Spotify made news earlier today by lowering its barrier to entry, allowing users to stream music to their phone or tablets for free. Yet it isn't the only music-streaming service in town, and competitor Rdio has expanded access to 20 additional countries. This brings the total number of supported territories up to 51, which this handy map illustrates.
No sooner than we got 4.4.1 with camera fixes galore, 4.4.2 started hitting Nexus devices. While most should have already received the update, factory images are now available for download directly from Google. They're not alone in this rollout, as the binaries are also available if you need that sort of thing.
Google has rebuilt Sheets, the spreadsheet-related portion of its online office suite, and is making the new version available immediately. None of these changes directly affect the Android version of the app, but given that this is the desktop browser-based companion to what Google would consider the platform's best spreadsheet editor, it may be time to give the service another go if you aren't already a committed user. The new version of Sheets comes with a range of new features, including offline support.
The most obvious new addition to Gmail 4.7 is the Vacation Responder. You can set start and end dates, enter a subject and some text, and check a toggle to only send the vacation response to your contacts.
Google rolled out the Android Device Manager a few months ago, but for whatever reason, there was no matching Android app. That changes today as Google has finally gotten around to releasing one. The app contains all the functionality from the website in a mobile-friendly package and it is, of course, free.
App Ops showed up in Android 4.3 and made it possible to revoke permissions on a per-app basis. It wasn't exposed in the main system settings, but it was easy to access. Then Android 4.4 made it quite a bit harder to get to, and now it appears to be completely missing in 4.4.2. What gives? Well, Android engineer Dianne Hackborn has indicated App Ops was never meant to be a user-facing feature in the first place.
Google's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time.
Six to Start's latest app is another pedometer for people who need more motivation to get off the couch. Similar to the team's previous game, Zombies, Run!, The Walk is an immersive experience that pits players in the midst of a suspenseful storyline - but rather than tap and swipe at the screen to make progress, you must get on your feet and move. It hopes to change your next walk around town into an adventure you will never forget.
Spotify is great. Despite that fact that many of us abandoned it for Google Music All Access when that was announced, Spotify is still one of the best streaming music services available today. And it just got a lot better (and cheaper).
At a press conference today, Spotify founder Daniel Ek announced that service would basically start offering free streaming to mobile phones and tablets. The model will be different for each device category, but the general gist is the same – stream music, and pay nothing for it.
A few days ago we reported on a less-than-ideal situation over in India, where users who won Nexus 7s in Google's/Nestle's KitKat contest were receiving the 2012 model instead of the "new Nexus 7" as advertised. Naturally, users were outraged and insulted by this gesture and spoke out against both companies. Today, Nestle has taken to its KitKat India Facebook page to let users know that it plans on righting this wrong.