Facebook said Tuesday it's redesigning its mobile app's navigation bar -- at the bottom of the screen for iPhones, and at top of the screen for Android phones -- to show people shortcuts for the products they use most frequently. Previously, everyone in the same country saw the same five icons. In the US, it was news feed, notifications, menu, Watch (Facebook's video hub) and Marketplace (its version of Craigslist for buying and selling stuff). Now, everyone will still see the news feed, notifications and menu icons, but the other slots will show the stuff you use most. That includes icons for your profile, friend requests, Marketplace, Groups and Watch.At first, the icons will be chosen for you automatically based on usage, but Facebook said it eventually wants to build in settings that let people have more control over what they see. "We want the shortcuts available in the navigation bar to reflect how an individual uses Facebook," Product Manager Alexa Andrzejewski said in a … [Read more...] about Facebook is personalizing the navigation bar on its mobile app
A sign posted in front of the Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Ever start watching a movie and then pause it because you have to leave home? You don't have to leave your Netflix movies in the middle anymore. Now you can watch the whole thing, anywhere, with the Netflix mobile app. This lets you view movies and TV shows on a smartphone or tablet. The best part? There's no extra charge, as long as you already subscribe to Netflix. The catch? You've got to have the right phone or tablet. Android, Apple, and Windows 7 mobile-device owners can all access the Netflix mobile app. However, the application has come under fire lately for its relatively limited Android release. Only a handful of Android systems can support the Netflix streaming so far [source: Broida]. Netflix says it's working fast to bring video streaming to more mobile systems, but it's hampered by the lack of standardized streaming playback features across Android phones … [Read more...] about How the Netflix Mobile App Works
Case By Case To measure a retailer's app versus its Web site requires a case-by-case approach. There's no global truth we can point to that says one is automatically superior or inferior to the other. That being said, with more people around the world buying devices like smartphones and tablets, it's possible that this could change as retailers try to court new customers. But today, you need to look at some specific factors. First, what are your shopping habits? Do you tend to shop at only a few stores? If so, a retailer mobile app may be your best bet. Apps tend to be streamlined and easy to navigate -- they remove all the extra features you'd find on a Web site and focus more on transactions. But if you shop at lots of different stores, managing and organizing all those apps could be a headache. It may be easier just to use a Web browser -- a single app -- than to constantly switch back and forth between various retailers' apps. Another factor to consider is the quality of the app … [Read more...] about Is it smarter to use a retailer’s mobile app or their Web site to shop with them?
Now, Google is literally in the palm of your hands! Sean Gallup/Getty Images Finding information with your mobile device just got easier. The Google mobile app lets you search Google from your smartphone. This free app offers a few interesting search functions that will make locating a new bistro or specialty shoe retailer a lot more fun, too. The Google mobile app is currently available for the BlackBerry, Nokia, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android, among others. To find out if your mobile device is supported, all you have to do is use your phone's Web browser to visit m.google.com/search and Google will evaluate your equipment. If your phone is compatible, Google will send you the right version of its mobile app automatically. Otherwise, bookmark the Google mobile page for future reference. You never know when you'll need it. On the next page, we'll go through some of the more popular functions of the Google mobile app and explain what they do. … [Read more...] about What does the Google mobile app do?
Despite the cover creepiness, the album is full of feel-good vibes. Image courtesy Amazon You've heard of cloud computing, right? The concept is simple: I don't have a copy of my favorite Boards of Canada album in the car. I don't keep it shelved next to my living room sound system, and I don't have a copy at the office to pop in my work computer. Heck, I don't even own a physical copy of the album "Music Has the Right to Children." It exists in my life solely as a digital file, one that drifts along from phone to computer to entertainment system, without calling any of them a permanent home. We live in an age where even our most beloved nuggets of media exist in a digital form, and cloud computing allows us to store a single copy of this data on a remote server. Then we can access it from anywhere. The Dropbox file hosting service allows just such a cloud-computing scenario. Founded in 2007 by a pair of MIT students, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowski, Dropbox enables users to … [Read more...] about How the Dropbox Mobile App Works