Google Maps is probably the best navigation and maps application available today -- it is chock full of useful features. While Apple Maps is actually pretty great these days, the search giant's offering still reigns supreme. It isn't hard to see why Google's app is so good -- the company collects data on its users to create a more focused experience. In other words, if you are willing to trade privacy for convenience, Google Maps is sure to delight you.
As a way to leverage some of the information it collects, Google Maps introduced a new "For You" tab for Android users earlier this year. It is essentially a personalized section based on the data Google has collected on the user. Today, iPhone and iPad users in more than 40 countries get to take advantage of this feature too. In addition, the search giant announces it has expanded "For You" Android availability to users in more countries too.
Speak to most app developers and they’ll tell you it’s much harder, more complicated and less interesting to produce an Android app, compared to iOS. Indeed, ask for a quote and both will be priced separately as both require separate development time and teams.
This might all be about to change with the final first release of a new cross-platform development tool from Google. Imagine a toolkit that you can use to program the functionality, allowing the UI framework to be provided to you separately and seamlessly.
For a while, it seemed like tablets were going to become the most popular consumer devices, but then, they weren't. People tired of trying to retrofit them with keyboards to make them faux-laptops -- they just used actual laptops instead. Not to mention, with smartphones getting increasingly larger screens, tablets began to feel a bit redundant. With that said, tablets have their place for media consumption -- I still prefer my iPad to my iPhone for watching videos.
If you know someone that wants a tablet this holiday season, but you don't want to spend too much money to get one, Barnes and Noble has a new model that may interest you. Its newest NOOK features a 7-inch screen and has access to the Google Play Store for just $49. This is significantly cheaper than the 10.1-inch variant it launched last month. Best of all, the gift recipient will very likely think you spent more money than you actually did!
We are finally in the month of December, meaning many people are doing holiday shopping. While you can give your friends and family things like socks and underwear, let's be honest -- most folks want technology! A gift card is another option, but they are very impersonal and will not create a magical memory.
If you really want to impress a loved one, you can't go wrong with a smartphone. Understandably, not everyone can afford to give a quality Android phone as a gift, so we here at BetaNews are giving two away! Yes, two winners will be selected to get either an Honor 7X or Honor View10. The first selected winner will get the latter, and the second will get the former. Colors will be at random.
Instagram has announced the rollout of Close Friends, a feature that makes it possible to create a list of people with whom you'd like to share Stories. This is very different to the current approach which sees Stories shared with everyone.
The feature has been beta tested for nearly a year and a half and is now ready for primetime. Rolling out to iOS and Androind in the coming days, the new feature will be welcomed by those who had concerns about privacy on Instagram.
Google is taking steps to make it easier to not only pair Bluetooth headphones and speakers to your Android phones, but also to make it easier to user the same Bluetooth hardware with multiple devices.
The Fast Pair feature was announced last year, and now Google has teamed up with numerous audio companies to not only improve support, but also to use Google accounts as a means of simplifying the process of using the same headphones and speakers with multiple phones -- and, as of next year, Chromebooks.
Microsoft is rolling out new features to the mobile version of OneDrive. The company has also announced that it is introducing a new Block Download feature in "late November" that can be used to stop people from making copies of a file or its contents.
Android and iOS users can look forward to improvement to the MyAnalytics component, but the big OneDrive news is that the Camera Upload feature has now left beta and is available to everyone -- if they are using Android, that is.
We're approaching the end of 2018, so it's only natural that companies take a look back over the year and reflect on what was great about it. Not one to miss out on such things, Google is launching its first-ever User's Choice Awards and is asking for your votes.
Google users are invited to cast their vote for what they believe is the best app of 2018, and what is the best game of 2018. Want your voice to be heard? Now is the time to cast your vote.
Your Time On Facebook rolls out, revealing how much time you waste in the social network's mobile apps
It is a little while -- over three months, in fact -- since Facebook said that it was planning to launch a tool that would give users some insight into the amount of time they spent using the social network. This tool is now rolling out.
Unimaginatively called Your Time On Facebook, the tool offers a dashboard that gives a very basic overview of how long you spend using Facebook each day. But going beyond this, it can also be used to set daily reminders to help you to cut down your usage. Trying to kick your Facebook habit? Maybe this could help.
In early January 2019, you will no longer be able to receive SMS notifications about Google Calendar events. The change will affect Android and iOS users.
While Google does not give an explicit reason for killing off SMS notifications -- other than seemingly not wanting to offer too many means of receiving notifications -- the company says that users should not notice any difference because of in-app notifications.
Google recently rolled out a floating keyboard option to Gboard, and now the company has introduced another new feature -- AI-driven suggestions for GIFs, emoji and stickers.
The move sees Google acknowledging that we increasingly communicate with images rather than words. Or, as the company puts it, it's a feature designed "for those of us who just can't even without the perfect GIF".
Cloudflare has just made it a whole lot easier to hide your mobile browsing from your ISP -- and access content that might otherwise be unavailable. The company has launched a 184.108.40.206 app for smartphone users, making it incredibly easy to switch between DNS services with a couple of taps; what amounts to a free VPN tool.
Earlier in the year, Cloudflare launched its 220.127.116.11 DNS service to bring privacy and speed, but it was a little off-putting to users unfamiliar with tinkering with such settings. With the launch of 18.104.22.168 for iOS and Android, the process is much, much simpler -- and the app and the service itself are free.
There has been a spate of adding dark modes to apps, websites and operating systems in recent times. Many people simply prefer the look, while others say a darker theme is easier on the eye. But there is also the school of thought that says dark mode saves battery life.
And this is very much the message that Google is sending to Android developers. At the Android Dev Summit this week Google highlighted the massive difference Dark Mode makes, seemingly in a bid to encourage more developers to embrace the idea and add the option to their apps.
It's less than a year since Google launched Files Go, its first attempt at a file manager app for Android. The primary aim of the app is to help users to free up space on their phones, and today Google announces that it not only has a new name, but also a new look.
Files Go has been rebranded Files by Google, and the updated version of the app is starting to roll out now.
If you like to read books, an Amazon Kindle e-reader is a wise purchase. After all, they use e-ink technology which is easy on the eyes while offering very long battery life. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a device dedicated to reading. For many, a traditional tablet -- such as an iPad -- serves as both an e-reader and a general use slate.
Barnes and Noble sells e-ink readers, but also, it offers NOOK Tablets powered by Android. These are superior to Amazon's Fire tablets, as NOOK has Google Play support. In other words, Barnes and Noble's tablets have access to all the popular apps you will want. Today, timed perfectly for the upcoming holiday shopping season, Barnes and Noble announces its latest tablet. This new NOOK Tablet has a big 10.1-inch screen. In addition to being a consumption device, the company apparently thinks it can be used for productivity -- it will sell an optional keyboard cover for it.