Has your smartphone’s battery life been draining unusually fast since you updated to Android 4.4.2 KitKat? It’s likely its camera is at fault. A nasty bug introduced in Google’s latest Android update can cause the camera app to continue running in the background after you’ve closed it, maxing out your handset’s CPU and eating up power.
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Android hasn’t always been one of the prettiest mobile platforms, but thanks to the design changes Google has made in recent years, it is now. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for some third-party Android apps.
Take Instagram, for example. It still looks like an exact port of Instagram’s iOS app from 2012, and it doesn’t make any efforts to follow Google’s “Holo” design guidelines for the more recent versions of Android. If it did, it could look pretty fantastic — as these fan-made mockups demonstrate.
UPDATE: Facebook has now confirmed auto-playing ads will rollout this week. See the update at the bottom of this post.
Facebook’s auto-playing video ads, which first appeared on iOS last week, will be seen by all users on all platforms later this week, The Wall Street Journal reports. You’ll see them on your desktop as well as your mobile devices, and they will play automatically as you scroll through your timeline.
At an event in New York City today, Instagram announced Instagram Direct, a new feature that allows users to share private photos and videos with their friends and loved ones. It will be baked into the existing Instagram app for Android and iOS with an update that’s rolling out today.
Facebook Home, the Android launcher from Facebook that you’ve probably forgotten about by now, has been updated to support Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr integration — allowing users to see posts and photos from these services on their lock screen.
Instagram announced new versions of its app on Android and iOS are now available. The Android 4.2 update adds the intelligent photo straightening tool that iOS users have been enjoying for a few months now.
The iOS 4.2.1 update doesn’t contain any major new features, although Instragam did add new settings that let you mute the playback of video with your ringer switch, or leave it always on. You can also choose to preload videos over Wi-Fi only or leave it always on as well. Unfortunately, there’s still no slo-mo support.
Microsoft is trying to persuade HTC to make new smartphones that run both Android and Windows Phone, and it’s willing to cut or eliminate its own license fee to make it happen. The software giant is hoping the move will encourage consumers to try out the Windows Phone platform and eventually make the switch to it — but could the scheme backfire?
Facebook announced this afternoon that Android and web users will now be able to edit status updates after they have been posted, meaning you can finally cleanse your status update masterpieces of careless typos without losing your cherished likes, comments and shares.
The new feature should be live on the web and Android versions of Facebook later this afternoon, but iOS users will have to wait a short while before it hits iPhones.
When Apple introduced Photo Stream to iCloud back in 2011, the Cupertino company made it incredibly quick and easy for its users to share their favorite photos with their friends and family without syncing them to their computer first. But Photo Stream has a downside, and that is that it’s only available on iOS.
Fortunately, there are plenty of awesome alternatives with cross-platform support, and one of those is Kicksend. Not only does Kicksend let you share photos with friends — regardless of the smartphone platform they choose — but it also lets you print and send real photos to those who don’t have a smartphone at all.
YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have today unveiled MixBit, the new video sharing service that they’ve been teasing us with for several months. It hopes to rival Instagram and Vine with a focus on mixing and editing video. Users can record 16-second clips at a time, and then stitch up to 256 of them together to create an hourlong video.