Google may not want managing apps to be a primary part of the Android Wear experience, but that doesn't mean all users must agree. Wear Mini Launcher shrinks a traditional app drawer onto that tiny display, where you can access your petite apps with just a swipe.
Today version 3 has hit Google Play, and while it does a number of things to streamline the watch experience, the big item on the changelog deals with the companion app. Read More
Yammer is a social network for people in suits, a way for corporate employees to learn about their colleagues and communicate without all the distractions that come with relying on a platform that's connected to the entire world. Microsoft bought the service in 2012, but apps remain available for iOS and Android. In the latest round of updates, the latter version is getting Android Wear support.
Out of the box, Android Wear could already display any notifications that Yammer shot out. Read More
LIFX is another one of those "smart bulbs," an LED light bulb with some basic electronics and a Wi-Fi connection built in, competing with platforms like HUE from Phillips. Today the manufacturer's official app gets a significant update to version 2.0, focusing on more connectivity options and integration with other software systems. Owners of the pricey bulbs can download the updated app now and connect individual bulbs to their LIFX account. Read More
The newest version of SwiftKey opens the third-party keyboard up to millions upon millions of people. How? By officially bringing Chinese language support out of beta. There are seven new input methods total, with ways to type in Simplified, Taiwan Traditional, and Hong Kong Traditional Chinese.
I'm not much of a runner, but I've occasionally made use of the Runtastic Running and Fitness app to keep track of my time and distance while jogging around the neighborhood. Given that it's the middle of winter in the US, I won't be firing up the app anytime soon. But the more dedicated among you may be happy to know that the latest update (version 5.4) has made the few visual adjustments needed to better fit in on Lollipop devices. Read More
Those of you with an Amazon Prime account also have a stockpile of music open to you through the company's half-a-year-old streaming service, and with version 4.3 of the Android app, the retailer is making those tracks easier to access.
Instead of browsing through the company's virtual store shelves and adding albums to your library as though you were buying them, you can just browse through a separate Prime Music section. When you click on a song there, it simply starts playing. Read More
Field Trip is one of Google's less-known official apps (from the same people who work on Ingress), and appropriately, one of the most unique. The urban exploration app gets its 2.0 update today, bringing the user interface in line with Material Design standards introduced with Android 5.0. As nice as it is to see Google keeping its apps fresh, I have to say that the redesign takes something away in this case. Read More
YouTube has always been one of Google's less conventional properties, but the sudden leap from version 6.0 to 10.0 gave everybody a surprise. Even stranger is that with such a substantial jump in versions, there are virtually zero meaningful changes to the user-facing features. While there's relatively little for us to enjoy right now, a full teardown reveals that there are at least a few additions that might be worthy of a major version bump. Read More
Accessing and controlling a full-sized desktop on a handheld machine is no task for the timid, and making a tool to do it isn't easy, either. But virtualization software vendor Parallels knows a trick or two, and they've added one or two more into the Android version of Access. The latest update includes new tools to access remote computer files, better compatibility for the S-Pen stylus on Samsung Galaxy Note phones and tablets, and better audio options.
The biggest addition to version 2.5 is the built-in file browser, which makes opening files remotely on a mobile screen much, much easier. Read More