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Today Netflix rolled out version 3.0 of its app for Android. This update features a completely redesigned user interface that is refined, faster and easier to navigate. Overall, the layout is very similar to what we are use to seeing, but the entire skin is sharper, and more crisp.
Netflix redesigned the backend of the app from the ground up and as a result, things are more responsive. When you touch the screen, your touch is instantly recognized, and the screen scrolls like you would expect. Netflix has also improved compatibility with Chromecast and the service feels much more snappy now when casting to your Chromecast. Netflix is slowly rolling the new app out over the next few days so if you have not gotten the update yet, be patient and it will arrive soon.
Today Square officially launched its cash by email service known as Square Cash. The new payment system functions much like Google's Wallet service in that you can transfer money to friends, sellers, or even strangers simply by sending an email. Square has been beta testing this with a few users now for several months and it has been met with rave reviews.
The service works by composing an email to the person you want to send money to. The sender must CC firstname.lastname@example.org and only place the amount of money they wish to send in the body. If the sender has a credit card on file with square and the email address matches up, then the transfer will go through. The recipient must also have a debit card or bank account on file for the transaction to complete. The company has also released native apps for Android, and iOS that facilitate the process on mobile as well.
One of my most used services would be Feedly, which has been updated today with a bunch of additions. First, we have the usual speed improvements, a new 'discover' section, and support for Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Feedly for Android has seemingly been ripped apart and put together again, with a nice spring clean. Feedly says that its Android application has close to 300% faster start times, and a more fluid scrolling experience. Some visual changes have made the cut, with fonts being re-tooled for easier readability. One of the problems that people had with Feedly - where it auto-refreshed when switching back to the app - has been fixed.
The updated RSS reader has also received a new "discover" feature, which sees the day's most popular stories featured. New Facebook SDK integration and support for Samsung's Galaxy Gear has been implemented, too. You can grab the latest version of Feedly for Android from the Google Play Store.
Google has pushed out an update to Maps for Android, which now provides quicker access to flight, hotel and restaurant reservations that are linked to your Google account.
These details will show up in your search history on mobile, but are limited to just the United States right now, and in English. Some UI tweaks have been brushed into the update, which shoot you into navigation and traffic overviews quicker. The new update to Google Maps for the web also sees some improvements, with multiple stops when planning driving routes, and search results for upcoming events nearby.
These additions will be showing their heads in the Android version in the coming weeks.
Instagram for Android will soon receive an update, which will introduce the straighten control, as well as a new sound and data usage controls to videos to the Facebook-owned app.
The iOS version of Instagram has had this feature for quite sometime now, so this update will bring the Android version of Instagram up to speed. You can check out the Google Play Store to see if you can grab the updated Instagram for Android app, if not, you'll have to continue to wait a little while unfortunately.
Today Foursquare released an update to its app for iOS that introduces a completely new UI design. The new design was first released on Android back in August, and has finally began rolling out to iPhone users. Unfortunately, in the beginning only a few thousand users will receive the update while Foursquare works out any bugs that may pop up.
The update features a new recommendation system that that runs continuously in the background, and monitors a user's location to recommend establishments nearby. The system will also recommend popular food and beverage choices once the user checks into the location. These recommendations are made based on previous user's comments and advertising partners.
As part of Marissa Mayer's company-wide overhaul at Yahoo, many services offered by the company have been getting a refreshed look over the past few months. Today Flickr for iOS jumped into the hotseat and became the newest Yahoo property to get a facelift.
The image sharing and storage app now has the ability to automatically upload images taken with an iPhone to the users Flickr account. This feature can be set to auto upload when on Wi-Fi only for those who have limited data plans. The update also brings forth a new auto straightening feature that is sure to please the masses.
An update should have, or will soon roll out to Skype users, which features a much-needed refresh to its user interface when used on tablets. We saw a tablet-optimized layout in Skype earlier in the year, but this is done in a much better way.
It is made on top of the improved Skype 4.0, which concentrates focuses on conversations and people in a way better interface that is designed for larger screens - such as tablets. Version 4.4 of the app brings all of the upgrades that version 4.0 had, including the performance improvements, with all 4.4 users will see improved video quality.
It looks like Google might have a trick up its mobile OS sleeve when it finally unveils Android 4.4 KitKat, which might just be enough to move you away from some of the biggest messaging clients available on Android.
Android Police has secured some screenshots of what it is alleging to be Android 4.4 KitKat, which show off some settings that will enable SMS and MMS within Hangouts. This might not turn out to be true, but we should expect Google to really start a fire in KitKat that will have everyone talking. Enabling SMS and MMS capabilities within Hangouts would definitely be a step in the right direction for Google.
Twitter announced this morning that it had updated its app for Windows Phone and includes a very cool new lock screen feature. Version 3.0 of Twitter for Windows Phone brings forth the largest set of feature update and additions since the app hit the Windows app store.
The most notable new feature is the ability to set Twitter as your lock screen agent. Known as Peek, this new feature lets users simply wave their hand over the device to wake it up and see the last tweet that was received. Additionally users can now select their favorite Twitter accounts to receive tweet updates from, as well as customizing the app with either a light or dark theme.
Other updates include the ability to pin keyword searches to the home screen, set language preferences, and set interesting tweets to appear on the lock screen. You can find out more information and download Twitter for Windows Phone at the sources listed below.