Cyanogen Inc. has come off as feisty ever since it was founded, but in the last few months CEO Kirt McMaster has gotten downright aggressive. We've known for a while the company wants to make Android more independent of Google, but McMaster told Forbes recently that Cyanogen Inc. "is putting a bullet through Google’s head." What's that all about? As a hint of its bullet/head strategy, McMaster announced that Cyanogen will partner with Blu to release a phone later this year without any Google services.
The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is one of the best all-around tablets on the market right now, if you don't mind a steep asking price and Samsung's rather heavy-handed software. The tablet launched with Android KitKat, but now it's getting an update to Android 5.0.2! ...just in time for owners to be miffed that they're not getting the bleeding-edge 5.1 release. Oh well, if wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak.
Considering the sheer number of users that RunKeeper has, there must be a considerable crossover between people who love the app and people who want it to conform to Android's visual design style. For however many of those people that there are, today is a good day: the company announced a comprehensive Material Design overhaul for version 5.5.3. It's in the Play Store right now - no need to wait on a rollout.
Update Wednesday has come and gone, but most of what we've seen can be described as bug fixes and relatively minor adjustments – not that we aren't happy with improvements of any kind. Google just set loose Maps 9.6, and like most of the other apps, the changes are mostly about fine-tuning. This version slightly improves the visibility of Zagat reviews and adds an option to determine if the voice should play over speakers or Bluetooth during turn-by-navigation.
If you're having trouble downloading app updates from the Play Store right now, you're in good company. We're getting reports from multiple Android Police readers that Error 944, a rather nondescript problem that prevents automatic and manual updates, is interrupting said updates on apps all over the store.
The Instagram Android app has acquired over 500 million installs, a milestone that only a few items in the Play Store can claim. The majority of them come from Google, but Instagram marks the third one from Facebook.
Square released Cash a while back to make it easier to send and receive money on your mobile device, but now it's even easier with "$Cashtags." Get it? It's like a hashtag, but for money. You know some marketing manager was giddy after coming up with that. It's not all fun and games, though. Cash now also supports businesses with an option called Cash Pro.
Netflix has said it wants to expand its service to as much of the world as possible, and now the time has come for residents Down Under to fire up the streaming service. According to AusDroid, Netflix is now available in Australia,with streaming plans ranging from A$8.99 to A$14.99.