When Ryan reviewed the Google OnHub back in September of last year, one of his major complaints about the router's usage was the inability to rename devices, which created a messed up soup of unnamed and/or vaguely named devices in your list of connected hardware. That's about to change with the new update to Google On, the OnHub's companion Android app, which adds the ability to give custom names to all of your devices so you can tell which Samsung phone is which and what that no-name computer is. Read More
SoundCloud, the free music service particularly favored by independent and grassroots musicians, has finally added 'stations,' a sort of never-ending playlist of related tracks and songs. The feature has been in beta for about a week, and is now hitting the release version of the Android app. While new for SoundCloud, this is something that's been available on most other music streaming services for quite a while. Spotify and Apple Music call it 'radio,' and Play Music has 'instant mixes,' but they are all different names for the same thing.
Creating a station is a simple matter of picking one of your favorite songs and selecting the "Start track station" from the three-dot menu. Read More
Microsoft Health is the companion app to Microsoft's activity tracker, which is now on its second iteration, the Microsoft Band 2. An update is rolling out via Google Play that adds quite a few new features for folks who own the device. Read More
If you want to stream electronic music, Digitally Imported (di.fm) is one of the best sources you can turn to. The service's Android app, Digitally Imported Radio also does it justice on mobile thanks to wide channel support, a great and updated interface, and frequent changes to implement new features like casting support. The app, however, lacked one option when it was redesigned in June of last year: landscape support. That's finally being implemented along with interface optimizations for tablets.
Version 3.1 of the app adds "first class support for Android tablets," and restores support for landscape orientation on phones. Read More
Thomas Was Alone isn't your typical platformer. The game immerses you in its world and forges an emotional bond between you and a rectangle. Yes, a rectangle. As you take charge of the different colorful geometric shapes inside the game, you embark on a journey through more than 100 levels (with 20 levels from the Benjamin's Flight expansion) that's beautifully narrated and deeply sentimental.
When Thomas Was Alone first launched on Android in 2014, it cost about $3.99, but the game has had its price dip on and off since then. Today sees one of its lowest discounts ever, with the price falling to $0.20 in the US. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Android Police coverage: Crashlands From Butterscotch Shenanigans Crash Lands Onto Android, Steam, and iOS Today
Crashlands is technically an RPG, but that's selling it a little short. This light-hearted sci-fi game also has a huge focus on exploration, crafting, taming wild creatures, and building up your home base. Read More
February's batch of factory images started turning up earlier today and Google followed up with a push to AOSP a few hours later. As usual, we've got some changelogs to look over. The focus this month appears to be entirely on sealing any holes that could be used by bad people to do bad things.
Google posted a security bulletin with a list of fixes found in this release, and there are a few pretty big ones this month. Five items have been tagged Critical, including two that allowed for remote code execution without any user interaction, and the remaining three could have been used for privilege escalation. Read More
An article on PC Mag published earlier today claims that US Mobile is the "first legit" Xiaomi and Meizu carrier in America. This is, frankly, misleading. To clarify immediately: some US T-Mobile MVNO that no one has heard of is working with an electronics distributor in Hong Kong to sell gray market Xiaomi and Meizu devices on its online store, and they don't even support US LTE bands. Read More
Google stopped being the Google we all knew last year when it formed a new umbrella parent company called Alphabet. Now, following the first quarterly earnings call for Alphabet, the company's market capitalization (a measure of value based on the price of outstanding shares) has topped that of Apple. That means by one measure, Alphabet is the most valuable company on the planet. Read More
Not to be outdone, WhatsApp today announced literally during Alphabet's earnings call minutes after it was announced Gmail had 1 billion MAUs that it, too, has joined the billion user club.
Unlike Gmail, the Facebook-owned communication service got there substantially quicker relative to its Play Store app: WhatsApp registered 1 billion installs on the Play Store in March last year, meaning it converted those installs into a billion MAUs in just 11 months. WhatsApp, of course, has also not been around nearly as long as Gmail, which makes it an even more impressive feat. Not to mention that here in the US most people have no freaking clue what WhatsApp is. Read More