Phone Scoop

printed May 27, 2015
See this page online at:
http://www.phonescoop.com/oses/news.php?o=109

Home  ›  OSes  ›

iOS

News Our Review Forum  

iOS was created by Apple, and is used exclusively on Apple products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

by:  Apple


Google to Surface iOS App Content in Search Results

Today, 11:05 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Today, 11:09 AM

Google today enabled a new functionality that will let the Google Search app find content within iOS apps and include that data in search results. Users will then be able to select the search results and go directly to the associated app on their phone. The functionality must be enabled by developers using the new App indexing tool from Google. Once indexed, Google Search will be able to poke through apps for relevant information when users perform searches on their iPhone. Google Search already does this on Android devices. Google said it plans to debut the feature in a few weeks with a select batch of apps, but it is encouraging all developers to index their own apps for the added functionality. The feature will be available globally.


Microsoft Bringing Cortana to Android and iOS

Yesterday, 7:55 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft today said Android and iOS users will soon be able to use Cortana, its virtual assistant, on their smartphones. The Android and iOS Cortana app will work in coordination with Cortana on Windows 10 PCs, according to Microsoft. A Phone Companion app for Windows 10 PCs will help Android and iOS device owners install Cortana on their handset so they can access Microsoft's virtual assistant wherever they go. The Android and iOS version of Cortana will include most features available to the Windows 10 and Windows Phone versions, such as setting reminders, alerts, and alarms; tracking flights and managing travel details; and accessing Cortana's Notebook function for search preferences. Changes made in one version of Cortana will be reflected across all devices. Microsoft said the Phone Companion app will function with Windows Phone handsets, too, to help sync Cortana functions across devices. In order to test Cortana on Android and iOS smartphones, users will need to enroll in Microsoft's Windows Insider program and install the Windows 10 Technical Preview for PCs. Microsoft said the Cortana Companion App will be available for Android phones at the end of June and for iPhones later this year. Microsoft also mentioned that the updated Xbox Music app for Android and iPhone will be available in late June or July with the beta label in tow to stream OneDrive music content. Google's own personal assistant, Google Now, is available for Android and iOS devices, but not Windows Phone. Apple's Siri is only available to iOS.


Apple Promotes Jony Ive to Chief Design Officer

Yesterday, 7:40 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Apple has promoted Jony Ive, the company's design guru, to the newly created Chief Design Officer position. Ive's previous title was Senior Vice President of Design. Ive is responsible for the hardware design of some of Apple's most iconic products, including the iPod, iMac, and iPhone. Ive was put in charge of iOS user interface design, too, in early 2013, and oversaw the platform's redesign later that year in iOS 7. The change "frees [Ive] up from some of the administrative and management work," according to a profile published by The Telegraph. Ive will remain responsible for overseeing all of Apple's design moving forward, but will focus on "new ideas and future initiatives," said Apple. Effective July 1, Ive will hand over the day-to-day managerial duties regarding industrial design and user interface design to Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, respectively. Both Howarth and Dye are long-time Apple employees and the three have worked together for many years.


Spotify Finesses Auto Playlist Generation, Adds Video

May 20, 2015, 10:45 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 20, 2015, 10:49 AM

Spotify today introduced new features to its streaming music service on the desktop and on mobile devices. The biggest change involves how people discover music and create playlists. A feature called Spotify Now purports to know what listeners want to hear at different times of the day and can automatically generate playlists for different activities, such as commuting, working, and relaxing. The service is also adding video content, which will come from a variety of sources, such as Comedy Central, Vice, ESPN, NBC, Adult Swim, TED, and others. Much of the video content will focus on music and will be short-form clips rather than long shows or episodes. The company is also targeting runners with new music controls that make it easier to select and control playlists while exercising. Spotify is placing an emphasis on discovering the songs that match tempo to the runner's pace. Spotify uses on-device sensors to determine pace and can do so very quickly. The company thinks this can help runners improve their workouts. Spotify has apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The new apps will reach consumers in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Sweden today, with other regions following over time.

