Microsoft opens beta testing for Office for Android on smartphones

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This past January Microsoft released Office for Android on tablet devices that were at least 7-inches in size. Today they announced another step in their effort to make the suite of desktop applications truly cross-platform and cross-device with the launch of beta testing of the app on Android smartphones. Microsoft says the interfaces for Word, Excel and PowerPoint have all been optimized for use on Android phones while preserving formatting and content. Read more

HomeUX seeks more beta testers for launcher

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Launchers are always popular for Android fans who want to extend the customization of their interfaces. With Android 5.0 Lollipop expanding to more devices this year, some developers are seeing a new opportunity to create new launchers that are in keeping with the design principles of Google’s Material Design guidelines and that take advantage of new APIs in Lollipop. One of those developers is the group behind HomeUX that hopes to produce a launcher that is “simplistic, yet highly functional.” They are currently soliciting additional beta testers for the latest version of HomeUX that is in development. Read more

Chrome Beta 43 for Android released with significant performance improvements

Chrome_Beta_Large_IconGoogle has announced the release of Chrome Beta 43 for Android, which supposedly brings some hefty performance improvements to the mobile browser. One of the most common complaints leveraged at Google’s browser is how sluggish it can, so any improvement there is a good thing.

Not only will overall performance improve, but Google has made checking out with Google Wallet even quicker. Personally, I tend to use apps for any kind of purchasing, not the browser on my phone, but some of you may prefer to get it all done within the browser. If you’re one of those users, you’ll definitely appreciate this update. Read more

Chrome 43 Beta released with new support for the musicians of the world

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Google’s Chrome team has released an update to the Beta channel, Chrome 43, with support for MIDI devices, a new Permissions API, and a host of other changes and improvements. The new Web MIDI API included in Chrome 43 means users can make use of connected MIDI devices when accessing an online resource. MIDI devices include things like synthesizers, keyboards, DJ decks and drum machines amongst others. With the update, once a user plugs one of these devices into their system, even an Android tablet or smartphone, the device will be able to communicate with web sites without any additional work by the user to load software or drivers. Read more

Chainfire publishes preview of FlashFire, the successor to Mobile Odin

FlashFireIf you’ve ever rooted, flashed a custom rom, kernel or mod on a Samsung smartphone or tablet, there’s a good chance that you’ve used a tool developed by Chainfire at some point. You can count the SuperSu app, Triangle Away  and 500 Firepaper apps among his many creations, and now we have a new app called FlashFire which is currently in Beta status. Chainfire says the new app is the spiritual successor to Mobile Odin. Read more

Google Now cards on their way to Chrome Launcher 2.0

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Owners of Chromebooks running the Chrome OS should expect to see a feature from the Android platform make its way over to their devices before much longer. Google has added support for Google search, including Google Now cards, to the next version of their Chrome Launcher 2.0. Testing of the new launcher is rolling out within the next week for users who are on the Chrome OS Beta Channel. Read more