Yahoo debuts Livetext, a new messaging app that combines live video with text conversations Threads

Yahoo LiveText

There are plenty of different messaging applications out there, with even more coming down the pipeline, and now Yahoo is getting into the mix, too.

The company has unveiled Livetext, a brand new way for people to get in touch with folks, but with a bit of a twist to the norm. While some messaging platforms have a focus on video and others, text, Livetext bridges the gap between the two and provides users with a live video of the person they’re talking with, but with the conversation still primarily focused on text entry.

That’s right. With Livetext, there’s a real-time video feed that shows the reactions of what’s being said in text, but there’s no audio. The videos are completely silent, and communication, outside sign language and hand signals, is still left to texting. There’s a video below that shows it all works.

There’s no sharing of video or pictures, and the conversation that you’re having with someone in the moment is all there is. Once you’ve finished, it’ll be deleted.

Livetext is available in Ireland, Taiwan and Hong Kong right now. It’ll be available for Android (and iOS) in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Canada beginning Thursday, July 30.

What do you think of the idea?


http://androidandme.com/2015/07/news/yahoo-debuts-livetext-a-new-messaging-app-that-combines-live-video-with-text-conversations/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Sprint’s new Family Share Pack offers four lines with shared 10GB for $100, 40GB for $120 Threads

sprint-store

Sprint has seen fit that the mobile market needs another family plan, and so the Now Network has debuted a brand new Family Share Pack to compete with the other major wireless carriers.

This new offer is for four lines that offers unlimited talk and text, while throwing in 10GB of high-speed data that is shared between those four lines. All of that can be had for $100 per month. The family that might need a bit more data for each person, though, can opt to pay $20 more per month — $120 — to get 40GB of shared data per month. Sprint is also offering to waive the per-line access fee for all of the lines as long as you’re paying for the plan.

The catch here is that to sign up for this Family Share Pack, you’ll need to switch four lines to Sprint and then pick up a phone through Sprint Lease or Sprint Easy Pay. To help the switchers out, Sprint is offering to pay off the contracts and old phones, as long as the switchers trade in their old devices at the same time.

The new Family Share Pack launches on Friday, July 31.

What do you think of the new plan from the Now Network?


http://androidandme.com/2015/07/news/sprints-new-family-share-pack-offers-four-lines-with-shared-10gb-for-100-40gb-for-120/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Amazon and Google offering nice Chromecast deals Threads

Chromecast (1)

If you’ve been thinking about picking up a new Chromecast, Amazon and Google have offers on the little stick that might make you pull the trigger.

First up, Amazon is offering a free $10 Amazon gift card with the purchase of a Chromecast, which is $29.99. Simply add both the Chromecast and the gift card to your cart, and the cost of the gift card will be subtracted at checkout. This offer is valid through 11:59 pm PT on August 9.

The Google Store has a Chromecast offer of its own. If you buy two Chromecasts at once, Google will knock $15 off of your total. The Chromecast is $35 at the Google Store, so with this promo, your total will be $55.

Google will also give you a free Google Play move rental when you buy and set up a Chromecast by December 31, so that’s another bit of motivation to pick up a Chromecast.

Chromecasts can come in handy for getting content from your phone or tablet onto your TV, so it may not be a bad idea to take advantage of Google’s offer and outfit your home with Chromecasts. But if you really only need one, you could grab Amazon’s deal and get a gift card in the process. Because you know that you’ll eventually need to buy something from Amazon.

Sources: Amazon, Google


http://androidandme.com/2015/07/news/amazon-and-google-offering-nice-chromecast-deals/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Alleged rear of LG ‘Bullhead’ Nexus phone leaks out Threads

nexus-logo

Now that we’re working our way through the summer and getting closer to the fall, the Nexus rumors are going to start heating up, and a newly-leaked image may be the start of that rumor fire.

@OnLeaks, aka Steve Hemmerstoffer of Nowhereelse.fr, claims to have an image that shows the “form factor” of the 2015 LG Nexus phone, which is codenamed “Bullhead.” The image came from a case maker and is said to be based on “very early informations.”

lgbullheadnexusleak

So what can we see? Well, the rear has three cutouts, two of which are probably for the camera (round) and flash (square). But that third one is a mystery. Perhaps its for a fingerprint reader, a feature that’s natively supported in Android M? We can also see cutouts along the side and bottom for volume and lock buttons, as well as a charging port.

The rumor mill has suggested that Google is prepping two Nexus phones for 2015: an LG-made “Bullhead” and a Huawei “Angler.” The LG phone is reportedly the smaller of the two with a 5.2-inch display, while the Huawei device might have a 5.7-inch screen. The LG Bullhead is also said to have a Snapdragon 808 processor and 2700mAh battery.

