The Google Play Developer Console has undergone some pretty major changes over the years, including a complete overhaul 2 years ago. While the improvements continue to make for a more powerful and usable tool, some developers still find areas where it could be better. Google's engineers don't have time to build everything for everybody, but a new version of the Google Play Developer API makes it possible to build quite a few things for yourself.
You've got to respect the classics. And since the developers (or rights owners) of games like Civilization, Starcraft, and Age of Empires aren't releasing their classics on Android, or they're turning them into twisted versions of the originals, strategy fans need an alternative. Enter ExaGear, an emulator designed to let those fans play at least some of the classic PC strategy games on Android, complete with controls adapted for precision.
Google's announcement of Android TV made it clear that a final product wasn't ready for store shelves, but it was certainly getting close. While Google is finishing up the software and hardware for an official release later this year, developers have been invited to begin work on their own apps. For most, that means firing up an emulator to test on, but a few have also been granted access to a preview device called ADT-1.
Popular password manager Keeper has updated its Android app today with two big new features: web password auto-fill and encrypted cloud file storage. They're called Keeper FastFill and Keeper Secure File Storage, and they're available now. Here's the blurb from the Play Store listing:
Announcing Keeper Secure File Storage, the best way to store and organize your private Files, Photos & Videos! Encrypt and upload secret photos, loan docs, passports and confidential files to your Keeper vault.
The latest app to take the bold step into a Material Design world is the popular Reddit client Reddit News, but only in the Play Store beta so far. Unlike some apps that claim to be implementing Material Design, Reddit News is doing more than slapping a floating action button (FAB) in the same old app.
The latest Beats Music update continues to flesh out its overall music streaming experience. This particular release, version 1.2, focuses on areas that distinguish Beats somewhat from the competition - its song discovery and basic social networking elements.
The service claims to connect users to the music that's right for them, and a new Tune Your Taste feature provides listeners with the option to change their favorite genres and artists. Instead of new, it's actually more of a comeback.
If you use Google Gesture Search, an app that we have largely ignored over the years because, well, Google doesn't exactly do much with it, good news - it's been updated! For the first time in over a year.
Google Gesture Search 2.1.4 adds a new widget that allows you to quickly launch recently used things, and the app now displays as a popup on tablets. There are also the requisite "bug fixes and UI improvements." The widget seems, frankly, pretty damn useless aside from being a widget that displays things you sometimes are prone to doing on your phone, with no apparent logic behind said displayed items.
aCar is a one-stop shop of an app when it comes to keeping track of car-related details. The app can record servicing, parking fees, and, yes, fuel. The last thing on this list attracted the eye of Fuelly, a company whose website helps users calculate their vehicle's fuel economy. It purchased aCar back in May, and now the Android app is receiving its first update since the acquisition.
Version 4.8 doesn't shake things up too much, but it does take some steps towards integration.
It's never a bad thing when phones get the latest version of Android software, and Motorola seems committed to sending it to their devices sooner rather than later. After the usual Verizon soak test a couple of weeks ago, the updated ROMs are ready and apparently flying out to both the high-end Moto X and Verizon's customized CDMA Moto G. If you don't see the update alert in your notification bar, you should sometime over the next few days.