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All posts tagged "apps"

  • Google Play Store adding Instant Apps, more in upcoming update

    A number of changes are coming to the Google Play Store its parent company announced Thursday. Usually the unchanged bastion of the Google ecosystem, the Play Store will finally receive a much needed nip and tuck. As for an implementation timeline, the company remained as mum as ever. Nevertheless, sifting through the latest Google Developers Blog post, here are three standout interface and functionality tweaks heading to the Play Store sometime before the world ends. Revamped Editor's Choice Vineet Buch, author of the post and Google Play's director of product management, noted that a revamped version of Editor's Choice is now live in...

  • 7 Android apps that seriously need a ‘lite’ version

    Earlier this week, we got word that Google has revealed Search Lite, a lightweight (duh) version of its iconic web search tool. Offering the usual search functionality, as well as a host of other features, the app stands out thanks to its small install size and emphasis on data saving. It's not the first Lite app we've seen though, with Facebook, Messenger, Skype and even YouTube (in a limited fashion) seeing tiny apps being launched. But what about other services in need of a Lite version? Twitter Yes yes, Twitter Lite is actually a thing, but it's merely a lightweight website rather...

  • 8+ portable apps you should keep on your flash drive

    Portable apps are one of the coolest things ever, allowing you to run PC apps off your flash drive without having to install them on the host PC. There are loads of supported apps out there, so we chose a few that you should slap on your flash drive. Google Chrome Maybe you're using a friend or loved one's PC. Maybe you're at an internet cafe. Maybe you're travelling and using a hotel computer. Either way, why use Edge or Internet Explorer when Chrome will do better? The portable app means that you can use Google's browser on another machine, complete with your...

  • Google Play Store will no longer suggest ‘lower quality’ apps in search

    Google Play Store has made it easier for users to spot the "lower quality" apps on its platform from the genuinely useful. According to a new blog post, the company is actively focussing on privileging apps that exhibit stellar stability, and penalising those that show "excessive battery usage, slow render times, and crashes". "As part of our continued effort to deliver the best possible Google Play experience, we recently enhanced our search and discovery algorithms to reflect app quality," Google Play's product manager Andrew Ahn explains. Google Play rewards well-built apps by pushing them further up search listings "This results in higher quality apps...

  • 11 must-know tips and tricks for Facebook Messenger

    Facebook Messenger has grown from a necessary evil to a semi-decent service in its own right, spanning messaging (obviously), chatbots and more. The app is one of the more popular mobile downloads around, but here are a few more ways you can get the most out of it. Disable those pesky chat heads We're starting off with a simple but effective tip for an annoying feature: those weird chat heads. The chat heads are essentially those chat bubbles that pop up when you receive a message, obscuring part of your screen and just being obnoxious. In any event, you'll want to visit your profile...

  • VSCO gains video editing features, but there’s a premium catch

    Popular photo editing suite VSCO has long let users on iOS and Android edit their fancy photographs. But a new update finally lets users tinker with videos. "Although VSCO has long been home to storytelling through photography, we also recognise and celebrate different mediums of creative expression like DSCOs, design, poetry, and videography," the company writes on its blog. There is of course a catch. The video editing tools are only available on iOS for now, and only accessible to VSCO X members -- the app's premium membership tier. The subscription service also gives paying customers access to a bevy of additional...

  • LinkedIn Lite joins the lite app bandwagon

    We've seen quite a few "Lite" versions of popular social networking apps in recent years, now it's time for LinkedIn to jump on the bandwagon with LinkedIn Lite. Yep, the professional network has released LinkedIn Lite for Android in India, TechCrunch reports. So what's actually "lite" about it? The publication says that the new app is 1MB in size, making it ideal for low-end smartphones that have a tiny amount of storage. It's also claimed that the app is optimised for slower connections, with pages loading in under five seconds, "even on a 2G network". That doesn't mean that you've got significantly...

  • 6 great podcast apps for Android you should download

    Podcasts have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently, with the likes of Serial and other notable shows responsible for the reinvigorated industry. There are loads of podcast apps out there, especially on Google's platform, which has only recently implemented native podcast support via Play Music. Which clients are worth downloading though? We've got a few you should consider -- but do let us know about your favourite apps. Podcast Republic My go-to app, Podcast Republic has recently received a visual overhaul, bringing the design in line with the extensive feature list. Podcast Republic delivers the expected podcast search functionality (by genre, top charts, search), offline...

