Podcasts come to Google Play Music at last today, but unfortunately, the service is only for US and Canada residents. One of the beautiful things about podcasting is anyone in the world can hear it (in theory, anyway), so this is quite the detriment for many would-be users. We've contacted Google for comment and will update this story should we hear back.
Included features: podcast suggestions, subscriptions, notifications; missing features comprise mark as read, playback speed, and RSS, among others. In other words, this is a pretty bare bones service. On the plus side, the design appears great.
To try out Google Play Music podcasts for yourself, update the app through the Play Store now.
Microsoft's Windows Phone keyboard aka Word Flow is launching imminently on iOS, and it turns out the iPhone version will come with a couple extra goodies: customizable backgrounds (choose whatever image you like from stock themes or your own collection), and a one-handed mode which allows you to input text by moving the keyboard to the side (see it in action in the video below).
If you like, you can sign up for the imminent Word Flow beta here.
Google's latest Calendar feature extends beyond just helping you keep your plans: starting today, it helps you reach 'Goals'. You can get started easily: enter a goal like 'run 3 times a week' or 'work out more', and the app will help you find the time to do it.
If something comes up that prevents you from achieving a goal, Calendar will automatically reschedule. And of course, you can always defer a goal whenever you like, and Calendar will find another time for it. Even better: the more you use it, the smarter it gets at choosing times that work best for you.
Apple recently pulled multiple Reddit apps from the App Store, apparently due to its wariness of not safe for work (NSFW) content. Narwhal, Eggplant, and Antenna -- among many other apps -- were pulled.
Many apps have since been restored after removing their NSFW options; the official Reddit app doesn't seem to have ever been removed, although it was required to axe its "Safe for Work Browsing" toggle. With this, it's clear Apple wants Reddit app makers to avoid custom options on that front and to leave it up to Reddit account settings instead, possibly because having such a toggle implies said NSFW content exists.
"This is a feature we previously refined with Apple's help. We were surprised by the notice," said a Reddit employee under the username ggAlex. "We just resubmitted our build. We were not informed that Apple would be removing other apps. We were very upset to see that they did. Honestly, if we were interested in getting rid of 3rd party apps (which we're not), this would be the stupidest possible way to accomplish it."
"We suggest all 3rd party apps similarly remove settings for safe for work browsing."
Google has taken the liberty of refreshing its Play icon library, including Google Play, Play Store, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Play Games, Play Books, Play Newsstand. Part of the aim, it says, is to achieve a uniform look across its apps, and that's certainly evident with the results.
The refresh will make its way across devices and the web over the coming weeks.
Nintendo has launched an app for Android and iOS in the US and Europe that lets you interact with your Mii and your friends' Miis. Miitomo, as it's called, features Mii creation, customization, photography, and social media sharing.
Also included: a minigame called Miitomo Drop where you 'drop' your Mii and depending on which platform it lands, you win a given prize (sometimes clothing). Drop costs coins which can be obtained through in-app purchases.
Google's excellent Calculator app is now available on the Play Store, so you can replace less pretty options like the Samsung Calculator with it, if you don't have the former installed by default.
As you'd expect, it supports basic calculations, but also trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions.
As a bonus, an Android Wear Calculator is bundled into the app, so you can make calculations on the go on your smartwatch.
Hit the source or the Play Store app to download.
The Snapchat team is looking to revolutionize online communication further with its Chat 2.0 update. One of the goals with it is to make speaking and video chat a seamless transition from text chat; one tap will now do the trick. But it goes further than that.
"You can start by sending a few chats, and when your friend shows up, start talking or video chatting instantly with one tap," they explain. "Your friend can simply listen if you want to sing them a song, or watch if you have a new puppy to show them. If they aren't there, you can quickly send an audio note to say what you mean. And sometimes, a sticker says it best."
Google is mixing things up a bit with Chromecast, renaming the app Google Cast, in what it says is an effort to "better reflect that Google Cast technology is now supported across a wide range of devices such as Chromecast, TVs, displays and speakers." It revealed the news just after confirming its partnership with Vizio, which will see Google Cast built into the company's upcoming P-series displays, as well as to its soundbars and speakers.
Along with a new name comes an update, which will roll out this week. With it you can expect video content discovery, expanded app discovery, customizable backdrops, and more.
The "Father", CEO, and Founder of Spotify Daniel Ek has revealed via Twitter that his music streaming service has hit 30 million subscribers. About this time last year, the count was 20 million, so it's fast-growing, to say the least.
By comparison, competing service Apple Music sat at 11 milllion subscribers as of last month. Catching up or exceeding the Swedish company is certainly plausible, but it has quite the headstart and appears to know what it's doing, so watching this cat and mouse game in the coming years will prove interesting.