Google Play changes aim to take Android app security and performance to the next level

Android app security and performance will be a big focus for Google over the next couple of years, as proven by recently announced Play Store policy revisions.

Essential Phone gains Portrait Mode with latest camera update, second-gen device confirmed

Universally criticized for mediocre camera performance, the first-gen Essential Phone continues to get better. And yes, there will be a second-gen handset.

Netflix adds compatibility with Android’s Picture-in-Picture feature… for 8.1 Oreo only

In theory, Netflix now supports Android Oreo’s Picture-in-Picture functionality for enhanced mobile multitasking. In practice, you can’t use it yet.

You now have seven minutes to delete WhatsApp messages ‘for everyone’

With the latest version of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, it’s possible to delete embarrassing messages within seven minutes of their sending.

Uber adds in-app chat functionality for improved rider and driver convenience

Uber’s latest global Android and iOS app update enables a feature that should have probably been available for a long time: in-app chat.

Advanced machine learning helps Google app feed get more intuitive and easier to customize

The already intuitive and versatile Google feed in the search giant’s Android and iOS app is getting a major update focused on personalization.

Uber makes it a lot easier and more intuitive to request rides for friends and family

If you want to help someone who doesn’t own a smartphone or that simply refuses to use the Uber app get around, a new feature makes it hassle-free.

WhatsApp takes Siri integration to the next level by adding the ability to read messages out loud

In a mutually beneficial move, Facebook and Apple have joined hands to greatly improve Siri support for WhatsApp.

Fitbit makes progress getting Pebble watches to work independent of cloud services

Fitbit still has some work to do to ensure Pebble watches will work 6 or 12 months from now, but cloud reliance is gradually being decreased.

Facebook tries to beat Snapchat at its own game with Stories for all, new camera effects and more

Usually, it’s the underdogs that take inspiration from market leaders, but Facebook isn’t afraid to go the other way around and follow Snapchat’s suit.

Anyone can now get Cortana assistance ‘on’ Android lock screens and ‘above’ the lock

Microsoft’s Cortana works even better and more naturally on Android devices after the latest app update, with extensive lock screen support.

Microsoft’s Cortana 2.0 digital assistant brings ‘fresh new look’ to iPhones

After refreshing the looks and improving the user experience of Cortana on Android devices months ago, Microsoft finally does the same for iOS users.

Viber further beefs up user privacy with Secret Chat features for Android and iOS

Android and iOS instant messaging app Viber adds Secret Chat functionality to a bag of tricks also including encryption and “secret messages.”

Facebook Messenger Day is the latest Snapchat Stories copycat for Android and iOS

Frames, effects, stickers, easy photo and video sharing, all available for just 24 hours. This Facebook Messenger Day thing sure sounds familiar.
Google Allo

Google brings tighter Android Auto integration to underachieving Allo app

Well, Allo there, Android Auto, and nice to finally be able to communicate properly behind the wheel without taking one’s eyes off the road.

Allo brings your emojis to life, also making it easier to find GIFs and get Google Assistant help

Far from the world’s most popular instant messaging mobile app, Google Allo today improves GIF, emoji and Google Assistant support.

Instagram picks up wide color capture, Live Photos support for recent iPhones

Live Photos shot with the past couple of iPhone generations can now be easily converted and shared on Instagram, which also supports wide color capture.

Adjustable keyboard height now featured on Google Keyboard for Android

If you’re on Android and use Google Keyboard, check for updates to version 5.0 and then see how your fingertips handle different key heights.

Microsoft Translator Android app picks up image translation, more offline language packs

To better compete against Google Translate on more platforms, the Microsoft Translator app is updated with several new features on Android.