone has an Internet connection — whether that's through cellular or Wi-Fi — so it's great if you're frequently traveling between regions. You can use WhatsApp to send and receive photos, videos, documents, and voice messages. It also supports group chats and voice calls.

If you're looking for a formidable, all-in-one messaging that's packed with more features than some of Google's offerings, WhatsApp is the second-most popular messaging app available. Just remember that both parties have to be using the WhatsApp app to communicate, though all it requires to register is your phone number.

The truth is, that out of everything on our list Whatsapp is the best all around messaging app for Android, and one of the most popular messaging apps worldwide.

Download: Whatsapp(Free)

Google Hangouts

Text messages, video chat, group chats — it's all there in Google Hangouts. We still don't know where Google is taking its once heralded messaging app, but for now, we're still using it to chat. Use it to easily multitask between conversations with your friends, family, and colleagues between your different Google accounts. You can even use Hangouts to make phone calls with your Google Voice number or download the Hangouts Dialer to make free Wi-Fi calls.

Google Hangouts is attached to your Google Account, which means that if you have an Android phone, chances are this app is already lurking waiting to be used. It has tons of functionality, and works whether you are on a computer, your phone, or a tablet.

For now, Hangouts is basically a required app if you're planning to stay connected in the Google-verse. We're not sure where Google is taking it (some are expecting it to see it become the next prized messaging app of the enterprise), but there are definitely more people using it than Allo or Duo.

Download: Google Hangouts(Free)

Messenger from Google

You're already a Google user, so you might as well stay with the family when it comes to text messaging. Messenger from Google lets you receive SMS and MMS messages — simple as that! Messenger supports RCS messaging, audio messaging, emoji, location sharing, colored text threads, and message archiving. It even comes with its own batch of stickers!

Google Messenger isn't actually one of the more talked about messaging apps, which is a shame. Everything it does, it does well, and that matters when you're only really communicating via text. Of course, if you prefer audio but don't want to actually make a phone call, you can also send audio messages to friends, along with photos or videos.

Messenger from Google is a great way to get access to all of the feature you want, while messaging over SMS instead of the internet. You can even block folks you don't want to receive messages from, search for a specific person or thread, and US users will be able to take advantage of sending money via Google Wallet!

Download: Messenger from Google(Free)

Facebook Messenger

Chances are, you've got an overwhelming list of friends and family who've become suddenly available on Facebook. Keep up with them all by downloading Facebook Messenger. The app supports messaging from both your Facebook account and phone number. You don't have to use the SMS feature if you don't want to, but it could be helpful if you find yourself constantly jumping between apps.

Facebook Messenger is one of the more dynamic messaging apps. It offers a hefty number of sticker packs, not to mention stellar video chat functionality. The app also supports group chats — including group voice chats — audio messaging, read receipts, and location sharing services. You can even use Facebook Messenger to swap cash with friends. Additionally, there are features to make calls over Facebook Messenger which is handy for anyone who needs to actually call someone, but no longer has their actual phone number.

It's also a great way to deal with group planning, especially since you can use Facebook Messenger from a mobile device, your laptop, or even a tablet. Granted downloading it does mean your mom will have an easier time getting a hold of you, since she'll be able to see when you've read her messages.

Download: Facebook Messenger(Free)

Signal Private Messenger

If your biggest concern when messaging with friends and family is security and privacy, then Signal Private Messenger is the one to take a look at. You can send and receive messages, start group chats, make calls over Wi-Fi, and more, without worrying that someone else is taking a peek at your conversations.

Signal is absolutely free and uses end-to-end encryption protocol to ensure your privacy with every message you send. It uses your already existing phone number, so there are no extra hoops to jump through like a new password or username. While both you and the message recipient need to be using Signal for it to work, this is just a tap away. Calls can be a little pesky, since, depending on your connection, they can go from seriously static-y to crystal clear, but for messaging it's a fast and easy-to-use interface.

