In addition to a handful of new Chromecast-supported apps announced by Google, Sling Media is getting in on the action. According to this blog post, the Slingplayer app for Android smartphones now has Chromecasting capability. Though the latest update for the app itself was way back in July, Chromecast support is often enabled via a server-side switch, so it should be working now. Compatible Sling hardware includes the Slingbox M1, 350, 500, and SlingTV.
Here's a Google app that few people would judge you for not knowing about. There's this thing formerly known as Maps Engine that lets people create custom maps and share them with others. Now it goes by the name of My Maps. And, put bluntly, it's a change that makes sense. This conveys to users what the app actually does. Map Engine? Not so much.
To go with the name change, Google has changed the app's icon as well.
Pandora is currently rolling out a redesigned version of its Android app that may just cause more than a few double takes. The Internet radio service has looked largely the same on Android for a few years now, but the UI introduced in 5.5 is strikingly different - at first, at least. This change is stark, but it's only surface deep.
The Pandora app has been stripped of its blue gradients.
Nifty language learning app Duolingo is expanding on its usefulness by adding another course for English speakers. Android users can now click on the green birdy app to learn how to say new words in Dutch. The option is accessible along with all of the other courses, which you can see in the screenshot below.
For people who aren't at all interested in learning this particular language, the latest Duolingo update still comes with an added perk.
Alarm.com is one of those ubiquitous home security companies that sells home safety packages, and like a lot of their competitors, they had an Android app simply as a check mark for comparison shoppers. Before today, the previous version of the security system's mobile component looked like it hadn't been touched since 2010. Yesterday's update fixed that primary problem with an extensive user interface refresh, granting easy access to all the security and automation features installed in a home.
Although Facebook recently passed the 500 million download mark with their semi-detached Messenger app, it looks like they're not content to rest on their laurels. After adding full Android Wear support and video uploads to the app, Facebook's latest adjustment gives users the power to edit photos before sending them to chat contacts. Well, sort of - it's the kind of editing you can do with a Polaroid photo and a Sharpie marker.
Motorola's apps are exclusively available to its devices, but some of the more affordable handsets take a while to get some of the provided features. In this case, the Motorola Assist and Contextual Services apps have recently been updated to bring Driving and Home mode support for the Moto G and the Moto E. To understand what this means, we must first take a look at what both of these apps actually do.
As you already know, Nest's alarms are smarter than regular alarms. They pair with an Android app and can provide more specific feedback than BEEP BEEP BEEP. One of their other perks is that, like many gadgets these days, they get better with time. The company is now rolling out version 2 of its mobile apps. The update is available right away, so here's what to expect once it's done installing.