It's been a long time since we last saw an update to Google Fit, but after some subtle hints during the Android Wear presentations during Google I/O, it was fairly obvious something big was in the works. An update to v1.57 just started rolling out and it may just be the start of a whole new Fit. There are huge changes to the look and at least a few changes to features. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
This week's roundup is brought to you by Expense IQ from HandyApps. This personal finance manager includes an incredible amount of tools to help you keep track of your money, from a complete summary of all your accounts, to notifications for upcoming bills, to photo attachments for receipts. Read More
It's 2016. Where are the robots? I don't mean the boring, factory drones that have gone after jobs. I mean the cute ones. The robots that follow you around and make adorable sounds, like WALL-E.
Anki, the company who brought us smart toy race cars, has asked this same question. Then it assembled a group of people who decided to do something about it. Read More
Computer vision is easily one of the current "magical" features merging in smartphones. It's not that object recognition has hit the mainstream yet, but faster processors and high quality cameras in smartphones have made it very accessible. Google has done its part by opening up the Mobile Vision API, enabling developers to quickly give their apps the ability to read barcodes and identify orientation and basic facial details. Google Play services v9.2 takes this a step further with a new Text API developers can use to add optical character recognition (OCR) in their apps.
The Mobile Vision Text API currently supports Latin characters used in languages like English, Spanish, and French. Read More
Android Pay turns your phone into a Google-powered wallet. Tap it against a terminal, transfer money, and walk away feeling like you're living in the future. Android Pay has been making folks feel this way since September, depending on where you live.
If said place is in Asia, you've been out of luck. That's about to change. Android Pay has made its way to Singapore, its first stop in Asia. Read More
Google first talked about Expeditions way back at I/O 2015, after which they began trying it out with a large number of classrooms worldwide. Using the magic of VR, Expeditions would allow educators to take their students on realistic escapades into far-off lands. At long last, Google is making the app available to anyone who wants it.
Using a viewer like Google Cardboard and a smartphone, people can go on (self-)guided tours of places like Machu Picchu, Antarctica, the International Space Station, and even the now-defunct studio of The Colbert Report.
To go as a group, it works like an old-fashioned LAN party. Read More
What's better than listening to music on the ride home? Listening to commercial-free music. The next time you hop in an Uber car, your driver hopefully won't subject you to ads. Drivers can now stream Pandora Premium for the next six months, free. Read More
Sony is now accepting pre-orders for its line of Xperia X phones in the US, including the X and X Performance. We've already covered the Xperia X in detail, learning that it's a disappointing phone. But what of the top-of-the-line Xperia X Performance? It solves a few of the issues with the Xperia X, but it comes with a much higher $700 price tag. Is this the Sony phone you should buy, or should you buy none of them? Let's use the Xperia X as a thoroughly mediocre and overpriced yardstick to find out. Read More
Google's new Awareness API - part of Google Play Services - is legitimately cool. In theory. Announced at I/O, it allows apps to access what you're doing, in a general sense, and then give you information based on that status. For now, the API offers two ways for apps to monitor your current status, per Google's blog post. Read More