For a lot of our readers, July is really freakin' hot. It was also a surprisingly hot month for new app releases, especially if you're a fan of advanced tools and alternates to built-in apps. Below are our seven favorite apps from July, in no particular order, with a list of honorable mentions as well. It won't make you any cooler (figuratively or literally), but your phone will appreciate the attention.
Writing about the XBMC media center software almost always takes a little explanation. The open-source XBMC was formerly known as the "Xbox Media Center," because its first release way back in 2003 was based on the "Xbox Media Player" and intended to run on modified Xbox game consoles. Because the software no longer officially runs on the Xbox, and has never run on newer consoles like the Xbox 360, and in fact runs on a heck of a lot of hardware that bears no X at all, the creators have renamed the software "Kodi."
In addition to general confusion around the name and nomenclature for the project, the XBMC Foundation had a hard time with trademark and quality control.
At this point, it's likely that everyone who really wants a Nexus 5 already has one. But if by some chance you don't, an eBay seller is offering it at a small discount that could add up to significant savings. The Daily Deals page is selling the standard 16GB Nexus 5 for $339.99, $10 off of the price you get in the Google Play Store.
Maybe that doesn't seem like much, but add in the fact that you get free shipping and no sales tax if you live outside California, and the savings add up.
If you own any of Amazon's Android-powered devices, and you buy new apps or in-app purchases regularly, you might want to take advantage of the latest Coins promotion. Amazon is selling 10,000 of its self-branded credits (equivalent to $100 USD when buying apps) for just $75 today. If you spend at least some money every week in the Amazon Appstore, this should be a good deal that will cover you for quite a while.
Vine isn't a platform known for outstanding videography, on account of being limited to mobile cameras (not to mention the time limit). But starting today, users on Android should notice a definite improvement in the quality of uploaded videos, at least according to the latest app update. Of course, the quality will still be limited by your phone or tablet's camera and the shooting conditions in any particular location. Exactly how video quality is being improved (bitrate bump?
Reports began circulating over the last couple of days about an OTA update making its way out to owners of the LG G Watch, bumping the build number from KMV78V to KMV78Y. No official changelog has been posted for the update, but it looks like its main purpose is to fix the growing problem of corrosion buildup on the exposed POGO pins located on the back of the smartwatch.
Photos collected by Ariel Ruff.
Google+, for all the criticism it has garnered from the "hip" tech crowd, has been an incredibly important product for the search giant since its unveiling back in 2011. Remember when you had to get an invite to join Google+? How far we've come.
But Google+ quickly became more than just Google+. The Hangouts messaging platform and, later, Google+ Photos were key leaps forward for Google in two areas where the company was arguably becoming stagnant.
Update: Microsoft's PR agency reached out to clarify that the lawsuit is not over a failure to pay, but merely a failure to pay on time and with accrued late payment interest. This lawsuit just got a lot more boring.
According to re/code, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung today for failure to pay royalties as part of a contractual IP licensing agreement between the two companies. The agreement in question is for Microsoft's infamous smartphone patent portfolio, which has pretty much every Android OEM in the US paying out a percentage of their handset sales to the struggling Windows Phone maker.
It's been a number of months since the Google Now Launcher debuted in the Play Store as an exclusive for Nexus and Google Play Experience devices, but today that changes. The newest update has opened up official access to all devices running Android 4.1 or higher.