Based on the rumors that’ve emerged so far, which new Nexus phone are you more interested in?


http://androidandme.com/2015/07/news/alleged-rear-of-lg-bullhead-nexus-phone-leaks-out/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Coding Horror Doing Terrible Things To Your Code

In 1992, I thought I was the best programmer in the world. In my defense, I had just graduated from college, this was pre-Internet, and I lived in Boulder, Colorado working in small business jobs where I was lucky to even hear about other programmers much less meet them.

I eventually fell in with a guy named Bill O’Neil, who hired me to do contract programming. He formed a company with the regrettably generic name of Computer Research & Technologies, and we proceeded to work on various gigs together, building line of business CRUD apps in Visual Basic or FoxPro running on Windows 3.1 (and sometimes DOS, though we had a sense by then that this new-fangled GUI thing was here to stay).

Bill was the first professional programmer I had ever worked with. Heck, for that matter, he was the first programmer I ever worked with. He’d spec out some work with me, I’d build it in Visual Basic, and then I’d hand it over to him for review. He’d then calmly proceed to utterly demolish my code:

  • Tab order? Wrong.
  • Entering a number instead of a string? Crash.
  • Entering a date in the past? Crash.
  • Entering too many characters? Crash.
  • UI element alignment? Off.
  • Does it work with unusual characters in names like, say, O'Neil? Nope.

One thing that surprised me was that the code itself was rarely the problem. He occasionally had some comments about the way I wrote or structured the code, but what I clearly had no idea about is testing my code.

I dreaded handing my work over to him for inspection. I slowly, painfully learned that the truly difficult part of coding is dealing with the thousands of ways things can go wrong with your application at any given time – most of them user related.

That was my first experience with the buddy system, and thanks to Bill, I came out of that relationship with a deep respect for software craftsmanship. I have no idea what Bill is up to these days, but I tip my hat to him, wherever he is. I didn’t always enjoy it, but learning to develop discipline around testing (and breaking) my own stuff unquestionably made me a better programmer.

It’s tempting to lay all this responsibility at the feet of the mythical QA engineer.

QA Engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a sfdeljknesv.

— Bill Sempf (@sempf) September 23, 2014

If you are ever lucky enough to work with one, you should have a very, very healthy fear of professional testers. They are terrifying. Just scan this "Did I remember to test" list and you’ll be having the worst kind of flashbacks in no time. Did I mention that’s the abbreviated version of his list?

I believe a key turning point in every professional programmer’s working life is when you realize you are your own worst enemy, and the only way to mitigate that threat is to embrace it. Act like your own worst enemy. Break your UI. Break your code. Do terrible things to your software.

This means programmers need a good working knowledge of at least the common mistakes, the frequent cases that average programmers tend to miss, to work against. You are tester zero. This is your responsibility.

Let’s start with Patrick McKenzie’s classic Falsehoods Programmers Believe about Names:

  1. People have exactly one canonical full name.
  2. People have exactly one full name which they go by.
  3. People have, at this point in time, exactly one canonical full name.
  4. People have, at this point in time, one full name which they go by.
  5. People have exactly N names, for any value of N.
  6. People’s names fit within a certain defined amount of space.
  7. People’s names do not change.
  8. People’s names change, but only at a certain enumerated set of events.
  9. People’s names are written in ASCII.
  10. People’s names are written in any single character set.

That’s just the first 10. There are thirty more. Plus a lot in the comments if you’re in the mood for extra credit. Or, how does Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Time grab you?

  1. There are always 24 hours in a day.
  2. Months have either 30 or 31 days.
  3. Years have 365 days.
  4. February is always 28 days long.
  5. Any 24-hour period will always begin and end in the same day (or week, or month).
  6. A week always begins and ends in the same month.
  7. A week (or a month) always begins and ends in the same year.
  8. The machine that a program runs on will always be in the GMT time zone.
  9. Ok, that’s not true. But at least the time zone in which a program has to run will never change.
  10. Well, surely there will never be a change to the time zone in which a program has to run in production.
  11. The system clock will always be set to the correct local time.
  12. The system clock will always be set to a time that is not wildly different from the correct local time.
  13. If the system clock is incorrect, it will at least always be off by a consistent number of seconds.
  14. The server clock and the client clock will always be set to the same time.
  15. The server clock and the client clock will always be set to around the same time.

Are there more? Of course there are! There’s even a whole additional list of stuff he forgot when he put that giant list together.

