You can now use at least some Android apps as stand-alone Chrome extensions on your laptop or desktop, with a little bit of hacking. The handy Chrome APK Packager made that process much easier... at least until Google booted it off of the Play Store, presumably for a copyright violation. The creator of the tool, who goes by "bpear96" on XDA, said that he would have to change the name in order to keep the app on Google's playground.
Honda and NVIDIA have partnered up to supply future 2015 Civic, Civic Tourer and CR-V owners with a Tegra-powered infotainment system for them to totally not interact with while driving. The interface will be based on Android, but it's utilizing the aging (or at this point, we can just say old) build of 4.0.4. We may be excited to see Android work its way into more cars, but Auto, this is not.
If you practically live out of your car like I do, there are probably cables loosely hanging from just about every outlet, and at least a couple awkwardly laying across the passenger seat. Even if you're not sporting a ride with a Bluetooth-enabled stereo, you can get rid of at least one cable by adding your own car kit to the mix. You could already get the GOgroove SMARTmini AUX Bluetooth Audio Receiver Car Kit for just $24.99 from Amazon, but now you can also knock another $5 off with a coupon code at checkout.
Samsung has been sending the somewhat overdue Android 4.4.4 update to its flagship devices for the last few weeks, and according to this support page, it's now the Sprint Galaxy S5's turn. The Sprint CDMA edition of the S5 should be receiving the latest stable build of Android now, though we haven't actually found any users who are getting it this morning. Given the way that US carriers tend to stagger the rollouts for just about everything, that isn't all that surprising.
The Play Store has a spot next to each device in your list for an image of that particular phone or tablet. This whole time it's pretty much only been Nexus devices that had the image instead of a generic white outline. Now all of a sudden almost all phones and tablets have an image, which looks much nicer.
WebOS, the last and sadly failed initiative from the venerable Palm Inc., seems to have more lives than Mumm-Ra the Everliving. After getting a second chance when HP acquired the Palm company, then a third when LG tried it out on connected televisions, it looks like the Korean manufacturer is going to give it a shot at powering future smartwatches. The Verge spotted a WebOS smartwatch page on LG's development portal, which was then swiftly taken down.
Update 9/18/14: An updated version 6.1.07 (previous was 6.1.05) started rolling out. We've updated the APK below to this version.
Update 10/2/14: An updated version 6.1.11 (previous were 6.1.05, 6.1.07, and 6.1.09) started rolling out. We've updated the APK below to this version.
At Google I/O this year, we learned that Google Play Services is generally updated on a six-week cycle. As expected, the mighty puzzle piece behind Google's Android services is getting an update starting today that introduces a number of small changes that most users probably won't notice but which may make developers' lives a little bit easier.
Logitech's got a new Android app on the Play Store, and it doesn't have anything to do with Bluetooth mobile accessories. This one's for the gamers: Arx Control is a WiFi system monitor for gaming PCs and a customization extension for Logitech's line of PC gaming accessories. It's a free download, at least if you've got a Logitech G-series device... or you lie and go to the download page for the free Logitech Gaming Software program for Windows.
September was a solid month for new Android releases. The new phone call functionality in Hangouts is easily the biggest news, but in our top picks below you'll find new media app options, new customization tools, ways to improve your videography, and all manner of interesting stuff to do on your phone or tablet. The honorable mentions section has even more goodies for you to check out. Your Android device won't be wanting for new things to do.
The TripIt travel itinerary app has received an update that makes it significantly more useful during bouts of intermittent Internet connectivity. Version 3.6 brings in the ability to make edits while offline. The app will then sync changes automatically once you reconnect.
This feature tops the change log, but it's not what TripIt highlighted when I fired up the app. No, that was the new Enhanced Point Tracker feature that will notify you whenever your rewards points are about to expire.