Share   Comments


Google Brings Tweets Back to Search

May 19, 2015, 1:11 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google today announced that it is adding tweets to search results. Tweets will now appear alongside standard results when users search from Google.com, from the Google app on Android and iOS devices, or from any mobile browser. Google believes bringing tweets to search results is a good way for people to read about things as they unfold. Google put tweets in search results several years ago but eventually removed them. For now this feature is limited to English. Google said it plans to add more languages over time.


MixRadio Expands to Android and iOS

May 19, 2015, 11:40 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

MixRadio today made its customized radio service available to Android and iOS devices for the first time. Microsoft acquired MixRadio when it purchased Nokia's handset business, but later divested it to a messaging company called Line. Due to its relationship with Nokia and Microsoft, MixRadio has been exclusive to Windows Phones until today. The new Android and iOS apps, which are available from the Play Store and iTunes, include thousands of free, curated radio stations similar to how Pandora operates. The service lets users create and listen to personalized radio stations, and can be cached on devices for offline playback. The app is supported by ads, but MixRadio may launch an ad-free version later this year. It is available in 31 countries, including the U.S. In addition to announcing the new apps, MixRadio said it has partnered with HTC to provide music-related news stories for HTC's BlinkFeed application.


Use Samsung Flow to Move Tasks Between Devices

May 19, 2015, 10:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Samsung and Think Tank today introduced a beta app called Flow, which is meant to help people transition tasks from one Samsung device to another. It is similar in concept to Apple's Continuity feature for iOS and Mac hardware. Flow offers Samsung smartphone owners two distinct use-cases: transfer an activity or defer an activity. With transfer, people can work on a particular activity and then move it to another device and pick up right where they left off. For example, users can listen to clips on Soundcloud on their smartphone and then transfer the activity to their tablet without missing a beat. The deferring feature lets people defer an incoming activity request on one device if, for example, it's not the right device for that particular task. They can then pick up the activity on whichever other device they prefer when they're ready. According to Samsung, Flow supports existing applications through Android's share mechanism. Samsung expects to add more features, including notify, mirror, and divide, to Flow over time. For the moment, Flow is limited to the Galaxy S5, S6, and S6 Edge; Galaxy Alpha; Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge; and the Galaxy Tab S. The beta app is free to download from the Google Play Store.


LG Shows Off the G4c, A Smaller, Less-Expensive G4

May 19, 2015, 7:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced the G4c smartphone, a smaller and less-costly version of the G4 handset. The G4c has a 5.0-inch screen at 720p HD and runs a quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor at 1.4 GHz with 1 GB of RAM. The phone has an 8-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel user-facing camera; 2,450mAh battery; and a handful of radios, including LTE 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS, and GLONASS. The LG G4c runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and includes LG software functions, such as Knock On, Knock Code, Quick Memo, and QSlide apps. LG said the G4c will reach key markets in the weeks ahead. LG also made the G4 Stylus more official. The G4 Stylus is being sold by carriers in the U.S. as the Stylo.


Microsoft to Sidestep Carriers for Windows 10 Mobile Updates

May 18, 2015, 7:28 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft said it plans to take a more active role in making sure the existing base of Windows 10 smartphones has the latest code. The company is taking a page from Apple and will not rely on carriers to deliver operating system updates. Microsoft said, "We take our responsibility to keep Windows secure seriously. We [will] proactively update supported devices with necessary updates to address issues. And today, we're announcing this continuous update process applies to all Windows 10 devices, including phones." Microsoft confirmed to ZDNet that it will deliver security, performance, and feature updates to Windows 10 Mobile handsets itself, and the code will be pushed to all users simultaneously. The statement appears to apply to handsets that ship with Windows 10 Mobile, and not older devices. With Windows 8.1 and earlier, Microsoft relied on its carrier partners to approve and distribute system updates and it will continue to do so. As ZDNet points out, however, consumers with older handsets can join the Windows Insider program to maintain early access to new OS versions. Apple uses this same master distribution method for keeping its iOS devices up to date. Google still relies on its handset and carrier partners to update their individual devices to newer versions of Android.


