Android

Apple Music 2.0 for Android brings iOS 10 style interface, integrated lyrics & more

Apple today pushed a major update to the Apple Music client for Android. Available on Google’s Play Store for free, the app has been bumped from version 1.2.1 to 2.0 and now features a refreshed user interface that mimics iOS 10 styling that should bring greater clarity and simplicity.

Aside from the facelift, the software comes with half a dozen new features including the consolidated For You, Library, Browse and Radio sections, a Now Playing screen with integrated lyrics, and more.

Google previews Android O, check out the top new features ahead of iOS 11’s June beta

If you think Apple’s innovation in the smartphone OS space has stalled, wait until you see the next major revision to Google’s Android operating system.

Today, the search giant released a developer-only preview of Android O (it’s the working title). While it won’t release for public consumption before the fall, developers can download Android O and begin testing it right away. Android O adds many of the same features Apple customers have enjoyed for more than six months with iOS 10, or even longer.

These include things such as richer notifications, picture-in-picture modes, wide color gamuts in apps, limits on what apps can do in the background to improve battery life and more. Here’s our preview of Android O’s enhancements and new capabilities available to customers and developers.

Google starts rolling out Assistant to Android Nougat and Marshmallow smartphones

LG’s latest G6 flagship may have become the first non-Pixel phone to have Google’s new Assistant feature, but the search giant is focused on bringing its new personal assistant to as many other smartphones as humanly possible.

Keeping true to its promise, the Mountain View firm just started rolling out Assistant to smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow versions.

With Assistant, you just long press on the Home button or say “Ok Google” to get started. The advanced feature leverages Google’s knowledge graph, artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand context of your questions.

Get Android Nougat-like folder icons with this tweak

If you’re looking for something you can do to change the appearance of your Home screen on your jailbroken device without going overboard, then you should look into a new free jailbreak tweak called NougatFolder by Elton Goci.

Essentially, this tweak transforms your Home screen’s folder icons to look more like those on an Android Nougat handset.

iOS 10 now powers 79% of active devices, Android Nougat’s adoption barely 1%

iOS 10 now powers nearly eight out of ten active devices—less than six months since officially releasing to the public in September of last year, as measured by App Store on February 20, 2017.

To be precise—iOS 10 now powers 79 percent of active iPhone, iPad and iPod touch device out there, representing a three-point increase over iOS 10’s adoption rate of 76 percent recorded 48 days ago on January 5, 2017.

Contrast the rapid pace of iOS adoption to Google, whose latest and greatest version of Android is currently found on less than one percent of active devices. Over and over again, Google’s lack of control over hardware and other factors are hurting its ability to deploy the latest Android features to its customers.

Will iOS be next to mimic Snapchat?

Everywhere you look today, large social media ventures are seemingly ripping a page out of Snapchat’s playbook. Instagram did it, Facebook’s Messenger app has done it, and we are about to witness Facebook itself clone Snapchat’s daily stories big time. As much as Apple are primarily known for their hardware, it goes without saying that this major shift in what consumers want from their applications (or: spike in perceived self-importance) will not have gone unnoticed by Apple’s software department.

Coincidentally or not, Snapchat-like features are spreading like wildfire at a time where Apple are beginning to talk more openly about the prospect of tying Augmented Reality into a future iOS version. Against the backdrop of Pokemon GO’s success with augmented camera images and Snapchat’s unrivalled popularity based on selfie filters, it is not far to seek that Apple will be looking to capitalize on such trends as well – and what better way to jump on the bandwagon than to provide built-in effects for the stock camera?

Like the sound of it or not, it has got to be a proposition almost irresistible to Apple, mainly for two reasons: the ability to deepen monetization of their in-house apps and chance to reel in a whole lot of new Gen-Y customers. Here’s why filters on iOS could happen in 2017.

Sign up on Google Play Store to be notified when Super Mario Run launches on Android

Following its December 15 debut on App Store, Nintendo’s one-handed side-scrolling platformer Super Mario Run will be coming to Android sooner than later: you can now pre-register on Google’s Play Store to be alerted when the game is available to download.

Super Mario Run is free to download on iPhone, with a $9.99 In-App Purchase required to unlock the 24 levels across six worlds.

Backdoor in some Android devices sold in the US found to send data to China

Security firm Kryptowire recently discovered that some Android smartphones have a backdoor that secretly sends data to China, reports the NY Times. Maybe even more concerning, American phone maker BLU Products said that 120,000 of its phones were found to have the backdoor installed in its software, which has since been updated to remove all track of that secret backdoor.

Apple’s created mockups of iMessage for Android, including one with pure Material Design

I was just reading a post titled “On iMessage’s Stickiness” from Apple pundit John Gruber, published last evening on his Daring Fireball blog, and stumbled upon an interesting passage alleging that Apple’s created several mockups of iMessage for Android.

One of the mockups of iMessage for Android reportedly looks like a carbon copy of its iOS counterpart, with another one based on Google’s Material Design guidelines.

“I’ve heard from little birdies that mockups of iMessage for Android have circulated within the company, with varying UI styles ranging from looking like the iOS Messages app to pure Material Design,” reads the post.