The Amazon Appstore is slowly expanding to become a notable addition to the Android landscape, and though the Fire Phone isn't getting much love from reviewers, it's certainly giving Amazon a reason to boost the Appstore's profile. The latest promotion makes 30 paid apps free, over a $100 value. While not all of them are must-haves, more than a few deserve your attention. This time around the focus is more on tools than games, but there should be at least one entry for everyone.
At this point, it's essentially impossible to deny that Android is beating other mobile operating systems with a big market share stick. According to a report issued by Strategy Analytics, phone manufacturers sold a combined 295.2 million smartphones worldwide in the second quarter of 2014, 249.6 million of which ran Android. That gives Google's OS a staggering 84.6% of the market share for new devices, up from 80.2% the previous year.
Update: Verizon's specification page has been changed to indicate that the LG G Vista has an "HD" screen. It looks like there was an error in the original spec list. We're going to assume that means that it's a 1280x720 screen.
Looking for a mid-range phone on Verizon? Then you've got two more choices starting today. The LG G Vista, an enormous "phablet" device, and the Kyocera Brigadier, the latest in the company's line of "tough" phones, are both on sale now at Verizon's website.
Google I/O 2014 has come and gone, but that doesn't mean great stuff from the conference isn't still coming out. The companion app used by thousands of attendees -and hundreds of thousands of fans and followers- has been open sourced! Code for the I/O app is meant to serve as an example of best practices for Android developers, providing fully functioning implementations of the latest design principles, UI controls, networking code, and more.
Coursera is a great app for learning about subjects like chemistry, computer science, and business, but your device is a little small to be watching lectures on, right? No problem—the latest update adds Chromecast support, among other things.
Samsung pitched Milk Music this spring as a totally free music service exclusive to its devices, but slipped in at the end that it might not be free forever. You can still stream tunes for free without ads (or so the description says), but the new update to Milk adds the expected $3.99 monthly subscription for additional features.
The summer sales keep pouring in, but there's a fun little twist today—some of the sales have gone way below the $0.99 cutoff. Developers can't go any lower without Google stepping in, so this is a rare event indeed (those sales will be bolded below). There's even a $0.10 deal today. Remind you of the good old days?
Sprint is continuing to expand the reach of its 4G LTE network, and today it has unveiled that faster data speeds are now available in seventeen new markets. Areas affected by this expansion stretch from coast to coast, though a third of them are concentrated in the Northeast. Both New York and Pennsylvania see three markets apiece join the ranks, with the large Buffalo and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas accounting for the most people.
Enough of these watch faces that are all about delivering important information and attractive "design." How about some animated GIFs? This app downloads trending animations from Giphy and syncs them to the watch to be displayed each time you wake it up. Want to see it in action? We've got a video.
Developer Moondrop Apps has brought Drawp for School to Android, a collaborative creation tool that gives teachers the means of producing content and sharing it with their students. Considering the amount of time they spend both distributing and collecting assignments from their pupils, this is a clear itch for tech to scratch. Drawp can cut down on the time lost to the process and add in that extra bit of pizzazz.
Drawp serves as an all-in-one solution that deals with both ends of the experience.