Google Tweaks Maps for iOS

May 12, 2015, 3:31 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google today pushed out a small update to the iOS version of Google Maps. The update makes it easier for people to upload their own photos of places, and makes navigating to and from "home" and "work" more reliable. Google Maps is free to download from the iTunes App Store.


iOS 8.4 Beta Adds Text Books to iBooks App

May 11, 2015, 4:05 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Apple distributed a third beta of iOS 8.4 to developers today and the pre-release operating system revealed at least one new feature. The iBooks app now supports textbooks created by Apple's iBooks Author tool. iBooks Author textbooks were initially limited to the iPad at launch, but eventually added to the OS X iBooks app last year. iOS 8.3 beta 3 marks the first time textbooks developed with Apple's iBook Author tool will be available to the iPhone. iOS 8.4 beta 3 also makes some refinements to the music player application, which is in the process of being overhauled completely. Apple is expected to say more about iOS 8.4 at its Worldwide Developer Conference slated in June.


Yahoo Improves Flickr Mobile Apps and Web Experience

May 7, 2015, 11:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Yahoo today announced a significant round of updates to its Flickr online photo service. To start, the online site has a new camera roll and improved search tools to make browsing through albums more enjoyable or locating specific moments much easier. The refreshed web site is joined by new desktop uploaders for finding and automatically uploading photos from Mac and Windows PCs to the service. Last, in order to make Flickr more consistent across platforms and devices, Yahoo updated the Android and iOS Flickr apps. The new mobile apps have improved photo uploaders, as well. Flickr users should enjoy the same experience no matter what device they choose to access the service. Flickr is free to use and offers 1 TB of online storage.


DropBox Lets iOS Users Create Word Docs On the Fly

May 5, 2015, 10:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

DropBox today provided an update to its iOS application that lets users create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files from within the DropBox app even if the separate Office apps aren't installed. DropBox says users can create, edit, and share Office documents in the iOS app and then access them from other devices or from the web. The updated app adds a new home page view, too, that includes recent tabs. The tabs will show a list of the most-recently viewed, uploaded, or edited files so users can get back to work quickly. The app also makes it possible to add comments to DropBox files, as well as invite others to comment on those files for collaboration purposes. DropBox says all these features work together to help improve user productivity. DropBox is free to download from the iTunes App Store.


Meerkat's Android App Lands in the Play Store for All

May 1, 2015, 7:20 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Meerkat today released a beta version of its live streaming app for Android devices. The company announced the pending arrival of the beta several weeks ago. Meerkat, which is already available for iOS, allows Twitter users to stream live video to their followers. Twitter's own Periscope app, also iOS only, does the same thing. Meerkat is free.


Windows 10 to Run Android and iOS Apps

Apr 29, 2015, 12:33 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Apr 29, 2015, 12:40 PM

Microsoft today said Windows 10 devices will be able to run Android applications. According to Microsoft, developers will be able to reuse Java and C++ code to run Android apps in an Android subsystem on Windows 10 devices. Further, Microsoft said Windows 10 will support iOS and Objective C, so developers can port iOS apps to Windows 10 easily thanks to new tools in Visual Studio. Adding support for Android apps and making it possible for developers to port iOS apps to the Windows 10 platform will help Microsoft close the app gap it faces with competing platforms. BlackBerry has a similar idea in place on its BlackBerry 10 devices, which can run Android apps. Windows 10 isn't expected to arrive until later this year.

Share   Comments


Facebook Brings Free Video Calls to Messenger App

Apr 27, 2015, 1:04 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Facebook today said users of its Messenger application will soon be able to make free video calls to one another. The feature can be initiated with a single button and works over LTE 4G or WiFi. Video calls can be connected between Android and iOS devices with no problem. Facebook's Messenger app is already able to connect voice calls. The addition of video calls makes Messenger a more complete competitor with the likes of Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts. Video calls will be available to the Android and iOS versions of Messenger in the days ahead. The feature is launching in select countries, including Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the U.K., the U.S., and Uruguay. Facebook said the feature will reach other regions and locales over the coming months.