Security and privacy are the real features of using Signal. The app itself is very simple and pared down, because they want you to be able to chat away without worrying that there is anybody who can peer over your messages the way they can on Facebook Messenger or Instagram DMs.

Download: Signal(Free)

What's your favorite?

Do you have a favorite app for exchanging messages? Did your pick make our list, or do we need to add it in here? Let us know about it in the comments below!

December 2017: We've updated this post with Signal on Android, as well as updates to these other great messaging apps!

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Talon reimagines how Twitter's timeline should look


Highlighting what matters.

The stock Twitter app has received some greatly-needed updates over the past couple years, but for those that still feel like it's missing that something special, there's no shortage of third-party clients to choose from. Talon is one of the more popular Twitter clients around, and it's getting a new UI for your timeline that admittedly looks really nice.

Called "Timeline Style", this new layout showcases tweets as their own cards and places the metadata around them so it's still easy to find but doesn't get in the way of tweets themselves. The developer of Talon, Luke Klinker, says that Timeline Style works best on larger phones and allows you to better focus on the content that matters.

Any images, videos, website links, GIFs, or quoted tweets are placed below the main tweet as their own card, and everything is connected by a never-ending line on the left. As the name suggests, it helps make Twitter's timeline look more like an actual timeline.

Talon's new Timeline Style UI.

You can enable the new look by opening up Talon and going to Settings -> App Style -> Timeline Style Tweet Layout, and before applying it to the app, you'll now see a quick preview of how it'll change things so you can decide whether or not it's something you'll like.

Timeline Style won't be replacing the default layout for Talon anytime soon, but if you want to check it out for yourself, it's available now as part of the latest update to the app.

Best Twitter Apps for Android

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Best Christmas Countdown apps


Keep track of the days with these Christmas Countdown apps!

Christmas is almost here bring colder weather (in some parts of the world), holiday parties with friends, and presents to purchase for your loved ones. With so much going on this month, it's easy to become a Grinch, or lose track of the days. If you want to really get into the spirit, or you just like a regular reminder of how much time is left until Christmas day dawns, then check out these Christmas countdown apps!

We've picked the best Christmas Countdown apps for Android, so come take a look!

Christmas Countdown 2017

When you open up this app, you're faced with an adorable snowman in a snowy Christmas wonderland. Christmas Countdown 2017 gives you a few options to customize the way things look, a countdown that is accurate down to the second, and an advent calendar to keep you coming back for more.

From within the settings, you can adjust the date of Christmas between the 24th, and 25th of December, turn the animated snowflakes on and off, get notifications, and swap between the 7 different options for the background. You can also turn on background music that will cue up when you open the app. If you really want to go all out, you can also pick up the premium mode which includes more Christmas tracks, and a full countdown widget for your home screen. You also get access to an advent calendar filled with quotes, photos and links to videos to get you in the Christmas spirit!

Download: Christmas Countdown 2017 (Free)

Christmas Countdown

When it comes to sweet and simple, you may be thinking of this Christmas Countdown app. It delivers a pared down experience with a full countdown to the second, and several different live wallpapers that you can choose from.

The counter lives at the bottom of the screen in clear, easy-to-read boxes. On the left side of the screen, there is a music icon and you can tap it to turn on background music. On the right of the screen is a TV icon, and by tapping that you can cycle through the three different wallpapers available to you. If you want something cute for the season that requires basically no effort on your part, this is the app to check out.

Download: Christmas Countdown(Free)

KM Christmas Countdown Widgets

Not everybody wants a full background or live wallpaper taking up the screen, but they still want to have a nifty little counter on the screen. If that's the case then KM Christmas Countdown Widgets should get the job done for you.

You get access to three small but adorable widgets that can be displayed right on your home screen as a reminder of how much time is left until Christmas. You can choose the day you want to countdown to, swap between a snowman, wreath, or Christmas tree. This app is also compatible with Android Wear, which means that you can also add a counter to your smartwatch!

