Android Wear, and smartwatches at large, were pitched to us with the promise of their becoming the indispensable "second screen" to our smartphones. Notifications, voice communication, smart home integration, highly contextual information and alerts - smartwatches were, in theory, the companion that could give us all the simple things that necessitated taking out our smartphone, but didn't actually require a large screen or access to a keyboard to accomplish.
Android Wear is coming up on its second birthday, and the decreasing number of compelling new Wear apps we see each month that aren't watch faces has actually led to us slowing the regular publication of our "new Wear apps and watch faces" series.
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.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Internet Radio - PlayTime
This week's roundup is brought to you by Playtime Internet Radio from HandyApps. This useful all-in-one radio manager allows users to search for specific songs or shows streaming on thousands of live channels all across the Internet, or use the more conventional recommendation engine for a more random experience.
Humble Bundle ended its bi-weekly mobile deals a while back, but there's still a new Android bundle every now and then. Like right now, for example. You can get up to eight Android games, with more on the way. You just have to jump on the deal before it expires in two weeks.
It's the first Monday of May, and that means there are some new factory images and OTAs for the Nexus line. As usual, these new firmware packages include the latest security patches from the preceding month, and possibly some bug fixes and optimizations, as well. While we'll be looking for changes in the AOSP changelog (coming soon), Google has posted the security bulletin to explain the major risks that that have been fixed in this release.
Google took special care to point out that the security bulletin has been renamed (from "Nexus" to "Android") to reflect its relationship to all devices running Android, not just those directly supported by Google.
Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock, may be the most likeable man in the universe. And now he has an alarm clock app that, above all else, perpetuates this, because he's The Rock. You may say, "David, what makes this so much better than my amazing alarm clock app that I already have?" To which I would answer: this one contains nearly infinitely more Dwayne Johnson. And Dwayne Johnson does not do "snooze" buttons.
One of the alarm tones is just Johnson saying "beep, beep, beep." This may sound boring, but it is, in fact, objectively amazing. Another begins with a soft, typical-morning-wake-up harp ringtone, followed by The Rock smashing said harp, and then shouting "JABRONI!" You cannot make this up.
Mother's Day is coming, and Motorola thinks you should give a Moto X Pure to the woman that raised you.
To help out, Motorola is taking $100 off the device. That brings the base model down from an already reasonable $399.99 to a more compelling $299.99. The 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models are all on sale. All you have to do to fulfill your end of the deal is help the company make money by clicking the buy button.
BlackBerry launched the Priv late last year at the stratospheric price of $700. It's not an unheard of price for a flagship phone, but the first Android phone from a struggling OEM? Maybe not the best idea. The Priv has been showing up on mega-discount lately, and today it's on sale for the lowest price yet. You can pick a new unlocked Priv up from eBay for $379.99.
The Huawei Honor 7 may be a flagship device, but compared to some of the competition, it doesn't cost all that much. The same can kinda be said for Amazon's Kindle Fire HD. That makes each device an okay one to muck around with.
Before you start flashing ROMs, you need a decent custom recovery. The Team Win Recovery Project is more than decent. In many ways, this is the top option available right now.
Keyboard apps aren't the most exciting things, but they're one of the apps you interact with most on your phone. Think about how much you type, and how much that experience has improved over the years. Google hasn't added anything important to the Google Keyboard lately, but apparently they've been saving it up. The new v5.0 update is rolling out, and it's huge. There are UI tweaks, new gestures, layout changes, and so much more.