Hey, Spotify users – how's it going? It's about to be going even better, because with the latest update to the music streaming app, you can finally add full albums to playlists (I kind of can't believe this wasn't possible before), and it will also confirm if you try to add the same song to a playlist twice. Both are welcome features, and should improve the playlist experience pretty drastically – it'll definitely make it a lot easier to make playlists from the collected works of a single artist.
It looks like the "OK, Google" search hotword has now become a standard feature for advanced Android launchers. Nova Launcher added the search function in its 3.0 update earlier this month, and now its biggest competitor, Apex, has followed suit. Users who are on Android 4.4 can enable the voice-activated search function in Apex Launcher 2.4. Earlier versions, sadly, cannot access the functionality - you'll have to search with your fingers like some kind of sad troglodyte.
The hunt is on. Or it will be right after the main Google I/O keynote is over. If you're a registered attendee of the conference and you have some free time between sessions, the yearly location-based I/O treasure hunt will provide you with enough trivia and challenges to keep you entertained.
This year, you will be looking for Alex, the Android dog, who left a trail of NFC tags all over Moscone Center, starting with a booth on Floor 3.
BeyondPod has long been one of the top Android podcast managers, but it was definitely not tops in the looks department. The current version is okay, but it could use a fresh coat of paint. The new 4.0 beta is getting more than that, though. BeyondPod 4.0 has been rebuilt from the ground up with a completely new UI and a new name to go with it. BeyondPod is BeyondPod EVO now.
We've been hearing rumors about Android TV, Google's push to get Android into the set-top box market, for a while now, with the most recent leaks pointing towards a Google I/O announcement. Looks like we're definitely going to see Google take the wraps off of it tomorrow, as the Riptide GP2 dev prematurely posted a changelog that all but confirms it:
Unfortunately, the log has since been pulled, but not before an eagle-eyed Android fan could grab a screenshot and toss it onto Google+.
Once the CyanogenMod team found and implemented the hidden Heads Up notification mode, it was basically inevitable that all the other major custom ROMs would follow suit. The unicorn-powered Android Open Kang Project has done so with their first nightly based on Android 4.4.4. They've also thrown in the usual bug fixes, as well as settings for automatic Immersive mode, disabling the full-screen keyboard, lockscreen orientation, and a few other goodies.
If you're ready to hop aboard the Samsung tablet train, the Note 10.1 2014 isn't a bad way to get started. It's a good size for productivity, has a beautiful display, and sports the S Pen for all sorts of fun stuff. Also, for right now, you can score a refurbished 16GB model from eBay for $300 with free shipping. That's a solid deal, especially considering Amazon is letting new models go for $480.
According to our demographics, not many of you will remember playing the licensed Spy vs Spy game adapted from the MAD Magazine characters in its original Commodore, Atari, and Apple II release. Those of you who do (or who tried the various console remakes) will be thrilled to learn that there's a new release of the game, with both modern Flash-style animation and a translated version of the original. And yes, multiplayer is included.
The Netflix app has come a long, long way in terms of design during its run on Android. It wasn't even a year ago that Netflix changed the interface dramatically in v3.0 and killed most of the lag. Now it's up to v3.6 with a new logo/icon and a black action bar in the app.
A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android's home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.
Since then, we've seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android's L release. The images we'll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change - particularly design.