In addition to substantial updates to the Android Device Manager and Chrome Beta yesterday, Google Maps is getting an adjustment as well. The new version (8.1) revives the Terrain Mode view, which lets you easily see the various elevation changes in surrounding hills, mountains, and valleys. (Terrain Mode was removed in Maps 7, for some reason.) There are also a few user interface changes to the various navigation screens. It's a small update compared with the the full 8.0 bump from earlier this month, but there are still some useful additions.
When an iOS app comes to Android, all too often it's merely a half-hearted copy, taking no notice of the user interface standards or the expanded capability of the platform. I'm happy to report that this is not the case with Sunrise Calendar, which has managed to gain quite a following across the way for its impressive layout and sunny visual design. It's available now for all Android devices running 4.0 or higher, though there's no tablet interface at the moment.
Wow, it's been over three years since we wrote about the official app for Digitally Imported Radio, or as it's known in your URL bar, DI.FM. (Fare thee well, "Android Market.") This app lets you access 65 finely-tuned streaming music stations focusing on electronic music and similar genres. The update to version 1.5 lets you sign in with either Google+ or Facebook. You can still log in with an existing DI account, or create a new one sans social network.
As a keen and professional observer of the modern consumer electronics market, I can say without fear of contradiction that smartphone screens are getting bigger. So can columnist Alex Barredo, but he's done an impressive amount a statistical legwork and presentation to prove it. On the surface his analysis of smartphone size screen trends may seem obvious, but within you can find dramatic shifts in patterns of both the overall market and specific companies.
Android Device Manager is already a great way to ensure you can locate, lock, or wipe your phone if you lose it. You can remotely access it from your tablet or any full computer, but what if you're out and about and don't have any spare technology handy, and no way to connect it? Google has delivered a solution in the form of the latest Android Device Manager update. Now any Android device with ADM can allow guests to log in, with full access to remote location, ringing, locking, and wiping.
According to Wikipedia, there were 19 entries in the perennial Worms franchise before the latest game was published on iOS last year, not counting re-releases, ports, spin-offs, and expansion packs. So why is this one simply titled Worms 3, when in fact we've already had Worms 2, Worms 4: Mayhem, Worms 2: Armageddon (published after Worms 4, by the way), and Worms: Ultimate Mayhem? Who knows. Apparently fans of this series aren't bothered by inconsistent numbering schemes.
Gamers who've been living under a priceless hand-carved ancient monolith might not know about Uncharted, a series of PlayStation-exclusive action adventure games that have sold tens of millions of copies across three titles. The odds of us getting an Android port of Uncharted are somewhere between slim and none. But you can get a shameless copy of Uncharted-style gaming with Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta, available now on the Play Store.
It seems that just about every major organization or service is being targeted for a gigantic data breach these days. Spotify was the latest service to be attacked, and yesterday the music streaming company specifically told Android users to upgrade their apps soon to protect themselves. The update is available today, but Spotify isn't taking any chances: it's created an entirely separate entry in the Play Store to make sure users get the point.
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 an endless runner from the makers of Rock Band and a trio of BulkyPix casual titles.
For my money, Nova Launcher is the best of the AOSP-style launchers available in Android. Developer TeslaCoil Software has consistently updated the launcher for the better part of three years, and one of the biggest updates is coming soon. Nova 3.0 won't add any earth-shattering changes, but there are a bunch of little changes that will thrill the customization-obsessed in small ways.
On the homescreen, you can now customize the text below shortcuts to a greater degree with color and shadow options, and widgets can now have individual padding settings.