Hangouts video chats are pretty good in terms of handling multiple up and down streams, but the invitation and verification system leaves a lot to be desired - there's something of a traffic jam when we start the Android Police podcast video, for example. Today Google is making that a little easier by allowing mobile users to join a Hangouts video session with a simple invitation link, instead of needing an explicit, personal invitation via the Hangouts/Google+ system. Read More
The BeyondPod team has recently rolled out its largest update since the big 4.0 transition, introducing a number of features to please longtime fans and Lollipop users alike.
For the former, a dark theme has arrived, and while it isn't default like the old version of the podcast manager, it's available for folks who find the new standard look too bright. There's also the option to reduce card size, allowing you to fit more information on-screen at once. Read More
Barnes & Noble lets you access your books on Nook and general Android devices alike, but the latter has come with an interface that hasn't been spruced up in years. Today Barnes & Noble announced that this situation is finally changing. The company is releasing Nook 4.0, bringing over the slick interface that has been around since the company started partnering with Samsung to produce the latest line of Nook tablets. Read More
BitTorrent Sync is the cloud storage solution for people who don't like clouds, those who rather keep their files saved locally without giving up the convenience of accessing data from their desktops and mobile phones alike. Today's a big day for the service, the launch of version 2.0 and a pro tier worth $39.99 a year.
A pro account lets users maintain access to files on devices where the data isn't saved. Read More
Hyundai announced at the beginning of this year that it would bring the ability to interact with its vehicles from an Android Wear device in a future update to its Blue Link app. That time has come. Now Hyundai owners can use the gadget on their wrists to remote start engines, lock doors, flash lights, honk horns, and locate cars.
Hyundai showed off the functionality at CES, demoing how all of this could be done just by using voice commands. Read More
Amazon recently had to remove its main application from the Play Store because it included a parallel and competing app store. It replaced it with "Amazon Shopping," which is basically the same thing minus the Amazon Appstore. This new app has received a minor facelift today that improves one of the first things you see when you launch it.
Old loading animation
New loading animation with a subtle orange bar
The pesky grey loading circle, a relic from Android's past, has finally disappeared, to be replaced by a cool, pulsating, and minimal orange loading bar. Read More
The folks over at YouTube have had a busy week after launching YouTube For Kids, and then turning on video trimming a few days later. To keep the ball rolling, the YouTube team shipped a brand new update to its primary app last night that finally enables stats for nerds. After examining the apk in a teardown, it turns out that there's also a big improvement to the upcoming audio swapping feature, and it seems there may even be some new search filters on the way. Read More
Football is a distant memory of a blown call. Basketball is stuck in the middle part of the season with playoffs months away. And hockey is... I actually don't know what hockey is doing, because I don't care. What was I talking about? Oh, right, Major League Baseball starts next month! While the players train, the organization is dusting off its various digital properties. MLB.com At Bat, the streaming app for the league's paid online service, has been updated with some new bells and whistles. Read More
We often refer to it as Update Wednesday, but that's only because the majority of Google's app releases tend to roll out in the middle of the week. In fact, new versions can turn up just about any day. This week, it looks like Google started the festivities a little bit earlier with an update to Search 4.2. Read More