Instagram Adds Filters and Emoji to Android and iOS Apps

Apr 27, 2015, 12:34 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Instagram today updated its Android and iOS apps with several new filters and support for emoji hashtags. The new filters are called Lark, Reyes, and Juno and join five filters Instagram added in December. According to Instagram, Lark desaturates reds and enhances blues and greens to improve landscapes. Reyes goes for vintage style photos, and Juno adds green tinting that Instagram says improves photos of people. The photo-sharing social network also said its app now supports emoji hashtags for adding more means of self expression. Instagram said its Android and iOS apps should be available from the Play Store and iTunes App Store in the days ahead.


Microsoft Blesses Full Release of Outlook for Android

Apr 22, 2015, 3:46 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft today updated its Outlook for Android app and says the email program has graduated from preview status. Today's update marks the app's full release. According to Microsoft, it has updated Outlook for Android 17 times since the preview first launched in January. During that time it has: improved the look and feel of the app; added support for IMAP; improved the People (contacts) section; added a Directory Search tool; introduced a three-day view in the calendar; and bestowed the app with a handful of gestures for navigating between emails and folders. Microsoft says Outlook for Android is on even footing with its Outlook for iOS application, which it made available earlier this year. Outlook for Android is free to download from the Google Play Store.


WhatsApp for iPhone Gains Voice Calling

Apr 21, 2015, 1:58 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Apr 21, 2015, 2:01 PM

WhatsApp is rolling out voice calling to its iPhone application beginning today. The feature launched on the Android platform last month. With the feature on board the iOS app, WhatsApp users will be able to chat with and make voice calls to their WhatsApp contacts. WhatsApp calls use your the iPhone data connection rather than voice minutes. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which has already added calling features to Facebook Messenger. WhatsApp voice calling isn't available to the iPad tablet. The update is rolling out over the next few weeks.


YouTube to Cease Working On Older Devices

Apr 21, 2015, 7:03 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google has made changes to its YouTube application that breaks compatibility with certain devices. Specifically, Google updated the YouTube Data API so it can incorporate new features. The changes in the API make YouTube non-functional on iPhones from 2012 and earlier, as well as video-based hardware, such as the Apple TV, versions 1 and 2 of Google TV, and select smart TVs dating earlier than 2013. According to Google, iPhone owners running iOS 7 and up should not experience any trouble. If they do, downloading the current version of the app should resolve any problems. People who own newer versions of the Apple TV, newer smart TVs, and the Nexus Player,should have no trouble using YouTube. The change went into effect April 20.


Twitter to Allow More People to Private Message One Another

Apr 20, 2015, 11:50 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Twitter today revealed adjustments to the Direct Message function of its service that will expand the ability for people to talk to one another in private. Moving forward, any user will be able to DM their followers. Users can opt to receive private messages from any Twitter user, regardless of who follows who, if they wish. Twitter now has broader support for group messaging, as well. Twitter said forthcoming updates to the Android and iOS apps will enable this feature, as well as make it easier to DM others with a dedicated button in user profiles. Twitter is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store, respectively. The changes reflect the competitive and critical nature of mobile messaging.


Chrome for iOS Earns New Gestures and Other Features

Apr 16, 2015, 2:22 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google today updated its Chrome browser for the iOS platform. Three gestures are the chief new feature. According to Google, users can now pull straight down to reload any web site, pull down and to the left to open a new tab, and pull down and right to close a tab. The browser also lets iOS 8 users add Chrome to the Today View, which makes it possible to open a new tab from the notification panel. The app adds auto-suggestions when typing searches in the address bar, and now supports third-party password managers for saving usernames and passwords. Chrome for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.


