Apple’s second-ever Android app is for the Beats Pill+ speaker

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

7 free travel apps you’ll use on every trip.

The new piece of software is pretty simple: it allows you to control what’s on the play list, keep an eye on battery life, name the speaker, and link up two of the devices so you can enjoy stereo sound. It wasn’t too long ago that we put the major mobile operating systems head to head, but with big updates from both Google and Apple in the meantime, we think it’s worth another look at where they both stand.

Given the speaker isn’t iOS specific, it would have been dumb for Apple not to release an Android app Incidentally, the first ever Apple-made Android app was its Move to iOS, which is only a month or so old. All you have to do is forward your travel confirmations — hotels, flights, restaurants, etc. — to plans@tripit.com and it creates an easy-to-read, easy-to-share and easy-to-edit travel itinerary. Upgrade for less than $50 a year for flight updates (that are sometimes even quicker than airline alerts), awards and points tracking, refund notifications and more.

At its best, Android 6, known also as Marshmallow, can look vibrant and beautifully ordered, with the classic lines of the card-based interface adopted by Android itself and most of its major apps (and apparently Facebook now). After your GIF-like video is finished, you can upload them straight to the app or share them elsewhere. (Free) Here’s a note taking app to try out if you’re looking to change things up. You can share your “gorror-story” on your own social media or join the uprising by posting to a public gallery, where you can watch the outbreak unfold in real time. If you want an easier way to compare the two approaches, try logging into Google Drive and iCloud on the web—the same design principles stretch across most of these companies’ products, for better or worse.

It also integrates with Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo calendars, and generates reports so that the status of all projects can be seen at a glance. The app is also easy to use, designed well and packed with features for no cost. (Free) The concept is in the name: Snap Palette helps you create an entire palette of colors using a single photo. It may seem ridiculous to choose a mobile OS because of the way it looks, but the contrasting visual approach is one of the few remaining differences between iOS and Android that you’re going to actually notice.

With the Yahoo Weather app, we can choose to get as simple or as detailed information as we want, and it’s displayed with cute animated icons and beautiful Flickr photos, all without a single ad. The app gives you hourly, five-day and 10-day forecasts for up to 20 cities at a time, the ability to submit your own stunning photos, twice-daily (morning and evening) weather updates and the option of interactive maps.

Don’t want to incur high roaming charges just to message your friend, check for an email or find directions to that awesome restaurant you read about? Use the app to identify the hex codes and voilà! ($1.99) You’re probably already familiar with The Weather Channel—now the channel has refreshed its app, and you might like what you see. It’s not that easy to figure out at first—it takes a bit of time to find the “open from gallery” option in the toolbar—but the results are worth it.

Snag the WiFiMap app and find nearby Wi-Fi spots, including map views, directions, passwords and user-generated tips on the signal quality and location of the hotspot — is it a cool, hip coffee shop or some back alley bench? The home screen is the most noticeably different—and it’s a good change, because the view actually displays more information without cluttering the overall look. One, almost everyone we know (and most likely that you know) already has WhatsApp on their phone, crucial because these types of apps work only between people who already have them. If you use a little imagination in your poses, you can make it look like the “ghost you” is is stepping, creeping, or rising out of the “normal you.” Free on iOS. None of the information Siri stores about you goes back to Apple, and while that means some drawbacks in terms of customizing your experience across multiple platforms and devices, it does mean you can be more sure of where your data is going and how it’s being used.

A few similar apps have also materialized on Android, including Ghost Photo Maker, which produces merged spirit photos similar to the ones you’ll get from Ghost Lens. OK, so there’s no perfectly functioning translation program (yet), but if there is going to be one in the near future, we’ll put our money on Google Translate, because it’s pretty close right now. Unless you’re using a Nexus device, getting upgraded to the latest version of Android is still a frustrating process. iOS updates are simpler, faster, and available on older devices. To up the ante with scary sounds, take a look at the Free Halloween Sounds Pro app, which adds a sneaky little trick to the same-ole press-n-play soundboard.

Its Timer Trickeration mode let’s you choose from a selection of sounds, such as a blood-curdling scream or haunting hiss, set a silent timer, then hide your phone to scare the pants of a trick-or-treater (or your own mom). And just this past summer, Google Translate expanded its camera picture-text-to-translation feature to 27 languages, meaning you can snap a photo of a sign or menu and the app will translate it for you.

Users have their pick of numerous collaboration tools ranging from Google Docs to Slack, but newcomer Pingpad is aiming to do something different by becoming a sort of miniature social network. It also has a speech option for translations, plus, you can draw characters instead of typing, have direct voice-to-voice translations and download language packs for easy offline translation access. It’s no secret that we love TripAdvisor (we’re all part of the same family!), but what you might not know is that the TripAdvisor App has some serious value in the hands of a traveler, too. Indeed, if you’re using its apps on an iPhone ahead of Apple’s, Google is probably almost as pleased as it would be had you bought an Android handset. Not only can you search for and read reviews on local places to sleep, eat and be merry, but you can also draft your own reviews on-the-go, check out and book hotels and flights, save selected spots to view offline (with maps) and download city guides to view offline as well.

This year has caught up with in a few areas, and vice versa: Fingerprint recognition support and a revamped app permissions system are new to Google’s OS, for example, while Apple has added a low battery mode and even a back button (of sorts)—features Android users have been enjoying for quite some time. The free app for iOS, Android and the Web allows users to create groups then share notes, projects and documents, as well as delegate tasks, among members.

Fire up the app, wait for it to “calibrate” to your location, then follow the blinking radar that appears to catch a glimpse of whatever spirit’s busy haunting your hallways. It’s all in good fun, but following a signal through your house while watching the screen, and then seeing a ghost emerge from your refrigerator door is actually sort of spooky. Both OSes pack in support for NFC and mobile payment systems to call their own, both take a similar approach to notification pop ups and actions, and so on. The couple found they had to use multiple apps and services to do so, so they decided to combine them all into one, easy-to-use option and make it available on smartphones.

With very few feature differences left, it might be down to the digital assistant apps powering everything to provide the main distinctions in the future. The Reporter app for the iPhone seeks to create this sort of personal information database by asking users to self-report on their own activities, habits and moods. The $4.59 app quizzes its user several times during the day at random intervals, asking questions such as, “Who are you with?” and “Are you working?” The information is combined with data pulled from the iPhone’s step tracker, microphone, GPS and other functions to build a database. As with all Big Data, there’s some creepiness to it, but Reporter can also prove invaluable to conscientious self-trackers, who can use the information to identify and alter subconscious patterns.

The long-term aims of Google Now remain more intriguing: Working behind the scenes to know as much about you as it’s possible to know, anticipating your needs ahead of time, and mining data from other Google apps to make Android as personalized as it possibly can be. Siri, meanwhile, has a contextually aware update of its own, making the app able to recognize what’s on screen and interpret your requests accordingly. The new Proactive update rolled out by Apple attempts to add some Google Now-style features, in that Siri will surface apps and information you need at certain times and in certain places without you having to ask for it. All these apps continue to get minor upgrades that we don’t have time to explore here, but there are very few stand-out differences to talk about—Apple Maps even has public transit information at long last.

There are no Apple apps available for Android (though Apple Music is on the way) and very few for Windows, and that means switching to iOS or OS X is much easier than switching away from them. Major new apps almost always appear on both Android and iOS around the same time, though some smaller, startup-developed apps debut on iOS first due to the problems of coding for so many types and variations of Android device. What is noticeable is that even while picking out differences between them becomes harder, so does the process of trying to jump from one to another.

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