So, Android-powered game consoles are a thing. Whether anyone likes it or not, this is a direction that some companies are going, trying to reshape how we think of traditional gaming. It kind of started with the OUYA, a $99 Android console that takes a unique approach to the gaming console, as well as Android itself. It doesn't have the Play Store, but instead OUYA's curated game store where all games are free to try.
Do you use your smartphone while watching TV? Yeah, put your hands down. We're all guilty here. Yahoo hoped to take advantage of this habit of ours with IntoNow, an app that could identify whatever show was on and provide extra information about it (think SoundHound for TV). Yeah, the end result was still distracting, but it could be less disruptive than performing a Google search. Regardless, it doesn't matter anymore.
Newsstand is one of the younger apps in Google's portfolio, but today it's getting a significant update to version 3.1. The biggest change - and a welcome one for at-a-glance newshounds - is a brand-spanking new widget. It's a pretty basic 4X3 affair - the widget will display a single story at a time, complete with headline and embedded image. Tap the arrow button to advance to the next headline, or anywhere else to go directly to the story in Newsstand.
Google has pushed out an update to the Google Search app, which now means there's also an update to the Google Experience Launcher. We've got the APK for you to install below, and this is looking like a substantial update – it looks like the new (and probably official) name for the Google Experience Launcher is Google Now Launcher.
● Fixed a bug that prevented some from sending SMS longer than 160 characters
The latest version of Google Hangouts for Android, 2.0.303, has begun rolling out to handsets this morning. This new version doesn't appear to bring much in the way of changes; the only thing we've spotted so far has been a new option to enable or disable sending of usage statistics to Google to improve the app.
Looks like another big "Update Wednesday" for Google, starting with the Drive app. Today's update brings just a couple of small-ish changes... unless, like the rest of the internet, you have an obsession with animated GIFs. Or you scan a lot of documents. Or both.
New 1x1 widget for faster document scanning
Support for animated GIFs
It's worth noting that the widget doesn't actually show up under the widgets menu on launchers like Nova, but rather under the "shortcuts" option.
Samsung may be preparing to announce the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress later this month, and one of the features it's sure to detail is an updated version of its S Voice assistant. We saw a few screens of this app leak recently, but now SamMobile has gotten some hands-on time with the app and has the screens to prove it.
My N3RD wants to empower you to take control of every gadget in your house, every appliance waiting idly, and every vehicle in your garage using just your smartphone. How, you ask? First, the project needs $50,000. Check. They team has successfully managed to raise over $51,000 with 18 days left to go. Next, watch this video.
Google's begun rolling out an update to Maps, bumping it from version 7.5 to version 7.6 just after flipping the switch on dynamic rerouting. Officially, what's new in the update hasn't been laid out, but as usual we've managed to get the APK and take a quick peek inside. In this post, we'll outline some of the new, interesting bits we've found in the new app, and those who don't want to wait for the update can grab the APK themselves at the bottom of the post.
Sometimes you need help getting things done, and Basecamp is particularly adept at that. Basecamp is the most popular project management tool on the web (we even use it here at Android Police), but now there's an official Android app with to-dos, discussions, and more. There is much celebration on the team right now.
Basecamp has a mobile web interface, but this app is (thankfully) more than just a web wrapper.