Google Improves Docs, Drive, Sheets and Slides

Apr 16, 2015, 8:16 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google recently rolled out updates to its productivity suite of applications. Google Drive for Android now allows users to share files/photos directly from the notification panel once the file is finished uploading. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for Android and iOS were also given new powers, such as the ability to accept, reject, or comment on suggestions in Docs. Docs also makes reviewing and acting on comments/suggestions easier from mobile devices, and includes the ability to track changes across document versions. The Docs app for iOS now allows users to edit tables. The Sheets app lets people move, resize, and delete charts, as well as reorder objects. Last, the Slides app is more compatible with PowerPoint files from Microsoft, and they should load quicker and scroll faster. Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides are free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. Google said the updates will arrive over the next few days.


Cyanogen to Include Microsoft Apps

Apr 16, 2015, 8:06 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cyanogen today said it has partnered with Microsoft to bring the latter's productivity apps to Cyanogen's operating system. Microsoft will create native integrations on Cyanogen OS. Cyanogen expects to include Microsoft's Bing, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Office apps in a future version of the operating system. Cyanogen is looking to separate its version of Android, based on AOSP, away from Google's version of Android. Cyanogen needs a partnership like this one to make sure Cyanogen OS users have a full set of on-board productivity tools. Cyanogen didn't say how soon the integration might be completed. Microsoft has made an aggressive push to get its apps onto as many mobile platforms as possible. It already offers free versions of Office, Outlook, OneDrive, and others to the Android and iOS platforms.


Meerkat Looking for Android Beta Testers

Apr 16, 2015, 7:06 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Meerkat is preparing to launch on the Android platform and hopes people will be willing to test a beta version of the app before its general release. The company posted a sign-up web site so those interested can register for the beta. Meerkat didn't say when the beta app will actually become available. Meerkat, which is already available for iOS, allows Twitter users to stream live video to followers. Twitter's own Periscope app, also iOs only, does the same thing.


Nokia to Buy Alcatel-Lucent, Mulling Options for HERE Maps

Apr 15, 2015, 7:12 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Nokia today said it has agreed to acquire Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion. The combined companies would be a giant in the telecom equipment space with more than 100,000 employees. The terms of the deal will see Nokia acquire all of Alcatel-Lucent's stock, as traded in both France and the U.S. The companies' boards of directors have approved the deal, though shareholders have yet to vote on the acquisition. The deal will also require regulatory approval. The companies expect the deal to close during the first half of 2016. Once combined, the companies will streamline redundant operations, but believe the 40,000 research and development at its disposal employees will be able to make the company a world leader in the connected IP space. Nokia-Alcatel-Lucent will specifically target the development of 5G wireless networks. The largest competitors remaining are Ericsson and Huawei, though ZTE, Samsung, and others make telecommunications equipment, too. In addition to announcing the Alcatel-Lucent deal, Nokia said it has begun a review of strategic options for its HERE Maps business. Nokia acquired Navteq's mapping business in 2007 and turned it into a competitive global company. Nokia's HERE Maps are available to the Android, iOS, and Windows Phone platforms, as well as online, and provide robust driving, walking, and transit directions. Nokia said its review of HERE Maps may or may not result in a transaction.


iOS 8.4 Beta Updates Music App, Relocates Audiobooks

Apr 14, 2015, 2:10 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Apr 14, 2015, 3:44 PM

Apple recently made iOS 8.4 available to developers in beta form and the new system software revealed a handful of changes to the music player. First and foremost, the music application has been refreshed a bit to more closely match the visual experience offered by Apple's iTunes desktop application. New tabs along the bottom of the screen let users quickly switch between tracks, playlists, and iTunes Radio. The app also makes it easier to adjust playlists and song queues on the fly, and the refreshed music playback user interface puts a higher priority on album artwork. In iOS 8.4 beta Apple has finally pulled audiobooks out of the music application and added them to the iBook application. iBooks itself has a refreshed player and makes sorting between audiobooks and iBook purchases simple. Google's Android platform can play audiobooks in the Play Music app, most simple MP3 apps, and third-party reader apps, such as Audible. Apple only recently released iOS 8.3 to the general public. There's no telling when 8.4 will go live for all users.


