Google has been busy lately updating its apps. Not only has the tech giant made enhancements to the main Google app, it has also updated its Google Keyboard app as well. And now, Google is releasing a new Messenger app, which is now available for download from Google Play. Messenger is a nifty instant messaging tool that lets users send and receive SMS and MMS messages, participate in group chat conversations, create and transmit audio messages, and many others.
A new app called Snowball has just been launched today. Running on Android (for now), Snowball serves as your smartphone's universal inbox for all your messaging clients, collating all messages from SMS, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, to name a few. When installed on your smartphone, Snowball's icon should appear right on the Android homescreen as an icon. But why launch on Android first, and not on, say, iOS? Well, the background of the app's creators, Anish Acharya and Jeson Patel, may have something to do with it. Acharya and Patel had met at the University of Waterloo before ending up in the city of Seattle with the two working for Amazon and Microsoft, respectively. They would later partner to form and then sell SocialDeck, a company that publishes mobile social games, to Google back in 2010. In their Google stints, Acharya would later run the mobile product for Google +, while Patel would found Google Play Games. From Google, Acharya would later go to Google Ventures where he worked as an investing partner for a few years. Needless to say, both have roots in Google and solid ties to the Android team, so debuting their Snowball app on Android makes a lot of sense.
Back in August earlier this year, Nokia had announced that the Here mapping app would be coming to Samsung Galaxy phones. Well, it appears that the wait is over, especially for Samsung users who can not wait to use the navigation app in their Galaxy handsets. The Here maps app is officially available for download on the Galaxy app store beginning today. For the uninitiated, Here is a mapping app that Nokia created and kept -- even when software making giant Microsoft acquired the Finnish phone maker's mobile device segment. Previously, Here was only available for use on devices that run on Windows 8, Windows Phone, or Fire OS (the operating system used by Amazon for its Fire phones). Now, the Here maps app will finally be made available for Android users, too. Android users who are familiar with the app will be delighted to know that the Android version also comes with the features found in the Windows Phone and Fire OS versions. These features include turn by turn navigation, 3D, flat and satellite maps, the ability to use maps even if offline, and of course, Collections, a feature that collects the user's favorite hangouts. Aside from the mapping features, Here's Android version also includes Here Drive and Here Transit, which allows users to plot their trips while riding public transport.
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