The Messenger app published by Google received a significant #updatewednesday release this morning, adding support for location sharing, stickers, and quick scrolling. All things, I think we can agree, which are good.
The new location sharing and sticker features, found under the "attach" dialogue, look like this.
Google's default keyboard has gotten really good, to the point that it's hard to actually charge for a keyboard app even if it has a few tricks up its sleeve. Just like SwiftKey last year, Fleksy has now gone free in the Play Store (and Amazon Appstore). Instead of paying an upfront price, there are themes and extensions that you can purchase if you so choose.
Logitech is older than I am. Not too much older, mind you - the Switzerland-based computer accessory company was founded in 1981 - but old enough that I can remember my dad using a Logitech keyboard on the home-built desktop he ran on a desk in the closet, back when having a computer in the living room was still a social faux pas. When the entire family upgraded to laser mice, an insane and futuristic luxury in the early 2000s, the friendly Logitech logo was emblazoned on all of them.
A few years ago getting Internet access while on an airline flight seemed like magic. Now in the not-too-distant future, the connection in your plane might be faster than the one in your home. According to a press release issued by Virgin America, new technology from corporate partner ViaSat will improve its satellite Internet connection by a factor of five to ten times thanks to a next-generation satellite. The new technology offers speeds of up to 140 gigabits per second spread across the entire network, which should mean "8 to 10 times faster" speeds for individual users, enough for reliable music streaming and (maybe) some video.
Disney has an unstoppable marketing machine at its disposal, and there's a new Star Wars movie coming out later this year. You can probably see where this is going. Yes, there's a new Star Wars app from Disney that aims to get you all hot and bothered for the new film. It's actually kind of neat, though.
The interface can be themed as light side, dark side, or a neutral droid scheme.
The original Moto G started a revolution for mid-range phones - specifically by introducing the idea that they didn't have to suck. Motorola is still keeping the first-gen Moto G updated, and today (or late last night), unlocked versions of the Moto G LTE in the United States started receiving the over-the-air update to Android 5.1. This was pretty much expected, since Motorola dropped the kernel source code for the update last week and tested it in soak before that.
Googler Kirill Grouchnikov likes to show off the little UI flourishes in the Play Store, sometimes even before they are live for users. We like the small stuff, and you probably do too. So you'll be happy to know there are two subtle UI tweaks incoming with the next Play Store update. One is in the kids "character" section and the other is in the What's New box we all know and love.
If you've been wondering of late why exactly your cached and stored-for-offline-playback music in the Google Play Music app is disappearing every time you turn your phone off or reboot it, good news: Google knows that (now). And if you are experiencing that problem, I bet I can guess a feature of your smartphone: it has a microSD slot. And you probably have microSD storage enabled in the Play Music app.