Just like the new version of Google Play Movies & TV, the Google Play Games app sourced from the recent ADT-1 Android TV device update works fine on recent phones and tablets. There doesn't appear to be any huge functionality improvement in this release, it's merely a shiny new coat of paint. That being the case, it might be best to wait for the official phone/tablet update. If you don't want to wait that long, then have at it with the update below.
The Google Keyboard isn't one of the flashier apps out there, but it has proven to be an important tool for many people all over the world. The latest update brings better organization to the settings screen and adds support for 8 additional languages including: Bengali (India), Hindi (Compact), Kannada (India), Malayalam (India), Marathi (India), Tamil (India), Tamil (Singapore), and Telugu (India).
Left: Old settings screen, Center: New settings screen.
The SuperSU root permissions manager is probably one of the most widely-distributed power user tools on Android at this point, though it won't be breaking the Top Ten lists in the Play Store any time soon. Developer Chainfire has issued an update to version 2.13, which includes a huge list of additional and adjusted features. As far as usability is concerned, the biggest change is probably the fact that the app is now available on the Amazon Appstore.
The SwiftKey folks have released a new version of the popular third-party keyboard that comes with support for thirteen new Indian languages bundled in, but it's all still tucked away in beta form. Users who download the 5.1 beta will get access to Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Nepali, and Sinhala (Nepali and Sinhala are not Indian languages but SwiftKey opted to lump them in because they belong to the same Indo-Aryan language family).
Box is a cloud storage provider that is challenging for the average consumer to get excited about. That's because while competitors chased around general users, Box kept its sights focused primarily on the enterprise market. Yet you don't have to be a business client to take advantage of the latest update, as the service is available for free to consumers as well.
Version 3.5 of Box brings in the ability to mark files and folders as favorites.
Active folks who fire up the latest version of the Fitbit app will see a new section tucked away in the sidebar: Challenges. Contained within is a way to take the fitness-minded company's Android experience and make it more social. Users now have the ability to challenge up to 10 people and compete with them in any of three contests.
Fitbit wearers can compete to see who can complete the most steps in a single day, over the weekend, or throughout an entire work week.
For anyone looking for another means of streaming music to their Android device without having to use an app with a UI that would make a Nexus cry, 8tracks is worth a look. The interface keeps things simple, which these days means it's pretty white. Existing users will be pleased to know that following the latest update, 8tracks now comes with Chromecast support. As long as your connected TV or monitor is on, you will see the familiar icon in the action bar at launch.
Amazon has pushed out an update to its Kindle app for Android that might pique your interest if you're into audiobooks, speak Dutch, or like to highlight things. Yes, that's an admittedly eclectic mix of traits and interests, but that's the way these updates work. Developers aren't particularly invested in making sure we bloggers have a theme to categorize each new version under.
- Start playing narration before audiobook download is complete
- Localized support for Dutch
- Tap on highlight to edit
- Several bug fixes
So let's just tackle this list of changes in order.
Tasker is quite possibly the most exciting, boring-looking app in existence. A new user stumbling across its Play Store page is sure to walk away scratching their heads, but it only takes reading a few blog posts to realize that there's more to this piece of software than the screenshots would suggest. Out of the box, it's capable of giving users more control over their Android devices than any single other app, but there are no shortage of plugins out there that still manage to crank things up to the next level.
The WordPress Android app isn't the most feature-rich means of editing a blog, but it's arguably the quickest. The latest version of the software brings about a number of improvements that round out the experience. The list of a site's posts now refreshes automatically, but there's still the option to refresh manually either through the menu or by pulling down on the screen. This update also brings in the ability to infinitely swipe through posts.