Category: android apps

May 28, 2019 Off

Indie travel app Lambus makes group trip planning easier

By Jill T Frey

There are plenty of travel apps for researching flights and hotels or generally organizing your trips, but indie German developer Hans Knöechel struggled to find one that could gather all his travel-related information in one place, in addition to allowing a group of friends to collaborate on the trip-planning process. So he built one for himself: Lambus, an app that lets you organize your travel documents, manage expenses, plus collaborate and chat with fellow co-travelers about the trip being planned.

Previously a senior software engineer at Appcelerator in San Jose, Knöechel came up with the idea for Lambus after being on the road a lot himself, and finding existing travel apps lacking.

“When traveling, you either use a manual folder with dozens of pages for all your information — or countless apps to display travel expenses, booking confirmations and waypoint planning. Alternatives like Google Trips, Sygic and Roadtrippers were … Read the rest

May 23, 2019 Off

Microsoft’s new language learning app uses your phone’s camera and computer vision to teach vocabulary

By Jill T Frey

Eight Microsoft interns have developed a new language learning tool that uses the smartphone camera to help adults improve their English literacy by learning the words for the things around them. The app, Read My World, lets you take a picture with your phone to learn from a library of more than 1,500 words. The photo can be of a real-world object or text found in a document, Microsoft says.

The app is meant to either supplement formal classroom training or offer a way to learn some words for those who didn’t have the time or funds to participate in a language learning class.

Instead of lessons, users are encouraged to snap photos of the things they encounter in their everyday lives.

“Originally, we were planning more of a lesson plan-style approach, but through our research and discovery, we realized a Swiss army knife might be more useful,” said … Read the rest

May 16, 2019 Off

TikTok tops the iOS App Store for the fifth quarter in a row

By Jill T Frey

Despite a $5.7 million FTC fine and changes to restrict its use by those younger than 13 years old, TikTok retained its No. 1 position as the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store for the fifth consecutive quarter, according to a new report from Sensor Tower. The app saw more than 33 million App Store downloads during Q1, and was followed by YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to round out the top five.

The No. 16 top app, Twitter, also had a good quarter, the report noted.

With 11.7 million App Store downloads, it saw its biggest quarter in terms of downloads since Q1 2015 — and a year-over-year increase of 3.6%. Of course, these figures won’t necessarily translate to an increase in active users, as installs aren’t a direct correlation to usage.

But while TikTok was again topping the App Store, it wasn’t the most downloaded app … Read the rest

May 13, 2019 Off

Spotify brings its slimmed-down ‘Lite’ app to India

By Jill T Frey

Spotify has launched a more slimmed-down version of its streaming music app in India, only months after its public debut in the country. The Android-only app, Spotify Lite, is only 11 MB in size compared with 30 MB for the main app — a change that’s common to apps targeting emerging markets where bandwidth and storage space are concerns.

The company had already tested Spotify Lite in other areas, including Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil and others. The app has a similar look as the main app, and offers the same key features in terms of being able to play music on demand, discover new music you might like and save songs for offline listening. However, it also lets you keep track of your mobile data by showing you how much you’ve consumed during the month, and set a monthly limit for Spotify Lite’s use of that data.… Read the rest

May 8, 2019 Off

Google to allow users to pay for Android apps using cash

By Jill T Frey

Today, the Android platform sees more app downloads than iOS, but Apple’s App Store continually dominates in terms of revenue. Now, Google is aiming to narrow the revenue gap by introducing a new way for users in emerging markets to pay for apps: with cash. The company today announced it’s launching “pending transactions,” which offers users different ways to pay that don’t require a credit card or any other traditional form of online payment.

Lack of access to credit is one of many reasons why users in emerging markets gravitate towards free-to-play and ad-supported games and applications, instead of paid downloads and in-app purchases.

To address this problem, Google has already rolled out other payment options over the years — like support for eWallets, UPI in India, and carrier billing, for example. Over the past year, it’s added 20 more carrier billing partnerships, bringing the total number of carriers … Read the rest

May 8, 2019 Off

Google Play is changing how app ratings work

By Jill T Frey

Two years ago, Apple changed the way its app store ratings worked by allowing developers to decide whether or not their ratings would be reset with their latest app update — a feature that Apple suggests should be used sparingly. Today, Google announced it’s making a change to how its Play Store app ratings work, too. But instead of giving developers the choice of when ratings will reset, it will begin to weight app ratings to favor those from more recent releases.

“You told us you wanted a rating based on what your app is today, not what it was years ago, and we agree,” said Milena Nikolic, an engineering director leading Google Play Console, who detailed the changes at the Google I/O Developer conference today.

She explained that, soon, the average rating calculation for apps will be updated for all Android apps on Google Play. Instead of a lifetime … Read the rest