As we expected, Android M will have a revamped permission system. No longer will apps ask for a bunch of permissions at installation time. Instead, apps will ask for important permissions the first time they need them. You can also change permission settings via an AppOps-like interface.
A lot of round watch faces try to look exactly like traditional analog watches. Sometimes that's what you want, but the NOW watch face from Tha Phlash is a fun alternative. It displays the time in a small window at the top with past, present, and future helpfully marked in case you ever forget which way time moves.
After going to a freemium model almost a year ago, SwiftKey has been layering on new features like there's no tomorrow. In today's update (previously in beta, so it might sound familiar to some of you) there's a new theme, refinements of various features, and even some new languages. This version is already rolling out, but if you don't see it yet, we've got the APK below.
Owners of Motorola's newer Android devices are probably familiar with Spotlight Stories. Those are the immersive animated shorts that are available via the built-in Spotlight Player app. Now Google has released a new Spotlight Stories app that has all three shorts from the Motorola experience, but adds a new live-action film called Help.
There's a new version of the Play Store rolling out, and that means you're probably obsessively hunting for the APK. Well, we've got that. More importantly we've taken a look inside the APK to see if there's anything of note. There are some minor layout alterations, but also some interesting clues inside.
Left: older layout, Right: newer layout - ignore the Nexus S
If you pay attention to the Twitter-verse at all, you've probably heard of Periscope. It's an app made by Twitter that broadcasts live video streams from your phone. It was previously only available on iOS, but now you can download it on your Android phone (or tablet, if you hate clear videos).
You've already got Google voice commands, but what about something with a little more personality? Microsoft has got you covered, or rather, it will in a few weeks. Redmond is working on a version of its Cortana virtual assistant app for Android.
Google's current Photos app uses some image processing smarts to piece together auto-awesome compilations and Stories, but the new Photos experience pushes the limits of computer vision. Not only does it pick out and identify faces, it recognizes objects like cars and food. It's not perfect, but it's sometimes creepily accurate.
Roman Nurik works for Google, but he also develops really cool (and free) Android apps from time to time. He's the man behind Dash Clock, Muzei, and now the FORM Watch Face for Android Wear. You can grab it right now and enjoy it all on its own, or you can take advantage of the sweet Muzei functionality.