Catastrophic Error - User attempted to use program in the manner program was meant to be used

I think you can see where this is going. This is programming. We do this stuff for fun, remember?

But in true made-for-TV fashion, wait, there’s more! Seriously, guys, where are you going? Get back here. We have more awesome failure states to learn about:

At this point I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to quit programming altogether. But I think it’s better if we learn to do for each other what Bill did for me, twenty years ago — teach less experienced developers that a good programmer knows they have to do terrible things to their code. Do it because if you don’t, I guarantee you other people will, and when they do, they will either walk away or create a support ticket. I’m not sure which is worse.

[advertisement] Find a better job the Stack Overflow way – what you need when you need it, no spam, and no scams.


http://blog.codinghorror.com/doing-terrible-things-to-your-code/
http://blog.codinghorror.com/

AT&T to demand Android phones feature FM radios by 2016 Threads

image AT&T announcing

Most Android smartphones contain a hardware FM radio receiver that’s bundled with radios such as Bluetooth and WiFi. But for the US market, they’re often disabled. It’s been the case many times where the international version of a device had an FM radio but the US version didn’t. AT&T is going to fix that.

The carrier is requesting that all Android devices in its lineup feature a functioning FM radio by 2016. Music streaming services with tailored online radio stations are dominating and radio isn’t exactly people’s choice in music listening these days, but it could be critical in a disaster, where FM radio might be your only source of news when cellular and TV networks are down.

In the end, it’s an extra addition that won’t hurt but may help, so good on AT&T. What are your thoughts on this story? Leave a comment!


http://androidandme.com/2015/07/news/att-to-demand-android-phones-feature-fm-radios-by-2016/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

AT&T to demand Android phones feature FM radios by 2016 Threads

image AT&T announcing

Most Android smartphones contain a hardware FM radio receiver that’s bundled with radios such as Bluetooth and WiFi. But for the US market, they’re often disabled. It’s been the case many times where the international version of a device had an FM radio but the US version didn’t. AT&T is going to fix that.

The carrier is requesting that all Android devices in its lineup feature a functioning FM radio by 2016. Music streaming services with tailored online radio stations are dominating and radio isn’t exactly people’s choice in music listening these days, but it could be critical in a disaster, where FM radio might be your only source of news when cellular and TV networks are down.

In the end, it’s an extra addition that won’t hurt but may help, so good on AT&T. What are your thoughts on this story? Leave a comment!


http://androidandme.com/2015/07/news/att-to-demand-android-phones-feature-fm-radios-by-2016/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Coding Horror Doing Terrible Things To Your Code

In 1992, I thought I was the best programmer in the world. In my defense, I had just graduated from college, this was pre-Internet, and I lived in Boulder, Colorado working in small business jobs where I was lucky to even hear about other programmers much less meet them.

I eventually fell in with a guy named Bill O’Neil, who hired me to do contract programming. He formed a company with the regrettably generic name of Computer Research & Technologies, and we proceeded to work on various gigs together, building line of business CRUD apps in Visual Basic or FoxPro running on Windows 3.1 (and sometimes DOS, though we had a sense by then that this new-fangled GUI thing was here to stay).

Bill was the first professional programmer I had ever worked with. Heck, for that matter, he was the first programmer I ever worked with. He’d spec out some work with me, I’d build it in Visual Basic, and then I’d hand it over to him for review. He’d then calmly proceed to utterly demolish my code:

  • Tab order? Wrong.
  • Entering a number instead of a string? Crash.
  • Entering a date in the past? Crash.
  • Entering too many characters? Crash.
  • UI element alignment? Off.
  • Does it work with unusual characters in names like, say, O'Neil? Nope.

One thing that surprised me was that the code itself was rarely the problem. He occasionally had some comments about the way I wrote or structured the code, but what I clearly had no idea about is testing my code.

I dreaded handing my work over to him for inspection. I slowly, painfully learned that the truly difficult part of coding is dealing with the thousands of ways things can go wrong with your application at any given time – most of them user related.

That was my first experience with the buddy system, and thanks to Bill, I came out of that relationship with a deep respect for software craftsmanship. I have no idea what Bill is up to these days, but I tip my hat to him, wherever he is. I didn’t always enjoy it, but learning to develop discipline around testing (and breaking) my own stuff unquestionably made me a better programmer.

It’s tempting to lay all this responsibility at the feet of the mythical QA engineer.

QA Engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a sfdeljknesv.

— Bill Sempf (@sempf) September 23, 2014

If you are ever lucky enough to work with one, you should have a very, very healthy fear of professional testers. They are terrifying. Just scan this "Did I remember to test" list and you’ll be having the worst kind of flashbacks in no time. Did I mention that’s the abbreviated version of his list?

