Maps are symbolic by their nature, but that doesn't mean that those symbols can't be user friendly. Ride-sharing company Lyft seems to have applied that principle to the custom maps in its Android application. The latest app update adds new features to the map you use when searching for a ride - now the little car markers on the map will be colored the same as the real-world car that picks you up, and the direction the car is facing as it travels is reflected on the map. Read More
Since its release in 2012, Pixlr has received several updates and tweaks, but no major changes to its interface. That left the app looking like a Gingerbread relic on my and many other users' modern smartphones with their material looks and spiffy animations. For an app that specializes in making things look prettier, Pixlr wasn't fulfilling its own end of the bargain. Take a look at what Pixlr was like before today: Read More
Due to a smaller installer base, the specialized version of the Play Store that comes on Android TV gets a lot less attention that the version on phones and tablets. Even so, we keep an eye on all the various flavors of Android - check the sign over the door - so we're happy to report that the Android TV version has received a notable update. The latest release (5.10.30-leanback) makes some big changes to the user interface, chopping off some of the less necessary corners to focus on the core experience. Read More
While Android TV doesn't enjoy the wide support that Chromecast gets, and its current app catalog can't hold a candle to competitors that have been in the market for much longer like Roku, it's slowly and surely getting better. The latest major network to offer an official Android TV app is PBS, the United States' government-funded Public Broadcasting Service. The free app is available to download on Android TV units now.
PBS Video uses the same Google Play Store listing as the phone and tablet version of the app, it's just been expanded to Android TV with additional API support. The app allows users free access to streaming some, but not all, of the channel's currently-running shows, plus segmented versions of NewsHour and Austin City Limits and at least some shows from local markets. Read More
Amazon has been slowly but steadily improving its official Music app for years. The latest update, which is christened version 5.0, adds quite a few features. Most notable among them is the ability to download music from your personal library and/or Amazon Prime Music directly to your phone or tablet's MicroSD card, assuming you have one. That should be especially useful for users with budget phones, which tend to rely on expandable storage and ignore the fact that many apps don't access it in the first place.
Just last week Cody Toombs spotted the building blocks for a drawing function in Google's Keep notes app, and now it's live. The latest version of the APK, 3.2.435, makes it active and visible. You can wait for Google to get around to delivering it via the Play Store, or you can skip the line and download it from APK Mirror below. Read More
Reddit may or may not have its official Android app ready any time soon, but third-party developers are still more than willing to pick up the slack. BaconReader, one of the most popular Reddit client apps, has just been given a major update. The 5.0 release includes a much-belated Material Design user interface adjustment and no small amount of other changes, both user-facing and behind the scenes. Here's a quick comparison of the older version to the spiffy new Material Design layout: Read More
VUDU might be one of the lesser popular video streaming services, but it's still used and loved by many loyal customers. Its Android app, however, wasn't that good. It was functional, we'll give it that, but it was slow, not quite responsive, and stuck in the Holo era of Android app design. That was version 1.5. Today, the app jumped to 4.1. Whoaaaaaaaaa.
So what we've got here is a complete revamp of the app, from the interface side and the backend side. VUDU is now faster, more responsive, and more efficient. It supports HD and HDX videos, has better search suggestions, a portrait mode on smartphones, and improved Chromecast casting. Read More
Opera Max isn't a browser. It's an Android utility that works in the background to apply the same data compression you've come to expect from Opera's regular and Mini browsers, except it does it on all of (or most of) your apps without you having to worry about a thing.
A couple of months ago, it added support for video compression from YouTube and Netflix, and now it's tackling another culprit of data consumption: audio. The three apps that Opera Max' compression algorithms will take care of are Pandora, SoundCloud, and Slacker. You won't have to do a thing for this to work. Read More