Sprint to Open 1,435 RadioShack Stores April 10

Apr 9, 2015, 10:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint said it will re-open 1,435 RadioShack stores tomorrow that it acquired from General Wireless. The move will double the number of company-owned stores and give Sprint a much wider retail footprint around the country. The stores will be co-branded Sprint-RadioShack, but Sprint will be the main brand associated with each location. Sprint plans to build a store-within-a-store covering approximately one third of the retail space in each location. It will use this space to sell Sprint-, Virgin-, and Boost-branded hardware and service plans. Sprint said RadioShack's products and accessories will also be available at each location. General Wireless is holding into about 310 RadioShack stores. Sprint acquired the stores as part of RadioShack's bankruptcy restructuring.


Twitter Discovers New Way to Spot Trends

Apr 8, 2015, 3:01 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Twitter has canned the Discover and Activity tabs in its mobile applications in favor of a new way to sift through trending content. Moving forward, when people use the search bar they'll also see trending stories as well as descriptions of those stories. Twitter believes this will make it easier to find popular content that's getting a lot of traction on the social network. The change applies to the Android and iOS mobile applications. Twitter said it is experimenting with this feature on the web, but hasn't yet implemented the change online. Twitter recently updated both its Android and iOS apps, and the changes are reflected in those apps beginning today.


iOS 8.3 Lands with New Emoji and Message Filters

Apr 8, 2015, 12:08 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Apple today made iOS 8.3 available to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The update adds several new features to Apple's mobile devices, including more than 300 new emoji and an updated keyboard for using the emoji to personalize messages. The update adds the ability to filter incoming messages to help sort out junk. Siri gains the ability to speak Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish in iOS 8.3, and can now initiate phone calls via the speakerphone when requested. iOS 8.3 was released as a public beta earlier this year. The update is free to download. Apple also released OS X 10.10.3, which, among other things, adds Apple's new Photos application. The Photos app on Apple's Mac computers now mirrors the version on iOS devices. Apple is offering users a handful of cloud storage options for managing images stored in Photos, which can be accessed from Macs, smartphones, and tablets. OS X 10.10.3 is also free to download from Apple.


Instagram Debuts Coloring and Fading Tools

Apr 7, 2015, 12:15 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Instagram today said several new editing options will soon be available in its Android and iOS applications. According to Instagram, the Color tool lets people add colors/tints to highlights in their photos. The app will have yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, cyan, blue, and green hues for giving photos some extra punch. The Fade tool lets users soften colors a bit to adjust the tone. The updated Android app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store today. Instagram said the updated iOS app will be available in a few days.


Microsoft Makes Androids and iPhones Document Scanners

Apr 2, 2015, 12:08 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft today released versions of its Office Lens application for Android and iOS devices. Office Lens uses the device's camera to capture receipts, business cards, menus, whiteboards, sticky notes, and other documents and save them to OneNote. The tool is able to adjust automatically for crooked or angled images, and can recognize text thanks to optical character recognition. Users can convert images of paper documents into Word, PowerPoint, or PDF files; automatically populate their contact lists with scans of business cards; as well as search, save, export, or share the images. Microsoft is making Office Lens available to Android and iOS devices as a preview. The app is free.


Skype Overhauls Android, iOS and Qik Apps

Apr 2, 2015, 10:51 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Skype today pushed out significant improvements to its Android, iOS, and Qik mobile applications. The Android version of Skype gains new bubble-style conversations similar to the iPhone, as well as access to an expanded range of animated emoji. The Android app will no longer auto-scroll to the latest message as new ones come in; allows users to change and view avatars for group chats; and forces users to re-enter their password if they actively sign out of the app. The iOS version of Skype now supports more languages, including Croatian, Slovak, Catalan, Vietnamese, Thai, Hindi, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Turkish, and Estonian. Skype's Qik app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone now supports multiple effects at once. The Android and iOS Qik apps now let people access these features by touching the magic wand, but the Windows Phone version uses a viewfinder to cycle through the different effects. Skype for Android and iOS, and Qik for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone are free to download from the platforms' respective app stores.


