Before today, the official Starbucks app was perfectly serviceable - in fact, I'd say it was better than most retail apps. You can store pre-paid Starbucks cards in the app and pay with them, see your rewards for being a loyal customer, and find coffee shops with the built-in map (in case you can't see one by turning your head from side to side). But today's sizeable update from version 2.4 to 2.7 adds some neat stuff, most notably the ability to tip your coffee minion.
Android users have yet another option for data-only calls and text messages today, as BitTorrent Inc. posted an alpha version of its Bleep communication client to the Play Store. Bleep is designed to be an alternative to conventional calling and texting systems like Skype or WhatsApp, and requires no central server or service. Bleep has been invite-only since July, but now it's ready to go public. Clients are also available for Windows and OS X computers.
Three more titles have made their way into Humble Mobile Bundle 7, packing more value into a pack of games that was already worth it for Kingdom Rush Frontiers alone. Now—in addition to that awesome game, Color Zen Premium, Heroes of Loot, Horn, and Sorcery—people who pay over the average can also get Alpha Wave, Soda Drinker Pro, and Swordigo. We've written up a review for that last one, so check it out if you don't already have the game.
OnePlus listed several features as notable when it announced the One in an unnecessarily drawn out fashion earlier this year. One of those items was the selection of StyleSwap covers. The battery in the OnePlus is non-removable, but the back was designed to be replaced with other finishes and materials. However, manufacturing issues have caused the company to cancel the StyleSwap covers completely after a long delay. OnePlus explains on its forums that this isn't settling—no, this is just "complicated decisions."
We usually point people to the Play Store for apps, but it's really a one-stop-shop for all the things, depending on where you live. Due to laws, licenses, and any number of variables, products aren't simply available to everyone at once, which makes it our job to inform you when things pop up in another area. As it turns out, Play Movies has launched in Austria.
Here's what an Android Police reader in Austria was pleasantly surprised by when they recently paid the Play Store a visit.
In addition to a handful of new Chromecast-supported apps announced by Google, Sling Media is getting in on the action. According to this blog post, the Slingplayer app for Android smartphones now has Chromecasting capability. Though the latest update for the app itself was way back in July, Chromecast support is often enabled via a server-side switch, so it should be working now. Compatible Sling hardware includes the Slingbox M1, 350, 500, and SlingTV.
The original Beach Buggy Blitz was one of the first graphically-intensive games on Android, a frequent install for people who wanted to show off the power of their new phone or tablet. That being said, it was a bit simplistic: you "raced" along an endless beach, more or less playing catch up until you ran out of time. The sequel, Beach Buggy Racing, is much more of a conventional kart racer.
T-Mobile unveiled several Wi-Fi initiatives as part of Un-Carrier 7.0 that it hopes will help fill in the gaps where its network is weak and even extend coverage to places its towers have no chance of reaching. To make things better, one part of its plan doesn't ask T-Mobile customers for money, while the other is free with an asterisk. Both are publicly available starting today.
Let's get the latter one cleared up first.