Download: KM Christmas Countdown Widgets(Free)

Christmas Countdown

If what you really need isn't just a countdown to Christmas, but an app to help you keep track of all the presents you have bought — or still need to buy — then this is the Christmas Countdown app for you! You get a full countdown when you open up the app, as well as the ability to create lists of everything that needs to be purchased.

With lists, you can separate gifts by person, or between friends and family. You're able to see exactly how much you've spent, and enter gifts that you both have and haven't yet bought. If you plan out your lists this is a great way to keep on track, and keep an eye as the hours and days until December 25th tick down!

Download: Christmas Countdown(Free)

Are you counting the days?

Keeping track of everything going on in December can be hectic, especially if you're still looking for that perfect gift to give to someone special. These apps can help you keep track of time so it doesn't get away from you, and put you in the holiday spirit along the way. Do you use a Christmas Countdown app? Is there a great Christmas Countdown app that should have made this list? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Nova Launcher Prime's on sale in pretty much every region of Google Play


Christmas has come early for Nova Launcher users.

Nova Launcher is one of the best launchers on the market, and it just turned six years old. Nova Launcher has a better implementation of Android Oreo's features than almost any other launcher, including Google's Pixel Launcher, and its theming prowess is unmatched. Whether you're looking for a launcher that you can set and forget or a launcher you want to tweak every day, Nova Launcher is for you, and it is on sale with its lowest price of the year.

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Jacquard by Google app gets Illuminate and Find My Phone features


Making your jacket even smarter.

If you're one of the ten people that decided to throw down $350 for Levi's Commuter Trucker Jacket with Google's Jacquard technology, you'll be happy to know that the companion app is receiving its first major update with a couple new features to keep your jacket as smart as can be.

The latest version of the app is now 1.1.1(5), and the two biggest additions are Illuminate and Find My Phone. Illuminate lets the Jacquard snap tag blink or shine so you can either show it off at a party or use it as a little flashlight when making your way through town at night, and Find My Phone allows you to tap your jacket to, well, find your phone.

In addition to these two features, there's also an update to What's Playing that allows it to work with every music service that's supported by Jacquard.

The Commuter Trucker Jacket is still a very niche product even with this update, but it is cool to see the thing gaining a couple more tricks to help users get the absolute most out of it. Google's Jacquard technology isn't meant to replace your Pixel 2 or anything along those lines, but Illuminate and Find My Phone do seem like smart and useful additions for this platform.

Levi's will sell its Google-powered connected jacket this fall for $350

Read more and comment

1 month ago

ARCore v1.0 release in 'the coming months', Project Tango support ending


Developer Preview 2 for ARCore is also here.

Google first launched ARCore this past August as its first widely available augmented reality platform following its dabblings with Project Tango, and although we've yet to see the true potential of the platform, things like the recently released AR Stickers give a promising glimpse into ARCore's future.

The second Developer Preview for ARCore doesn't introduce any radical changes, but there are three main improvements that are the focus of this latest update, including:

  • A new C API for use with the Android NDK that complements our existing Java, Unity, and Unreal SDKs
  • Functionality that lets AR apps pause and resume AR sessions, for example to let a user return to an AR app after taking a phone call
  • Improved accuracy and runtime efficiency across our anchor, plane finding, and point cloud APIs

Along with the second Developer Preview, Google also announced that it's officially ending support of Project Tango and that a public launch of ARCore (dubbed ARCore v1.0) will be available "in the coming months."

When this happens, Google says that it'll support more than 100 million devices with numerous ARCore apps scheduled to launch in the Play Store at the same time.

The Pixel's AR Stickers are the most fun you can have with a camera

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Inbox now recommends unsubscribing to certain newsletters


Time to declutter your inbox.

It's hard to believe that Inbox by Gmail has been around for over three years now, and since its initial debut, the service has picked up quite a few tricks along the way that help it continue to feel fresh and modern. Now, it looks like Inbox's latest feature is suggesting newsletters that you should unsubscribe to.

