Some people download a million apps to their Android phone, one for each and every activity. Coincidentally, these are also the people who ask their brother why their phone, which was lightning fast when they got it, is suddenly struggling to open the homescreen under the load of three different QR code readers. (Not that I'm pointing fingers. Bekie.) For those who prefer to keep fewer apps installed, the latest PayPal update adds the ability to scan and retrieve gift cards.
If you snatched up one of the hard-to-find Nexus 9 Magic Covers by getting in a pre-order at Amazon way back in October, check your inbox. At least one Android Police reader reports that his cover has shipped. Given Amazon's extensive and speedy distribution network, it's likely that most of the other pre-orders are shipping as well, though that might depend on which color you chose. And speaking of colors...
Here's something you don't see every day. American carriers AT&T and Verizon both offer the fourth-generation models of the Galaxy Tab 8.0 and 10.1, and this weekend, they're each updating both versions. That indicates some kind of coordinated effort on the part of Samsung's software engineers... or a remarkable coincidence. In any case, owners should start seeing the over-the-air updates come in today, though some will have to wait a few more days.
It isn't often that we issue a Deal Alert for a phone that still costs more than $500 after a discount, but thanks to AT&T's somewhat inflated pricing, this one qualifies. The carrier-branded version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 flagship is being sold on eBay for $659.99 today. That's a bit more than $160 off of AT&T's off-contract price for the phone, and still $50 cheaper than the international version of the Note 4 on Amazon.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a gorgeous battery-based platformer, a semi-realistic 2D fighter, a micro-platforming title, a spinning puzzler, and a horribly violent/adorably cute sequel.
Apex might be the last of the major launcher replacements to get a redesign for Android 5.0's visual style, but it certainly doesn't want to be the least. Apex's 3.0 update adds new Lollipop animations and a completely revamped visual style, making it more or less homogenous with Google's own launcher, but with the range of settings and tweaking options that customization fans crave. You can download the standard Apex Launcher for free, with the $4 upgrade app available for more options.
Unified Remote is a remarkably powerful app for remotely controlling the functions of your PC. (Not your TV, unless you have an IR port.) The last beta release of the app, which used the frustrating Google Groups testing system, implemented remote control support via an Android Wear app. Now you can get that Wear support in the standard Play Store version, no beta opt-in necessary. You'll need the full version, a $4 add-on, to access the Wear app.
LG's G Pad 8.3 is, at least for the moment, the company's most high-end tablet available on Verizon's proprietary CDMA/LTE network. Today this carrier-specific model (VK810) gets a small software update to address one big user issue, one small carrier issue, and an outdated app. The latter is the Redbox streaming video app, formerly supported by Verizon, and now out of service. The latest update removes the RedBox app completely.
Those Google+ users who often use the service for posting videos now have some exciting new tools. The automated enhancements for photos has been available for more than a year, and now the feature is coming to videos as well. Videos uploaded to the service that are flagged by Google's automated system can be enhanced with improved stability, color correction, and lighting enhancements. Improvements to sound for better voice quality are planned for a future update.
The next minor release of Android is going out just a couple of weeks after 5.0.1. But don't head to your Settings menu just yet: it looks like this one is just for the 2012 version of the Nexus 7, at least at the moment. Because the N7 2012 (Wi-Fi version) has yet to receive Android 5.0.1, this could be a rare model-specific release. Right now the new build has been published as code in the Android Open Source project and a system image is also available.