It took us a little longer than usual this time, but we're finally back with a short selection of last month's best new apps. It wasn't easy to narrow them down, but those readers who don't have time, spare cash, or patience enough for our longer semi-weekly roundups can't go wrong with the five apps we've chosen. If, by some chance, none of the apps below suit your fancy, we've got plenty of runners up too.
|Liam Spradlin||Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.|
Last week, we heard from Dan Morrill (via Reddit) that "top men" were working on the "sleep of death" issue that caused 4.3 devices to become unresponsive if they fell asleep while streaming from Netflix through the Chromecast.
Tonight, though, it looks like the issue is already fixed with Netflix's update to version 2.4.1. We've been testing the update since it popped up earlier this evening, and haven't experienced a lockup yet.
There seems to be a surge of mobile photography accessories on Kickstarter these days. Really, the trend makes sense – mobile manufacturers consistently tout their handsets' camera capabilities, and most everyone is prone to snapping shots with their phones. The desire to get better quality photos out of the most convenient cameras around is natural.
It looks like the new Google Play Services rolling out today held one more surprise besides hints of Android Device Manager. With the latest update, Android's Photo Sphere viewer can make use of the on-board compass, allowing you to navigate a sphere just by moving your device, much like Streetview's "Compass Mode."
To enter compass mode, users need only press the arrow icon in the lower left corner of the screen.
Just yesterday, Google posted to its Android blog about Android Device Manager – a tool that will help Android users keep their phones and data safe by offering location and remote wiping/locking features that third party solutions have until now been filling in for.
This morning, users started reporting that the service was rolling out to their devices already. Indeed, Android Device Manager is getting introduced by way of Google Play Services version 3.2.25, but it's not complete just yet.
I like tablets, and I love tablet apps. Don’t take that the wrong way - I love my Nexus 4, and I use it constantly, but there’s something different about tablets. A large, beautiful screen filled by an app that really shows off the functionality that comes with Android's design language is a great experience. Make that tablet super portable, fast, and priced right, and you’ve got my heart.
Okay, maybe that’s not all it takes for a tablet to win my heart.
Just like last year, the Google I/O app's source code has been released in an effort to get developers acquainted with Android best practices.
In a post to Google+ today, the Android Developers page outlined some of the things the source code has in store for those curious. Among them are techniques to implement responsive design across phones and tablets, use content providers and implicit intents in app navigation, using sync adapters to provide new content "in a battery-friendly way" and loads more.
Update: Samsung has posted an official response to yesterday's benchmark kerfuffle, explaining that the maximum frequency for the S4 is actually 533MHz, but that it is actually scaled down for "certain gaming apps that may cause an overload". The maximum frequency, according to the statement, is also attainable in "apps that are usually used in full-screen mode" like the gallery, S Browser, etc. This may not fully explain the explicit mention of certain benchmark apps in TwDVFSApp, but it is at least nice to see an official response to the situation.
Googlers have alluded to an expansion of the Glass Explorers program for some time now, but we may finally be seeing some forward motion on the idea.
Posted by Explorer Ryan Mott and confirmed by Glass community advocate Sarah Price, the screenshot below shows an email being sent out to some explorers allowing them to "Invite a Friend" to become an explorer.
For now, Price indicates that the program is "an experiment," and independent of the previous #IfIHadGlass campaign, though some explorers from that contest "may receive this email."
We've reached out for more details and will keep you updated if more information emerges.