Somewhere amid the rest of Google's appupdates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.
First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.
Google's got a surprise for users across Asia and New Zealand today, bringing Play Books availability to nine new places: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand.
The company that claims the world's largest selection of online books has been slowly but surely making headway in spreading its Play products across the planet. Of course, it would be great if Google could simply flip a switch to bring Play to all Android users everywhere, but legal issues and other roadblocks mean it still takes some time to expand.
Yesterday, TuneIn Radio Pro, one of my favorite radio apps, was updated to version 9.0 and brought a bunch of sports-related improvements. However, a pretty significant bug made its way into the app as well - pausing and rewinding live streams, which are two of the most important features of Pro, no longer worked.
Reviewers started making a stink, a bunch of users on Reddit got sad, and TuneIn soon realized what they'd done.
If you read this site, you probably love Android. And if you love Android, you might like to let the world know. There's really no shortage of ways to do that – you could just tell people, wear an Android t-shirt, flash your phone randomly so everyone knows you don't carry an iPhone, you know the normal stuff. Or, you could decorate your house (or maybe just your office) with the little Android characters from the mind of Andrew Bell.
MotoHeroz first launched as a WiiWare title back in 2011, and it would remain one of the best releases available for the platform. The game is ultimately the product of a side scrolling platformer that bred with a racing game, and the result is a challenging title that combines the look of the former with the physics of the latter. In the end, MotoHeroz is a ride worth taking, and now you can find the keys sitting in the Play Store.
So the Moto X "Lazy Phone" ads are the best smartphone-related ones out right now. They're both funny and memorable, which is basically 90% of what a commercial really needs to be a success. The remaining 10% consists of reasons to choose one product over another. The original Lazy Phone videos showed how competitors' phones could ruin a romantic night, cause you to miss taking a photo of your child's stellar performance, or be the person whose phone won't stop buzzing during a meeting.
An Android app for Google Shopping Express has landed in the Play Store, and while it's available for anyone to download, it still only works in the San Francisco Bay area. I know, that blows, but if you live in the region and take part in Google's trial same-day shopping program, this new app gives you a quicker means to make purchases when your computer isn't within reach. Google has also extended access out to San Jose, so if you're a newly eligible resident who hasn't already signed up for the service, now may be a good time to do so.
It's update Wednesday, and Google is making good use of this one. Earlier today the company showed off the new version of Gmail with a card-based UI in the conversation list, and now it's Hangouts' turn to get a nice little feature bump.
The Hangouts update – which brings the app up to version 1.2 for those who like to keep count – brings about some mighty useful (and oft-requested) features:
It's time again to crack open your wallet and give to some worthy charities. Unlike the regular kind of charity, you get more than a warm fuzzy feeling from giving to the Humble Bundle. The new Humble Mobile Bundle 2 offers up to six great Android titles, including two debuts.
The Humble Bundle (in case you don't know) is a pay-what-you-want, DRM-free game pack that benefits charities like the EFF and Child's Play.
When the LG Lucid first hit store shelves, it was one of the best mid-range handsets available at the time. It served as a shining example that a budget phone didn't have to feel like it was a budget phone. Now an OTA update is rolling out to the handset over a year after its release, further evidence that not all budget phones are destined for neglect. This new software version doesn't fundamentally change things, but it's nice to have security patches and a newer version of Google Map Services, among other things.