Google is taking the stage at I/O 2014 to announce a lot of really interesting stuff, but if you listen carefully, you may hear a shout out to Udacity. The official Android app has been released in conjunction with the show, allowing you to learn programming at your own pace from your Android device of choice.
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.
He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM
BeyondPod has long been one of the top Android podcast managers, but it was definitely not tops in the looks department. The current version is okay, but it could use a fresh coat of paint. The new 4.0 beta is getting more than that, though. BeyondPod 4.0 has been rebuilt from the ground up with a completely new UI and a new name to go with it. BeyondPod is BeyondPod EVO now.
The Netflix app has come a long, long way in terms of design during its run on Android. It wasn't even a year ago that Netflix changed the interface dramatically in v3.0 and killed most of the lag. Now it's up to v3.6 with a new logo/icon and a black action bar in the app.
Google has made small tweaks to Glass throughout the Explorer program, but today the company has announced a real spec bump. All Glass units shipping from now on will have 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB. There will also be a new viewfinder mode when taking pictures and some more cards. It's not all sunshine and lollipops, though. Current Glass Explorers should take a deep breath – Google won't be swapping out the old version for the new one.
Verizon users will soon have the option of buying a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 that's compatible with the carrier's XLTE network. Oh, this isn't just any tablet, though. It's "The Family Tablet," which sounds to me like it should be a terrible ABC Family channel sitcom about a tablet that comes to life and solves a family's problems, or some such nonsense [cue laugh track]. But no, Verizon is simply choosing to stress Android's multi-user mode for some reason.
Google is kind (or maybe bold) enough to back up all your photos as you take them. Google+ Photos has some solid editing tools to go along with that functionality, and now it's getting a little better with two new features. You'll be able to go back and tweak a previous edit, and G+ will also be able to apply filters to your photos as part of the Auto Awesome process.
Do you even wrist-type, bro? You totally could with Minuum... I mean, not that you'd necessarily want to, but you'll have the option. The maker of the compact Android keyboard has announced it's working on a version of Minuum for round Android Wear devices like the Moto 360. There's even a GIF demo.
The official Facebook Pages manager app is the best (and only) way to access all the features of your fancy business pages on the social network. The app wasn't great before, but v2.0 is completely refreshing the design. Oh, and there are some very iOS-ish icons, which I know you're all going to love.