It looks like Google isn't wasting any time laying down a support infrastructure for its new set-top box push. Just one day after the shiny new Nexus Player officially went on sale, the YouTube app for Android TV has been published in the Play Store to enable easy updates without a firmware upgrade. If you happen to be one of the few people with an ADT-1 developer unit from Google I/O or you got lucky with an early delivery of the Nexus Player, you should see the update automatically.
Over the next few weeks you're going to a see a lot of mainstream apps get quick (and possibly dirty) updates when the new Lollipop devices and software builds break some of their functionality. (No, we don't have any links to images yet.) Some of the first are HBO's streaming app HBO GO, and the same app for its sister network Cinemax, MAX GO. Both apps have been updated today to include "support for Android Lollipop."
The update text also says that the apps have added "higher resolution playback." That's all.
Good news, everyone! Well, not everyone - everyone who wants to buy Google Play Store credit in the form of gift cards, and currently lives in Ireland. Actually, let's be specific: in the Republic of Ireland, since the United Kingdom has had Google Play Gift Cards since last May, presumably including Northern Ireland. OK, so if you're somewhere between Donegal and Cork and/or Galway and Dublin, and you want to buy a Google Play Gift card, I've got good news.
Google Inbox has been available for only a week, and Google is already tweaking the Android app. Not much, of course - sweeping changes don't come that fast. But as with the recent updates to Newsstand and other apps, Google is getting a little more consistent with its Material Design standard. There don't appear to be any huge shifts in functionality in this update, though users with multiple email accounts will certainly appreciate at least one.
Verizon's ongoing DROID program means that most of the phones sold under the label will never appear on other US carriers. When the DROID Turbo was announced last week as one of the most high-end phones to come this year, more than a few of our commenters said that they'd prefer it to the Nexus 6 (also made by Motorola) due to its smaller size, if only a non-locked GSM version was available.
The LG G Watch R seems to be the best Android Wear device yet, at least in the opinion of our own David Ruddock. But that doesn't mean much if you can't actually buy one. LG has been silent on pricing thus far, but it looks like AT&T just spilled the beans by announcing its plans to carry the G Watch R in its retail stores. You can pick one up this Friday, November 7th...
LG and Samsung got the Android Wear party started, releasing the G Watch and Gear Live, respectively. Those watches only need Google's Wear app to function, but Motorola changed the formula a bit with the Moto 360, tying the watch to the existing Motorola Connect app. For the upcoming ZenWatch, ASUS is beating them all (well, sort of) with three separate watch-focused apps.
The first new ASUS app is simply titled "ZenWatch Manager," and it's essentially a remote setup function for your watch on your phone screen.
To be frank, October was a bit bare of notable game releases, unless you count ports and adaptations of older titles. Our monthly top seven contains three ports, one adaptation of a card game, and one modified version of a casual PlayStation title. Only Botanicula and Rovio's surprisingly engaging Retry stand on their own. Still, there's plenty to choose from if all you need is a diversion, and our Honorable Mention section includes some choice entries for RPG and horror fans.
During October we've been positively innundated with new versions of apps, mostly from Google as the company plasters Material Design over nearly its entire catalog. But there have been some notable launches as well, dominated by Google's own Inbox (and the scramble that comes from an invitation system). For some other highlighted picks from October and a few honorable mentions, read on.
Inbox by Gmail
Android Police coverage: Google's 'Inbox By Gmail' Email Replacement System Is Live, But Invite-Only For The Moment
Inbox is kind of a big deal as far as Google is concerned - it appears to be the new status quo for the company's email system going forward.
The 2014 releases of the Moto X and Moto G have been available for a few weeks, but for some reason Motorola has been a bit slow to release the usual mandatory kernel source code. Today you can find them both on Motorola's development GitHub, confirmed by a Motorola employee in the comment section of the wider MSM kernel. Get after it, ROM cookers.
If you've never read one of these posts before, the kernel is the Linux-based baseline software that runs underneath Android and allows it to interact with phone or tablet hardware.