The landlocked European country of Austria and the Chinese island megacity of Hong Kong don't have a lot in common, but this morning (or this afternoon, depending on where you are) they can come together and bond over cheap Google streaming gadgets. The Chromecast just launched on the respective Play Stores in both territories, making it easy to get a hold of one without importing it or bribing your American buddies.
You know what thermostats and smoke detectors need? They need touchscreens, and internet connectivity, and apps, and gesture recognition. The only way you're getting that is with Google's Nest thermostat and Nest Protect smoke/carbon monoxide detector. Now you can get them even if you're in France or Ireland.
Good day, readers. Here at Android Police, we wish to express our full and unequivocal support for the Ministry of Silly Walks, and the fine work that those men and women accomplish. It is a lamentable shame that the Ministry is continually overlooked in favor of less noble endeavors, such as National Defense, Housing, and Social Security. With a budget of only 348 million pounds per year, it's amazing that they manage to produce such instructive material as the official Ministry of Silly Walks Game.
Today Amazon popped its yearly Kindle Fire update unannounced, showing off no less than four new models of its customized Android tablet family. The Kindle Fire HD Kids is being covered in this post, but the main event is the refreshed versions of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, Fire HD7, and the "all-new" Fire HD 6. These will make up Amazon's new line, scheduled to go on sale in October.
Along with a handful of new tablets, Amazon has officially announced Fire OS 4 (codenamed Sangria), which it says adds hundreds of new features to the "content-forward" operating system.
First and foremost, Amazon says the user interface in Fire OS has gotten a facelift. Amazon hasn't gone into detail in describing its UI changes, but visual tweaks are certainly welcome to an interface that can at times seem scattered.
Besides that, Amazon is touting new features like ASAP, Smart Suspend, and the addition of individual user profiles to make for easier sharing among families.
Amazon announced a handful of new Fire tablets tonight, one of which is designed specifically for kids. The company looks to be going after Fuhu's nabi and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 Kids with the Fire HD Kids Edition, and it's going straight for the jugular.
First off, the Fire HD Kids Edition (FHDKE?) has an unheard of two year, no questions asked guarantee. If the tablet gets broken any time within the first two years – regardless of how it happens – Amazon will replace it at no charge.
Football season is back here in the United States - there were two, count 'em, two NFL apps in the last game roundup alone. But if you didn't get enough of the other football during the World Cup, EA would like to provide a digital alternative. At least if you live in Canada, that is - the company just published the Android version of FIFA 15 up north. Canucks, all the soccer you want is free for the asking...
You know the pain of watching a vertical video in a world based on horizontal players. Google took a swing at fixing that with the Google Camera app, which warns users not to do that. Horizon actually fixes the issue by letting you take a proper horizontal video while holding the phone in any orientation. It's magic!
Before today, the official Starbucks app was perfectly serviceable - in fact, I'd say it was better than most retail apps. You can store pre-paid Starbucks cards in the app and pay with them, see your rewards for being a loyal customer, and find coffee shops with the built-in map (in case you can't see one by turning your head from side to side). But today's sizeable update from version 2.4 to 2.7 adds some neat stuff, most notably the ability to tip your coffee minion.
Android users have yet another option for data-only calls and text messages today, as BitTorrent Inc. posted an alpha version of its Bleep communication client to the Play Store. Bleep is designed to be an alternative to conventional calling and systems like Skype or WhatsApp, and requires no central server or service. Bleep has been invite-only since July, but now it's ready to go public. Clients are also available for Windows and OS X computers.