To call Rdio's latest beta a complete overhaul might be a bit of a misnomer. The feature set is largely the same, even if the design has gotten a facelift. However, seeing as the music streaming wars are heating up, it seems like a perfect time to take a second look at the service that always seems to play second fiddle to the behemoth that is Spotify.
Update: This version of the app is now live.
For the uninitiated, Rdio (ar-dee-oh) is a music streaming service with both web and Android-based applications. New users can get a limited amount of free music via the site.
When I first covered Pixlr Express a few days ago, I noted that the presence of a photo editing app was odd in Autodesk's lineup of powerful tools. Having developed apps like ForceEffect, 360 Mobile, and AutoCAD WS, you'd think Autodesk was marketing to power users who want to design, edit, animate, and engineer from the palm of their hand. Still, Autodesk's first foray into the mobile photo editing world – Pixlr-o-matic – was a hit. So much so, it appears, that Autodesk brought to market Pixlr Express.
Despite its name, the only thing "express" about Autodesk's new tool is the speed with which users can edit, manipulate, and overlay photos using a wide library of tools (when I say "wide," I refer to its selection of 600+ effects).
Android's tablet-optimized app selection being what it is, we're always excited to see a useful new app get revamped for bigger screens. It's true that a separate app package isn't technically necessary for transitioning to a great tablet layout, but Amazon has taken a step in the right direction, having just released Amazon Mobile for tablets to the Play Store.
If you've used the regular Amazon Mobile app, you know what you're getting with Amazon Mobile for tablets. Easy searching, reviews, purchasing, and account management – in tablet format.
The app certainly looks promising, and supports both landscape and portrait browsing, but right now it's only compatible with "Android OS 4.1 & up and 7” 1280x800 resolution screen," meaning the Nexus 7.
Way back in February, a man by the name of Ben Randall demoed an amazing voice control app called "utter!" that he had started developing. The initial video (a whopping 22 minutes long) demonstrated some amazing capabilities - take a look for yourself:
But that was over 9 months ago, and aside from the initial release of the (very limited) alpha, we haven't heard much about the app, though Mr. Randall has kept interested parties updated via his very active XDA thread. In those 9 months, he's made very steady progress, and today he has released the first beta build.
It seems like the Android world is getting a ton of extra tablet love in the past few months. Today, Skype joined the party by finally introducing an optimized UI for those of you with a little more screen to love. While the new look is nice, it bizarrely forces your slate into landscape mode. Even on the Nexus 7, you have no choice but to use the wider layout. This probably isn't a bad thing, since it looks great in this mode, and might seem cramped otherwise. Still, this is the only app outside of games we've seen do this, so it's a little jarring.
In ancient Greece, Apollo was—among other things—the god of music. In ancient 2012, Apollo became the official music app for CyanogenMod. It was gorgeous, functional, and completely customizable, as you might expect from the world's most popular ROM. At the time, we were told that this lovely bit of software would be coming to the Market "in the coming weeks." That was back when we still called it the Market. Today, though, Apollo is available on the Play Store.
The player comes in two flavors: regular, and +. Apollo+ removes ads and offers quicker updates for a mere $0.99.
File this one under How did Google not have a test for this? Got a birthday or anniversary in December? Sorry - Android 4.2 doesn't know what December is. Well, rather the People/Contacts app that comes stock and is part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) doesn't. Wait... what?
We couldn't believe it either, but it's true. Google forgot to include December. As in, there are 11 months in a year. January after November. Christmas is ruined. Santa is dead. At least we'll save money on buying presents, right?
We verified this on a Nexus 7 and a Nexus 10 running 4.2.
In a continued quest to bring their handy functionality of the Note line's S Pen, Samsung has again updated the stylus' SDK, this time to 2.2.5 (a 0.0.5 bump over the previous update).
The update, which Samsung announced through its developer blog early this morning, brings one major feature – Multi Window and its related APIs. For those who haven't been keeping up with the Note line, Multi Window is a feature by which apps can share the screen by splitting it in half horizontally or vertically, sharing data through the clipboard or – in some cases – with simple drag-and-drop.
Apex launcher, following closely behind Nova Launcher, has updated to include support for the Android 4.2 update that's currently rolling out to various Nexus devices. If you like your launchers like you like your anterior corner of a butterfly's wings, you can download the update directly on your device. You'll also get a few new extras, including the option to close the app drawer after launching an app and better icon label handling. Here's the full changelog:
What's in this version:
* Added option to close drawer after launching apps * Added option to toggle home screen alpha effect (leave it off for smoother transitions) * Improved icon label handling (labels will not be cut off or hidden automatically) * Fixed FC under Android 4.2 * Various bugfixes * Updated translations
Happy holiday traveling season, everyone! Ten bucks says that, if you have plans to visit friends and family out of state this year, you don't really have ten bucks to waste on silly internet bets. For those about to make a vacation expedition, Expedia would like you to know that it has renovated its Android app with a nice new UI and flight searches and tracking to help you find the best deals.
In addition to air travel accommodations, Expedia also helps you find hotel rooms and offers up customer reviews. The new interface is pretty slick, too. It even has a handy tablet UI, for those of you who are making your plans on your shiny new Nexus 10.