Android Police has received multiple tips about this new feature, and when Inbox detects that you haven't opened emails from a certain sender within the past month, it'll reveal a card above all of your emails asking if you'd like to unsubscribe from any future messages from them.

There are two buttons to choose from on the card – "unsubscribe and "no thanks" – and tapping "unsubscribe" will have Inbox unenroll you from whatever newsletter or mailing list you've been ignoring.

Image via Android Police.

This feature appears to be rolling out to Inbox's Android app as well as its desktop site, and although I'm not seeing it on my end just yet, there are numerous users who already appear to have access to it.

Google Maps now tells you when to get off at your bus stop

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Google Maps now tells you when to get off at your bus stop


Never miss your stop again.

Trains and buses are how a lot of people make their daily commutes each and every day, and although Google Maps has already been able to show arrival times for this way of transportation, it's now getting a big upgrade with the new ability to tell you how much more time you have before you're at your destination.

When you're on a train or bus, you'll be able to look at Google Maps to see how many more stops you have until you get to where you want to go. A notification will show up on your lock screen telling you what stop to get off at and how many minutes until you get there, and this is also accompanied by a progress bar for your bus/train that moves in real-time.

In addition to this, Maps can also now give you turn-by-turn directions so you know exactly where to go to hop on your next ride.

I hardly ever use the bus or train since I live in a pretty rural area, but for my fellow city-dwellers, this sounds like something of a godsend. Enjoy!

Google Search and Maps will soon show restaurant wait times

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Facebook now lets you snooze annoying posts from your friends for 30 days


Also works with Pages and groups.

Facebook is one of the best ways for staying in touch with friends and family members, but as anyone who jumps on the service from time to time knows, there are always those people that don't know when to stop posting. Whether they're re-sharing countless videos or refuse to keep quiet during an election season, Facebook's got your back with a new snooze option.

If there's a friend, group, or Page that you're getting too many posts from in your timeline, you can now tap the three dots near the top right of any of their posts, and choose "Snooze [name] for 30 days."

You'll still be friends with that person or be a part of that group or Page, but any content they post won't show up in your timeline. Posts from these snoozed subjects will show up once again after those 30 days have passed, but if you decide you want to keep the silence coming, you can just snooze one of their posts after 30 days like you did before.

Facebook is rolling out the snooze option now, and based on my experience with the service, I'm sure a lot of you will find a good use for this.

Facebook Messenger now supports sharing of 4K pictures

Read more and comment

1 month ago

Pandora Plus and free members can stream on-demand after watching an ad


Watch a 15-second ad, get on-demand music streaming.

Back in March, Pandora launched Pandora Premium as a way to compete more directly with the likes of Spotify and Google Play Music. One of the biggest draws to Premium is the ability to stream on-demand music alongside Pandora's radio stations, but the streaming service is now expanding this feature to both Plus and free members as well.

For Plus and free users of Pandora, on-demand music streaming will be available after watching a 15-second advertisement. You'll search for the song, artist, or album you're looking for, choose that you want to watch the 15-second ad, and you'll then be able to listen to whatever you'd like. No advertisements will play during your listening session, but if you search for something else and leave what you're currently jamming out to, you'll need to watch another 15-second ad before proceeding.

Premium subscribers will still retain the exclusive ability to create custom playlists and download songs for offline listening, and by giving Plus and free users a taste of what a Premium subscription has to offer, Pandora is likely hoping they'll get more people to hand over the $9.99/month premium.

This feature will be rolling out to Pandora today, and we're interested in your thoughts on this. If you're a Plus or free member, do you think this will tempt you into subscribing to Pandora Premium? If you're a Premium user, will this encourage you to step down to a Plus or free setup? Let us know in the comments section.

Spotify is testing a sleeker and less cluttered UI for its Android app

Read more and comment

Show More Headlines