No one ever accused Facebook of being swift or thorough with its app updates, but they're at least usually very welcome when they arrive. Back in 2011, the social network introduced 'Timeline', the now-mandatory profile layout that gives you one giant photo at the top, with a secondary profile picture in the bottom-left corner. Up until recently, you couldn't change your cover photo on mobile. Now, in version 2.2, you can.
We'll do our best to stay away from spoilers for the newly-released Die Hard movie (Happy Valentine's Day!), but the companion endless-runner game Fox just released to the Play Store isn't doing us any favors on that front. The app—which is somewhat shadily referred to as simply "Die Hard", trading on the name of greater movies—takes inspiration from titles like Temple Run. Just, not enough inspiration. (Note: some screenshots are very slightly spoiler-y, so if you're still planning on seeing the movie and you're a purist, you might want to wait to hit up the source link.)
One of the first things you'll notice about this game versus other endless runner titles is that it's in landscape mode.
Back in December, Media Monkey released a beta of the Android version of the media player app that received a level of success on the desktop. It still packs the same ability to tag and run scripts that the original possessed. Now it's arrived on the Play Store, which should make rolling out bug fixes much easier.
Speaking of bug fixes, the most recent set includes ensuring that playback position will be remembered, improving memory utilization and preventing duplicate tracks.
As if there weren't enough contenders out there for music subscription service, Slacker Radio has updated its business model. You can still get the standard ad-supported radio station features that were always available. However the company has added a Spotify-like buffet option for $10/month. Pony up the dough and you can remove all ads and listen to as many tracks as you want.
The combination is pretty powerful, as one of the biggest complaints over Spotify is its discovery problems.
There's little doubt that Pokémon is the very best at separating parents from money. Like no franchise ever was. Getting Nintendo to relinquish control of content, though, is a real test. It doesn't generally stream its show for free without good cause. Today, however, it's available across the land. The animated series can now be streamed to Android handsets far and wide.
Admittedly Pokémon licensing is something I don't understand, but it's pretty powerful that this app has free episodes inside.
Swiftkey's new Flow beta has been a crowd-favorite since its release. The company behind one of the best Android keyboard replacement apps has pushed a new update that brings a variety of bugfixes—including a bunch of crashes—and improvements such as a nicer-looking installer, a new Turkish layout, and better punctuation prediction for non-English languages.
* Fixed crash on changing keyboards * Fixed force close on clicking update language * Fixed other crashes * Resolved majority of non-English punctuation problems * New look installer to match SwiftKey Flow colors and include an introduction to SwiftKey Flow * Added Turkish layout * Chrome Beta should now behave like Chrome * Snap and tap (correction of words) now compatible with Vietnamese * Memory usage of settings app reduced * Improved handling of non-zero length selection in Chrome and Samsung mail client * Fixed jumping cursor in ExDialler and Samsung calculator * Microphone key disabled in fields that don’t support voice input * Fix for keyboard disappearing when phone build installed on tablet sized devices * Disabled predictions in Kingsoft Office and UC browser to make SK usable in them * Double space for period turned off by default to prevent accidental period insertion when flowing * Replaced ‘learnt’ with ‘learned’ in personalization page (US English) * Turned off slide down from candidate bar to close keyboard when flow is on (to be consistent with the description in the Settings menu)
* Crashes when looking at the heatmap if you visit immediately after using the alternative symbols layout * Comma key on Arabic keyboard inserts western comma * Predictions sometimes blank when switching between languages * Flowing words sometimes results in surprising capitalizations * “No SD card” ribbon looks bad on low end devices
Can we be honest with ourselves? Plex kinda sucks. Hard to blame it, most third-party media centers on Android do at the moment. As a lengthy blog post by the developer points out, part of that has been due to Android's inflexibility and lack of a coherent UI in its history. That's changed over the last couple years and now Plex has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a lot more beautiful and a lot more functional.
Google Voice is a great service burdened by a lack of support, integration, and easy way to sign up (unless you're on Sprint, of course). Those who do decide to jump the hurdles and either get a brand new number—or port their existing one to Google—will find themselves in an uncomfortable paradise. On the one hand, you can text from your desktop, tablet, or phone completely for free which is awesome.
Handy volume control app Silence got a nice update today to version 2.0. The update, besides introducing a new (holo) interface, adds a ton of new functionality. So much, in fact, that the app's functionality now overshadows its simple name.
For starters, the update adds Google Calendar integration (for Android 4.0+), and support for recurring events, each with their own volume profile. Users can configure the events to repeat until a given date, and the app can control notification, media, and alarm volumes with individual levels for each.
January, like most months, had plenty in the way of new apps and games. We've already published our list of the top five games from last month, so it only seems right that we follow up with the month's best apps.
From backup utilities to social/RPG/motivational fitness apps, January 2013 had something for everyone. In the interest of saving our readers time, energy, and perhaps some money, we've rounded up the six very best apps every Android user should know about from the past month.