Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Google+ Community Moderators Can Now Pin Posts Via The Site And The Latest Version Of The Android App

The Google+ Android app jumped to a new version last week, and shortly after, its Play Store page updated with a change log topped by one problematic item:
Here's the thing, moderators couldn't yet. We hit up the app, searched the site, and even asked around. The feature simply wasn't live. Now it is. Moderators can pin posts to the top of a community stream regardless of if they're using the app or the website.
You can see the feature used within the app below.
Note the green thumbtack icon.
Here's how a pinned post looks on the website.

Voila! There's no update to wait around for here, so enjoy pinning those posts.

859,454 ratings
by Google Inc.
500,000,000 - 1,000,000,000 downloads
Via: Google+

Microsoft Makes The Office 365 Android SDK Available For Download

Today Microsoft has released the Office 365 software development kit for Android. With it, the company wants to invite developers to access Office data inside their apps. The SDK provides APIs granting permission to call upon SharePoint lists and files, along with Exchange calendars, contacts, and mail. The preview is available for download straight from GitHub.
The SDK requires Android 4.0.3 or higher to run, and Microsoft has shared an introductory blog post to get you started. If you're interested in developing for the broader Office 365 ecosystem instead, the Office Blog has provided far more details regarding what options now available.
Office 365 SDK for Android Preview
Source: Microsoft Open Technologies
Via: Microsoft Office Blogs

Sony Xperia Z Starting Today Android 4.3 Is Rolling Out To T-Mobile's

Update: It looks like T-Mobile got cold feet. The support page has been reverted to its previous state, showing only the Android 4.2 update from November. Sorry, folks.
Do you use a Sony Xperia Z? Did you buy it from T-Mobile? Then check that Settings menu - according to this T-Mo support page, you're getting a taste of Jelly Bean 4.3 starting today. Of course these things tend to go out in waves, so those without patience can follow the links on T-Mobile's site and manually download and flash the new software (10.4.C.0.797) using the Sony PC Companion software.

The last time T-Mobile's carrier-customized version of the Z got an update was way back in November, when it was upgraded to Android 4.2. The vanilla international version of the Xperia Z got its 4.3 update in December, so this is a pretty typical delay for an American carrier's update. According to the support page, users can expect UI improvements to the UXP Air and WiFi calling apps, the SwiftKey keyboard replaces a similar one from Nuance, and a 5-bar signal is present instead of a 4-bar version.
T-Mobile's software update weighs in a 308MB, which isn't bad as these things go. It's recommended that you have your battery charged to at least 50% before beginning the update. Have fun. Oh, and don't ask how long it will take T-Mobile to get Android 4.4 to your phones - Sony has confirmed that the Xperia Z will get KitKat, but there's no timeframe in place.
Source: T-Mobile Support

LG G2 Is Getting The Android 4.4.2 Update Starting Today Probably T-Mobile's

After showing up as a humongous ROM, the T-Mobile LG G2's Android 4.4.2 update is making its way to devices as a regular OTA. Well, it's probably getting the update. T-Mobile's support page is a little fuzzy on the details, but today (March 3rd) is listed as the start date for the software's availability.
The update comes with version number D80120a and the changelog is lacking in detail.

  • Update to Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Auto Brightness
  • User experience improvements

The support page says the update is available now, so you might be able to manually check for updates and install. However, the doc also says the OTA prompt will hit devices between March 6th and 25th. This might be referring only to the notification for people who don't check for updates obsessively (or read Android Police). Best of luck.

Microsoft Word build a platform for the expansion of gaming Xbox Live

Microsoft has already dabbled around with expanding the Xbox Live experience to mobile devices, but if a recent report from The Verge is to be believed, the company may be about to ramp up its efforts significantly. Our good friend Sources, who is familiar with Microsoft's plans, claims that Microsoft is building a platform that would extend Xbox Live functionality to Android and iOS. Instead of using Google Play Games or Apple's Game Center to track achievements, find other players, and compete with one another, you would be able to use Xbox Live instead.
The news follows a recent rumor-stirring Microsoft job posting, which reads:
Your contribution will have direct impact on how we win back our game developers from our competitors. As a member of the newly formed team, you will have the rare opportunity to influence our planning and design from the beginning. We will create a modern framework that is open source, light-weight, extensible and scalable across various platforms including Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS and Android.
This development would not be out of line with Microsoft's previous efforts. Microsoft's Xbox Live app for Android already lets gamers modify their avatars, track achievements, and connect with friends. The company's SmartGlass app is also offered on the Play Store, along with an Xbox Music app.
The potential is there, but only time will tell if Microsoft has what it takes to up its game.
Via: The Verge

App Habits Tracks Your App Usage

You have what amounts to a tiny super computer in your pocket, and what are you doing with it? Hmm? App Habits will track which apps you're using and when so you can get the low down on exactly how you're wasting time with neat graphs. It will also use this data to surface apps you might be interested in based on the time of day.
App Habits has a clean holo UI with swipable tabs. The first one is where you'll see the top five apps for each day, and the second shows the top apps overall. The app automatically hides system processes, but you can add anything to the ignored list you want. For example, the Google Search app shows up very high on the list if you're using the Google Now Launcher
All this data is used to help you visualize what you're doing with the device. It shows you which types of apps are getting the most screen time and includes a "launch pad" with app shortcuts that match your usage pattern. There is an optional notification with the same app shortcuts as well. App Habits seems to get the job done at first glance, so check it out.

App Habits
App Habits
3 ratings
by Orthogonal Minds
1 - 5 downloads

Voice to text the spelling is coming to the desktop version of Google Docs

According to Marques Brownlee, voice to text dictation is coming to the desktop version of Google Docs. Check out these screenshots allegedly showing the feature in action, below.
While Android has featured speech to text as part of the standard keyboard for several years now, the option has rather curiously not been a part of the desktop / web version of Google Docs (now Google Drive). Apparently, this is now changing.
There was no information provided as to when we could expect this feature to roll out, though soon-ish seems like a good bet.