Using Hulu on an Android device usually requires a Hulu Plus account, but in the spirit of the season, the company has apparently decided to offer people the ability to stream shows to their devices for free. The exclusive deal was announced on the Android Google+ page in a post that welcomed folks to come watch the latest episodes of their favorite shows.
Version 3.6 of Google Play Movies and TV has hit the Play Store, and it shakes a few things up a bit. I'm not going to waste your time with introductions here. Let's just jump right in.
Out of the box, a new set of slides are there to introduce you to the app.
The Managed Downloads screen has received a refresh, and it's not just about looks. Content is now separated into My Movies and My Episodes.
Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a service that helps developers test their apps and get feedback from users. The company plans to use the platform, akin to Apple's TestFlight (purchased early this year), to attract app creators to its development tools. The folks at Redmond intend to integrate HockeyApp with the Application Insights service in Visual Studio Online to improve support for Android and iOS.
HockeyApp offers developers integrated crash reporting, information on beta distribution, and a built-in user feedback system.
Most of the AOSP-based custom launchers operate in roughly the same way, but Action Launcher has always been different. Right from the beginning it offered cool ways to manage your apps and widgets, and it only got better over time. That app was based on the Jelly Bean-era Android launcher, and it was time for an update, according to developer Chris Lacy. Action Launcher 3 is a complete rewrite of Action Launcher that brings with it new features, but also drops a few (at least for now).
Amazon's main shopping app has between 50 and 100 million downloads, but it's not showing up in the Play Store anymore. The listing remains if you have the direct link, but you won't see it in search results. Oddly, there's a new Amazon app called Amazon Shopping. It's the same exact app but guess what it doesn't have—the Appstore. It looks like Google may have laid down the law. [See updates at the bottom]
Left: old with Appstore, Right: new with no Appstore
Hey, Minecraft fans! Did you know that Mojang, the developer of the uber-popular creation game, has been working on another game for years? It's called "Scrolls," and... well, it's nothing like Minecraft. Nope, it's more like a mix between Plants vs Zombies and Blizzard's Hearthstone card game, all set up on a hexadecimal tower defense structure. That's confusing. Watch the promotional video below to try and get a handle on the unique cross-platform title.
Verizon is rolling out an update to the Droid Turbo, and before you get excited, it's not Lollipop. While the Moto X on Verizon has already hit v5.0, Big Red has more control over what happens with the Droid phones. What this update does include is Verizon's VoLTE implementation known as Advanced Calling 1.0.
One of the most visually striking and gratuitously violent games of the previous console generation came out, perhaps surprisingly, for the Nintendo Wii. Sega's MadWorld took place predominately in black and white, but blood continued to spurt out in bright red. The story was told through comic book panels, with comparisons to Sin City basically writing themselves.
That game never received a sequel, but while the freshly ported SXPD belongs to a different genre entirely, it comes with a similar flavor.
Those looking for an off-contract deal on fairly recent phones have a treat today: the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 are available in refurbished condition on eBay for $320 (Note 3) and $220 (S4) with free shipping. They are Verizon devices, but are unlocked and technically able to pick up 3G from GSM carriers, according to the seller.
Microsoft has been surprisingly generous when it comes to apps for Android, a platform it's technically still competing against. (Sort of.) Today the company launched an entire suite of Android apps to support its MSN/Bing web platform. All six of them tie directly into existing services: MSN Food & Drink, MSN Health & Fitness, MSN Money, MSN News, MSN Sports, and MSN Weather. They're all free to download in the Play Store right now.