Today's Hangouts update was a bit of a surprise. Besides landing on Monday, the update was a fairly large one. Users of the latest version of Hangouts are already enjoying merged SMS/Hangouts threads, improved status markers, a new home screen widget, new sound effects, the ability to share contact cards, and other touches. But - as with any Google update - it's worth looking a little deeper in the app to see what may be hiding in the code.
If you've already splurged and bought a FireTV, you've probably noticed one pretty annoying thing: the much-touted voice search feature only shows Amazon content. That makes it far less helpful than it could be. Thankfully, Amazon realizes this and announced today that it will be working with Hulu, Crackle, and Showtime to bring voice search features to their respective apps. That's fantastic news.
For those who may not be familiar with FireTV's voice search option, it's pretty simple: hit the mic button and speak into the remote.
If you have anything from Belkin's WeMo line, there's a chance you may be less-than-pleased with the app – it is pretty basic, after all. Today's update, however, brings some much-needed usefulness to the table, like better integration with IFTTT, and a home security enhancement.
Greater flexibility when scheduling events related to sunrise and sunset.
New Rule: Away Mode makes it look you’re home even when you’re not.
New IFTTT trigger: long-press the Light Switch to trigger customizable IFTTT recipes without turning on the light.
Google Maps/Navigation is fantastic. It's easy to use, stays (mostly) up-to-date, and is built into Android's core. However, it has one major flaw: offline navigation simply doesn't exist within Google Maps. If you're heading into uncharted territory where cell service may be sketchy or non-existent, you're basically on your own. And getting lost is not a fun experience.
Update: It looks like the campaign was canceled just as we posted. The message below was added to the Kickstarter page. It looks like the developers are still raising money, but not through Kickstarter, oddly.
It is with great regret we have to suspend this Kickstarter, primarily due to projections of this Kickstarter being 2/3rd short of its goal...however we offer a revised goal
Original post: Another popular piece of desktop software is aiming for a mobile debut – the mega-popular music player foobar2000.
Music discovery app Shazam has always been a bit stylish by Android standards, but today's update adds both some more modern visual polish and notable usability upgrades. In particular, the auto-scrolling lyric function has been improved in version 2.6: it now supports a more natural portrait layout and much more readable text, doing away with the funky word art. Auto-scroll isn't universal, but when it works it's pretty neat. That should be a boon to your impromptu karaoke sessions.
We've all known the details surrounding the latest version of Samsung's flagship phone for several weeks, but now's the time to start getting our grubby fingers on one. Today Samsung has officially launched the Galaxy S5 in 125 countries across the globe, including areas in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.
To sweeten the purchase, Samsung is including an exclusive copy of FIFA 14 with the device and the chance to compete (in-game) against the Galaxy 11 team.
Somebody - let's call him Joe - loves for his point-and-shoot camera to be powered by Android. Nothing inspires Joe Somebody to go out and take photos like being able to crop out stray pedestrians, apply filters, and upload straight to several social networks without having to move images off his SD card beforehand. He loves his old Nikon Coolpix S800c, but that Gingerbread-powered device is looking a bit long in the tooth these days (after all, it was already two versions behind when he bought it).