Nova Launcher 5.1 (beta) released with Dynamic Badges, small improvements

The fine folks behind one of the most popular Android launchers, Nova Launcher, have just announced a new beta version is now available for download.

Nova Launcher 5.1 beta brings just one important new feature that’s been requested by many users in the past. The new feature is called Dynamic Badges, and it’s now available for testing to everyone installing the latest beta build.

It appears that due to API restrictions more often than not unread counts are misleading. At the same time, since every application counts things in a different way, the numbers shown don’t have a meaning.

For …

Google releases an Android Nougat 7.1.2 beta 2 update, Nexus 6P finally gets fingerprint scanner gestures

Google today started rolling out an Android 7.1.2 beta 2 software update to select devices, including the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Nexus Player.

To be clear, this new Nougat update (build number NPG47I) is only reaching folks enrolled in the Android Beta Program, since it’s a beta. Nevertheless, a stable, final release of Android 7.1.2 should be available to everyone in the near future, possibly in a few weeks’ time. Google previously mentioned that this would be an “incremental maintenance release focused on refinements”, including “bug fixes and optimizations, …

New beta update of Microsoft's Arrow Launcher for Android is underway

Just a few days ago, the Microsoft Arrow Launcher for Android received a large update to version 3.0. The update carried with it support for tablets, and a utility page where certain features such as a contacts list, reminders and a list of frequently used apps can be pinned. Now, Microsoft is in the process of beta testing another update to the Arrow Launcher. Among the features being tested is one that locks widgets and apps so that they cannot move around the screen accidentally.

Another new feature that is part of the beta test includes a date/time widget that displays the time of your …

The iOS 10.3 beta lets you check which apps won't work in iOS 11

Ever since the first beta for iOS 10.3 hit, it’s been all but confirmed that the next major release, iOS 11, will likely cut support for 32-bit apps entirely, essentially making nearly 200,000 apps obsolete. It turns out, however, that the company also lets users manually check which, if any, of their installed apps will be affected by the change, though it hasn’t done a good job of advertising it.

The feature, called “App Compatibility”, is buried deep within the settings, where it can be found by tapping on General > About > Applications, provided the device is running …

WhatsApp's previous text status returns on new beta version of the app

You might recall that last month, on its eighth birthday, WhatsApp announced the introduction of video status updates. This did not go down smoothly for WhatsApp subscribers, many of whom felt that the Facebook owned messaging app was merely copying Instagram and Snapchat. To prevent the torch and pitchfork crowd from making a raid on WhatsApp headquarters, the text status feature has made a triumphant return on the new version of the app, 2.17.95. This currently is available to beta users only.

Changing back to the previous text status requires a click on the overflow menu (the infamous …

Updated BlackBerry Hub+ beta releases for Android are on the way

Bug exterminations and small enhancements are the order of the day for the beta versions of the BlackBerry Hub+ suite. The new version of the app takes it to v1.5.1.12521. The suite includes BlackBerry Hub, where messages of all type from texts to emails and tweets all hang out in one place. This makes it easier to find chats and messages, which in turn makes it harder to overlook them.

Other parts of the suite include BlackBerry Calendar, BlackBerry Password Keeper, Contacts, Notes, Launcher, Tasks and Device Search. The Calendar allows you to sign into a conference call by tapping a listing …

Android 7.1 Nougat beta starts hitting OnePlus 3 and 3T

OnePlus is keeping up with the timely Android Nougat updates, as the Chinese company announced a new Android 7.1 Nougat update is available for its 3 and 3T smartphones. The beta build is pushed OTA (over the air) to all those who agreed to participate in the beta program.

There’s one caveat, as the new Android 7.1 Nougat beta build is based on HydrogenOS, which is meant for the Chinese versions of the OnePlus 3 and 3T.

It’s a bit unusual for the Chinese variants to get a new update before the global version, especially that many users in China actually prefer …

VLC beta for Android gets loads of new features, including voice search and Android Auto support

The folks over at VideoLabs are about to unleash a major update for their VLC app for Android devices. Several new features have been added to the beta version of VLC, and if trialed successfully, they should be available to everyone very soon.

First of all, the developers have added support for LG devices with 18:9 aspect ratio, like the G6 smartphone, recently announced. Also, there’s a new option that allows VLC users to save subtitles delay and optionally audio delay for each file.

The update will also integrate a DayNight mode and remove the sound lowering notification. …

Update to iOS 10.3 beta 3 for developers includes "Find my AirPods"

Apple started sending out today to developers, the third beta versions of iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2. The new version of iOS includes Find My Air Pods for those who are missing at least one of their expensive wireless ear buds. The feature will not only allow you to see their location on a map, it will also prompt the AirPods to make a telltale noise just in case they are lost somewhere like in a pants pocket. For the AirPods to show up on the map, they need to be paired with one of your iOS devices and be nearby that specific iPhone or iPad.

The iOS 10.3 beta 3 update includes …

T-Mobile's Galaxy S7 Nougat beta users start getting the official Android 7.0 update

While the unlocked Exynos versions of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in UK, Germany and other places have been receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update on their handsets, the US carriers are still dragging their feet a month after Samsung announced the official rollout. That’s to be expected, of course, as the local units are powered by a different chipset, and… carriers. 

T-Mobile, however, is almost ready with the update, it seems, as it has started pushing retail Nougat with the new Samsung UX overlay to its Galaxy S7 and S7 edge users who subscribed for the beta version …