I believe a key turning point in every professional programmer’s working life is when you realize you are your own worst enemy, and the only way to mitigate that threat is to embrace it. Act like your own worst enemy. Break your UI. Break your code. Do terrible things to your software.

This means programmers need a good working knowledge of at least the common mistakes, the frequent cases that average programmers tend to miss, to work against. You are tester zero. This is your responsibility.

Let’s start with Patrick McKenzie’s classic Falsehoods Programmers Believe about Names:

  1. People have exactly one canonical full name.
  2. People have exactly one full name which they go by.
  3. People have, at this point in time, exactly one canonical full name.
  4. People have, at this point in time, one full name which they go by.
  5. People have exactly N names, for any value of N.
  6. People’s names fit within a certain defined amount of space.
  7. People’s names do not change.
  8. People’s names change, but only at a certain enumerated set of events.
  9. People’s names are written in ASCII.
  10. People’s names are written in any single character set.

That’s just the first 10. There are thirty more. Plus a lot in the comments if you’re in the mood for extra credit. Or, how does Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Time grab you?

  1. There are always 24 hours in a day.
  2. Months have either 30 or 31 days.
  3. Years have 365 days.
  4. February is always 28 days long.
  5. Any 24-hour period will always begin and end in the same day (or week, or month).
  6. A week always begins and ends in the same month.
  7. A week (or a month) always begins and ends in the same year.
  8. The machine that a program runs on will always be in the GMT time zone.
  9. Ok, that’s not true. But at least the time zone in which a program has to run will never change.
  10. Well, surely there will never be a change to the time zone in which a program has to run in production.
  11. The system clock will always be set to the correct local time.
  12. The system clock will always be set to a time that is not wildly different from the correct local time.
  13. If the system clock is incorrect, it will at least always be off by a consistent number of seconds.
  14. The server clock and the client clock will always be set to the same time.
  15. The server clock and the client clock will always be set to around the same time.

Are there more? Of course there are! There’s even a whole additional list of stuff he forgot when he put that giant list together.

Catastrophic Error - User attempted to use program in the manner program was meant to be used

I think you can see where this is going. This is programming. We do this stuff for fun, remember?

But in true made-for-TV fashion, wait, there’s more! Seriously, guys, where are you going? Get back here. We have more awesome failure states to learn about:

At this point I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to quit programming altogether. But I think it’s better if we learn to do for each other what Bill did for me, twenty years ago — teach less experienced developers that a good programmer knows they have to do terrible things to their code. Do it because if you don’t, I guarantee you other people will, and when they do, they will either walk away or create a support ticket. I’m not sure which is worse.

[advertisement] Find a better job the Stack Overflow way – what you need when you need it, no spam, and no scams.


http://blog.codinghorror.com/doing-terrible-things-to-your-code/
http://blog.codinghorror.com/

Razer to pay OUYA’s debts to developers despite not having to Threads

ouya-final-630

When Razer bought OUYA, the company basically acquired the team, the platform, and the assets of OUYA. This did not include anything else, like OUYA’s Free the Games initiative. This is where the problems began.

The Free the Games initiative sought to pay developers $1 million in total to encourage them to deliver for the OUYA, which a lot of developers jumped on. Unfortunately, OUYA still owed $600k of that money to developers who were working to meet all the criteria. When Razer purchased the company, the money stopped flowing.

Thankfully, Razer is handling it in a fantastic way. The details are still not concrete, but the CEO Min-Liang Tan said Razer will pay the amount owed to those developers as long as they keep developing for the Razer Forge TV, which is also powered by Android, which means that not much will change. Razer did not have any obligation to pay, but it’s great to see the company taking care of the developers.


http://androidandme.com/2015/07/news/razer-to-pay-ouyas-debts-to-developers-despite-not-having-to/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Latest Play Store update brings new animations for hamburger buton Threads

googleplaybrand

Oftentimes, updates to apps are very minor. Bug fixes, little visual changes, nothing to write a changelog about. But thankfully, people keep a sharp eye out for the cool little visual changes that happen in some apps. The latest Play Store update to version 5.8 adds a cool new animation to the hamburger button.

As you can see in the video above, the hamburger button flips into an arrow like it does in other cars. But when the top bar is hidden when scrolled down, these buttons fade or slide out of the way. It’s these touches of refinement that makes Android more of a pleasure to use. What do you think of them?

Source: +Kirill Grouchnikov (2) (3)


http://androidandme.com/2015/07/news/latest-play-store-update-brings-new-animations-for-hamburger-buton/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/