From a recent teardown of Google+ 4.8, it seemed like Google was preparing to offer bandwidth optimizations in the app, with the option to switch on a data conservation option. It looks like that feature has cropped up (thanks David) now, along with a new gender identity setting brought over from the web.
A few days ago, the Google+ team announced that the service would now accommodate those of any gender, not just male or female, by opening up a "custom" option, as well as a method of indicating one's preferred pronoun (the selection includes male, female, and other). This functionality is now available on the web and in the Google+ app for Android.
Before Chromebooks and Android, Google blew peoples' minds with its web services alone. Translate was one of them. Here was a website that took in whatever you typed and spat out something that at least kind of resembled the same words in a different language. Even now, translations aren't spot on, but it usually gets close enough to convey the message.
Google is still expanding the service, and now the company is ready to introduce support for ten additional languages. Chichewa (Malawi and surrounding areas), Malagasy (Madagascar), and Sesotho (Lesotho and South Africa) represent Africa. In Central Asia, there is Kazakh (Kazakhstan), Tajik (Tajikistan), and Uzbek (Uzbekistan).
Using Hulu on an Android device usually requires a Hulu Plus account, but in the spirit of the season, the company has apparently decided to offer people the ability to stream shows to their devices for free. The exclusive deal was announced on the Android Google+ page in a post that welcomed folks to come watch the latest episodes of their favorite shows.
Version 3.6 of Google Play Movies and TV has hit the Play Store, and it shakes a few things up a bit. I'm not going to waste your time with introductions here. Let's just jump right in.
Out of the box, a new set of slides are there to introduce you to the app.
The Managed Downloads screen has received a refresh, and it's not just about looks. Content is now separated into My Movies and My Episodes. Items are also arranged into a list rather than cards. Lastly, the storage bar now located at the top shows how much space your videos are taking up and how much is still free.
Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a service that helps developers test their apps and get feedback from users. The company plans to use the platform, akin to Apple's TestFlight (purchased early this year), to attract app creators to its development tools. The folks at Redmond intend to integrate HockeyApp with the Application Insights service in Visual Studio Online to improve support for Android and iOS.
HockeyApp offers developers integrated crash reporting, information on beta distribution, and a built-in user feedback system. It supports Windows Phone in addition to Apple and Google's mobile operating systems.
Developers can continue to use HockeyApp in its current form, but Microsoft is starting the integration right away, and it plans to release an updated Application Insights SDK for Android and iOS within the coming months.
Most of the AOSP-based custom launchers operate in roughly the same way, but Action Launcher has always been different. Right from the beginning it offered cool ways to manage your apps and widgets, and it only got better over time. That app was based on the Jelly Bean-era Android launcher, and it was time for an update, according to developer Chris Lacy. Action Launcher 3 is a complete rewrite of Action Launcher that brings with it new features, but also drops a few (at least for now). Let's take a look at the new Action Launcher.
Amazon's main shopping app has between 50 and 100 million downloads, but it's not showing up in the Play Store anymore. The listing remains if you have the direct link, but you won't see it in search results. Oddly, there's a new Amazon app called Amazon Shopping. It's the same exact app but guess what it doesn't have—the Appstore. It looks like Google may have laid down the law. [See updates at the bottom]
Left: old with Appstore, Right: new with no Appstore
Hey, Minecraft fans! Did you know that Mojang, the developer of the uber-popular creation game, has been working on another game for years? It's called "Scrolls," and... well, it's nothing like Minecraft. Nope, it's more like a mix between Plants vs Zombies and Blizzard's Hearthstone card game, all set up on a hexadecimal tower defense structure. That's confusing. Watch the promotional video below to try and get a handle on the unique cross-platform title. This is a tablet-only game, no smartphones need apply.
Scrolls is part strategy, part tower defense, part card game. You use the somewhat randomized cards to deploy units, structures, and spells to both defend your own five "idols" and try to destroy at least three of those on the opposing side.
Verizon is rolling out an update to the Droid Turbo, and before you get excited, it's not Lollipop. While the Moto X on Verizon has already hit v5.0, Big Red has more control over what happens with the Droid phones. What this update does include is Verizon's VoLTE implementation known as Advanced Calling 1.0.
One of the most visually striking and gratuitously violent games of the previous console generation came out, perhaps surprisingly, for the Nintendo Wii. Sega's MadWorld took place predominately in black and white, but blood continued to spurt out in bright red. The story was told through comic book panels, with comparisons to Sin City basically writing themselves.
That game never received a sequel, but while the freshly ported SXPD belongs to a different genre entirely, it comes with a similar flavor. Though this time, red isn't reserved purely for bodily fluids.
SXPD takes place in a dystopian future where the 52nd state of America is ran by the richest man in the country.