Microsoft Updates Outlook for Android and iOS

Apr 2, 2015, 8:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft delivered a new version of its Outlook email application to the Android and iOS platforms this week. Both versions of the app see plenty of bug fixes and stability improvements. The Android version of the app gains a new agenda widget and the iOS version gains an entirely new calendar event screen. Outlook is free to download and is compatible with a wide range of email services, including Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com (Hotmail, MSN), Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and iCloud.


Yahoo's Android App Catches Up to iOS Version

Mar 31, 2015, 11:20 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Yahoo today pushed out an update to its Android application that brings it inline with the iOS app, which it refreshed in January. The Android Yahoo app is now more visually engaging and makes it easier to access articles, polls, and blogs from Yahoo's digital magazines, such as Yahoo Autos, Yahoo Sports, and others. The app also now keeps Yahoo Weather and Yahoo News Digest above all the other digital sections in the news feed. Yahoo for Android is free to download from the Google Play Store.


Alcatel Opens Preorders for Smartwatch

Mar 31, 2015, 10:11 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today made its smartwatch available for preorder through its web site. The watch, announced earlier this year, runs a proprietary operating system and is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The wearable can track workouts and heartrate, notify users to incoming calls/messages, and control music playback. Users can take advantage of a wrist-shaking gesture to launch their smartphone's camera, if they wish. The watch will initially ship with a black band, but other colors will become available later this year. The Alcatel OneTouch Watch costs $149.99. Alcatel didn't specify when the watch will ship.


Google Duplicating Google+ Photos in Google Drive

Mar 30, 2015, 1:56 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google today said it is giving people more options for organizing their photos and videos online. Moving forward, all the photos and videos users have stored in Google+ will be accessible from Google Drive. This change applies to the Android and iOS apps, as well as the web. Google believes adding photos/videos to drive will help people organize them more easily alongside their other files. Even so, Google+ Photos will continue to operate separately, where people can store, edit, and share their pictures. Google said Drive users should see their photos begin to appear automatically over the next few weeks.


Sony Music Unlimited Goes Offline, Spotify Takes Its Place

Mar 30, 2015, 7:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sony today followed through on an announcement made in January concerning Sony Music Unlimited and Spotify. Sony Music Unlimited has gone offline in all 19 countries where it was offered. The service, which cost $10 per month, let Xperia device and PlayStation owners stream songs and playlists. Sony partnered with Spotify, which is officially taking Music Unlimited's place across Sony's devices. Spotify gives Sony hardware owners access to 30 million songs and 1.5 billion playlists. PlayStation owners will be able to create and listen to playlists when playing games, as well as listen to music on-demand whenever they wish. Spotify replaces Sony's Music Unlimited service on Xperia smartphones and tablets, too, but it isn't yet available. Sony said it should be ready for mobile devices soon. Spotify is already available to Android and iOS devices from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store, respectively.


Vine Improves Video Quality to 720p HD

Mar 27, 2015, 12:09 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Vine today announced new support for higher-resolution video. Since launch, the video-sharing service has uploaded videos with a maximum resolution of 480p. An update to its mobile application will record and upload videos in 720p HD. The update will hit the iOS version of Vine in the coming days, with the Android version to follow at some point down the road. Vine is owned by Twitter and lets people record 6-second videos that are then played back in loops. Earlier this week, Twitter released an app called Periscope, which lets people broadcast live video from their smartphones.


Vine for iOS Now Preloads Videos for Faster Viewing

Mar 19, 2015, 7:35 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Vine has updated is app for iOS devices with some features that make the app faster. Vine created a new video file size that's much smaller and can be downloaded quicker. This allows Vine to preload users' home feed, activity notifications, and Vines in the Explore section before the app is opened so users can enjoy the app even when offline. Vine is free to download from the iTunes App Store. Vine said similar changes will reach its Android app soon.


Subscribe to Phone Scoop News with RSS Follow @phonescoop on Twitter Phone Scoop on Facebook Phone Scoop on Google+ Subscribe to Phone Scoop on YouTube Follow on Instagram

 

All content Copyright 2001-2015 Phone Factor, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Content on this site may not be copied or republished without formal permission.
2