The Xbox app for Android now allows you to voice chat

One of the features of the Xbox is called Party Chat. It’s a way for you and your friends to chat while playing games or watching movies. The Xbox app for Android now allows you to join these Party Chats and use your voice from your phone. The feature is rolling out in the latest beta release.

Now, if you have to walk away from your Xbox, you can continue to participate in the Party Chat. The feature is only available for Android right now, so feel free to gloat to your iPhone friends. The beta is available to anyone in the public. Hit the link below to download the beta app from the Play Store.

Xbox beta – Google Play

You can now sample Pandora Premium for free by watching ads

Pandora is giving users the chance to sample its Premium service for free by watching ads. A 15-second clip will unlock the full Pandora Premium experience for a limited amount of time, giving listeners the option to queue tracks, build playlists, and more.

Pandora Premium is priced at $9.99 a month, and until now, you had to pay that to listen to any song you wanted — and to unlock other features like curated playlists. But Pandora is trialing a new system that gives free users the chance to get a taste of premium by watching an ad.

You’ll be prompted to view an ad when you attempt to play a track you’ve searched for. After watching it, you’ll enjoy Pandora Premium temporarily. Pandora hasn’t yet decided how long the Premium experience will last for — it is still being tested — but promises it will be for more than just one song.

After trialing Pandora Premium, free users could be persuaded to upgrade and fork out the $9.99 monthly fee. However, Pandora chief Chris Phillips insists that’s not what the trial was designed for. Pandora wants both the free and paid tiers to grow, Phillips told Engadget.

The temporary trial is only available to mobile users for now since that’s where 85 percent of Pandora usage comes from. It’s still not possible to access Pandora Premium on the web, but Phillips says a web app and an updated tablet app are in the pipeline.

If you don’t already have Pandora installed on your Android device, tap the button below to download it from Google Play.

Pandora for Android

Spotify is testing a brand new UI for Android

Some Spotify users are seeing a new three-tabbed UI for the Android app. The new UI aims to make things simpler by dividing the app into three sections. Instead of tabs for Home, Library, Search, Radio, and Browse, the new UI only has Home, Search, and Playlists.

The Search tab has been changed the most. It has been combined with the old Browse tab to consolidate things. This is where you’ll find the Genre and Mood sections. Other new features include bigger buttons on the Playlists tab, a list of your like, larger album thumbnails, and more minor tweaks. The update is being tested right now, but we don’t know when it will roll out to everyone.

[via Google+]

Grammarly keyboard app is now available on Android

Grammarly is a fantastic online tool for those who pride themselves in their online communication (sometimes referred to as “grammar-nazis”). While there are quite a few grammar checking apps available on Android, most of them require uploading pasting text into the app or uploading documents for analyzing. That’s where the new Grammarly Keyboard comes in.

A month after launching on iOS, Grammarly for Android works much the same way as the incredibly popular Chrome extension. By making a keyboard app, Grammarly can read text you’ve typed inside other apps, suggesting corrections as you go. Whether you’re shooting off an email, creating a post on Twitter, or just texting a loved one, Grammarly Keyboard makes sure your messages are mistake-free. Well, for the most part.

I deliberately typed out a few pretty awful sentences and Grammarly gave them the okay, so it still needs a little fine tuning. As it turns out, most of the enhanced grammar correction — style and vocabulary enhancements — is only available to premium users which means the app is more-or-less grammar correction “lite.” There’s also no glide-to-type feature quite yet, but Grammarly did say they’re already working on it.

The app is completely free to download, so there’s no reason to not give it a shot. Just keep in mind that it’s still very early and offers only a basic keyboard experience for now. Premium pricing starts at $29 a month or $11 if you pay for a year in advanced. You can download the app using the button below.

Download on Google Play

Google’s search trends of 2017 show a lot of people asked “how”

As 2017 comes to a close, Google is sharing some of the trends from the past year. The top three topics this year included Hurricane Irma, iPhone 8, and iPhone X. To Google’s dismay, the Pixel 2 didn’t even crack the top 10 in tech trends (Galaxy S8 was #4). A big trend this year was searching involving “how.”

People asked “how do wildfires start” and “how to make solar eclipse glasses” and “how to buy bitcoin.” From silly things like “how to make slime” to serious issues such as “how to help Puerto Rico.” It’s really no surprise that people ask “how” to Google a lot. Whenever someone has a question or a problem, people say “Google it.”

Some of the other popular searches this year included Wonder Woman, Nintendo Switch, Stranger Things, solar eclipse, Wimbledon (higher than Super Bowl), Tom Petty, and so much more. You can see all the charts here.