  • These are the nominees for 2017 Google Play Awards

    The first Google Play Awards took place last year, highlighting a number of innovative and/or popular games and apps. So we're glad to see the event come back this year, with Google announcing its list of nominees this week. Who are the nominees then? Check out the full list below -- you might find a few gems. Standout Indie - Reigns, Kingdom: New Lands, Mars: Mars, Causality, Mushroom 11. Standout Startup - Hooked: Chat Stories, Discord: Chat for Gamers, Castbox: Free Podcast and Audio, Simple Habit Meditation. Best Android Wear - Lifesum: Healthy lifestyle app, Runtastic Running and Fitness, Foursquare City Guide, Bring!...

  • Mozilla acquires read-it-later service Pocket

    Mozilla isn't known for its acquisition of companies at all. But the company has just announced major news, having purchased Pocket for an undisclosed sum. Pocket is one of the most popular services on the internet, allowing users to save articles and content for offline viewing. Available as browser add-ons and dedicated apps, Pocket has also delved into the content recommendation game recently. "As our first strategic acquisition, Pocket contributes to our strategy by growing our mobile presence and providing people everywhere with powerful tools to discover and access high quality web content, on their terms, independent of platform or content silo,"...

  • WhatsApp Status has landed in South Africa [Photos]

    True to co-founder Jan Koum's words, WhatsApp Status has landed on Friday (24 February), delivering Snapchat Stories-style functionality to the messaging platform. So what should you know then? Well, it's an overhaul of the text-based status feature ("I'm busy", "I'm at the gym" etc). The overhaul lets you post photos and videos as a general status update, much like Snapchat Stories. These updates all expire after 24 hours, again, like Snapchat's effort. It's worth noting though that WhatsApp does keep track of how many people viewed your update -- simply tap on the ellipsis next to "my status" to get a view-count...

  • 15 must-have Android apps under 15MB [Tech Savvy SA]

    Tech Savvy SA is a series of articles on Gearburn and Memeburn that aim to deliver useful, locally relevant advice to the average South African. Mobile data isn't super cheap in South Africa, but that doesn't mean you should skimp out on quality app downloads though. We've sifted through the Google Play Store, delivering 15 useful Android apps that weigh in at 15MBs or under. Pocket Weighing in at roughly 12MBs, Pocket (formerly Read It later) is arguably the best solution of its kind on the Google Play Store. The app allows users to save articles for later reading, delivering offline reading functionality in the process....

  • Netflix now supports microSD cards for downloads

    It may have been a little delayed, but we were glad to see Netflix introduce download functionality late last year. Following in the footsteps of rivals Amazon Prime Video and Showmax, the downloads feature allowed users to (surprise) store movies and TV episodes for offline viewing. And in a cool move, you could download as much content as your storage allowed. The biggest downside though? Well, that would have to be the lack of support for microSD expansion, leaving you with internal storage only. Netflix is slowly catching up to rivals when it comes to offline functionality, with microSD support being the latest...

  • Think twice before grabbing popular photo app Meitu

    Meitu, an app which allows users to gussy up their faces in an anime style, has quickly gone viral, but reports suggest that it represents a privacy threat. The app allows users to beautify their faces, delivering larger irises, smoother skin and a host of other changes. But several reports found that the app (especially the Android version), like many, requires a notable privacy trade-off. For starters, its Google Play Store listing reveals permissions such as location, running at startup, device and phone ID, and viewing WiFi connections. Not super crazy, but definitely concerning -- especially the ability to access your device/phone IDs...

  • 6 alternative YouTube apps you should check out

    The YouTube Android app has come a long way since the dismal app of the Froyo days. It's not perfect now, but it definitely gets the job done well enough. In any event, for those wanting something a little different, here are a few alternative YouTube apps worth looking at. TubeMate One of the most popular apps not available on the Play Store, TubeMate is effectively a wrapper for the mobile website. Hardly a reason to download the app, then. But its best feature is the ability to download videos via the app, with the ability to choose from various quality options. Yes, YouTube does...