Google has certainly been busy today with all sorts of Play Store improvements, and here's a new version of the Android client to top it all off. Version 4.8.19 has started rolling out to devices, and we've got the APK below for you to install on your own.
We're digging in to see what's new. We already knew about the PayPal and some UI tweaks, but it's looking like there's more going on.
Google officially pulled the HTC One M7, Galaxy S4, Xperia Z Ultra, and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition devices from the Play Store not too long ago. Since then we've seen a couple of them pop up on sale across various distributors. When an eBay seller offered the Galaxy S4 for $499 ($150 off) last month, we considered that a deal. Before that, Expansys USA offered the Z Ultra for the low price of $349, $100 less than what Google last asked for it.
Since the beginning of Google+ itself, the service has required as part of its registration process that users fill out their real names in order to create a profile. Since the beginning of Google+ itself, people have found various ways to skirt this requirement, Google has added support for 'established' pseudonyms, and dropped the real name requirement for Google+ pages.
A lot of this, it seemed, was an effort to reign in the anonymous hate speech and trolling rampant on things like, I don't know, YouTube.
While we can't exactly call it Cards Against Humanity (they're a bit picky about that), there's a new game out for Android that works with your Chromecast to let you play basically-Cards-Against-Humanity with your friends, and it's called Cardcast. Cardcast allows you to create decks, download decks (including most of the official CAH decks), and all you need to play it are some friends, a Chromecast, and an Android device for each player.
Human society didn't really enter the modern era until we invented the remote control, because let's face it, no one wants to get up. The freedom to loaf around is an important part of life, and Universal Remote brings that to your PC. With today's update, it's much more attractive and useful. Unlike you... because of all that loafing around.
Update: This update is limited to Australia, New Zealand, and India, and addresses carrier support / fixes in those regions.
If you're seeing an update notification on your Nexus 5, you're not alone - Google is pushing a maintenance release of Android 4.4.4 to the smartphone, though this one appears to limited to a few corners of the world. New Zealand, Australia, and India should be seeing the OTA, which contains a new radio image, likely addressing issues with networks in those regions.
Google's HDMI dongle continues to spread across the world, bringing streaming video to bigger screens. This time the Chromecast has landed in Ireland just days after Google Play Movies became available. How convenient.
The device will cost €39 from the Play Store, which is somewhat higher than the US price when you figure in conversion. Until Android TV comes out, the Chromecast is the only way to beam content from all those cast-enabled apps to a TV.
Five months after demoing working InkCase Plus prototypes at this year's Mobile World Congress, Oaxis has taken to Kickstarter to get its hands on some cold hard cash. And it's paying off. Already the company has amassed over $100,000 in pledges, surpassing its funding goal on just the first day. The idea of a case that adds a Bluetooth-connected secondary e-ink display to a phone apparently has a lot of people plenty excited.
With a growing market for smart home accessories - and that whole internet of things (shudder) - the lack of a single, widely-adopted communication standard is undoubtedly a bit troubling. Most smart products today use existing 801.15.4 Wi-Fi platforms like ZigBee, Ant, or increasingly commonly, the proprietary Bluetooth Low Energy standard (aka BT Smart).
ARM, Nest, Samsung, and Google (operating under an advisory role, not as a member) though, are now fielding an open platform competitor known as the Thread protocol.