Hangouts does some things well, but letting you know when someone new is trying to contact you is not one of them. Google is rolling out several new invitation options to Hangouts that will make things much clearer. What's more, it looks like they're already live in the Android app.
The Android Chrome beta channel got v44 in early June, and now it's time for that version to filter down to the stable app. You should get the new version in the coming days via the Play Store, but we've also got the app on APK Mirror for the more impatient among you.
The media playback situation on Android Auto is not great, but it's a little better today now that Audiobooks.com works in the car. This is somehow the first audio book source with proper support for Google's car platform. Hey Audible, maybe you want to get on that too? Thanks.
Pocket lets you take whatever website you don't have time for right this moment and saves it somewhere for you to get back to later. It then reformats this content to make the text easier to read. That's what it does, and for the most part, that's all it needs to do.
But maybe this alone isn't hitting your buttons. You want more features, and you want them now. Well, just for you, Pocket has rolled out a beta channel. This will let you get access to upcoming functionality before it comes to everyone else.
Right now Pocket is working on a way to recommend high-quality stories and videos, not just those that are popular and new.
Okay, TV viewers. If you like watching overly muscle-y men and women wear skimpy clothing and ridiculous outfits while they fondle each other angrily, listen up. The WWE Network app is now out for Android TV.
This Android app lets you view all of the programming you would expect from the network. This means live feeds and on-demand content, including the substantial archive of angry flesh-on-flesh action from decades of WWE, ECW, and WCW. You also get access to all pay-per-views as they happen. Then there's the behind the scenes footage that fleshes out just who these deep, complex actors really are—or kind of are.
Until now, the Play Store beta testing system was tied to Google+ communities or Google Groups, but that's changing now. Google is rolling out two new options for developers to run beta tests that don't rely on Google+.
Here's an idea. Let's take that video chatting thing that people do all the time using Skype, Hangouts, or FaceTime, and remove the sound. Huh, Yahoo is already doing that?
Yup, and the service is called Livetext. Yahoo has been testing it in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Ireland. Now the tech company is bringing its intriguing communications platform to five additional countries. There's Canada and the US in North America. France, Germany, and the rest of the UK have joined Ireland in Europe.
In Yahoo's video of Livetext in action, you can see how each sentence you type appears at the bottom of a video feed of whomever you're chatting with.
Music creation apps on Android have lagged far behind iOS, but things are slowly catching up with improved latency in newer versions of Android. A music creation app just hit the Play Store that music aficionados might want to check out. It's called Stagelight (no, not Stagefright—bad timing) and you can try it for free.
Google acquired WordLens a while back, eventually integrating its visual text translation technology into the Translate app. It only supported seven languages at the time, but today's v4.0 update adds a lot more, and Google is showing off the visual translation feature with a nifty Google Translate vs. “La Bamba” video.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Weatherback Weather Wallpaper
This week's roundup is brought to you by Weatherback Weather Wallpaper from Aceou. This interesting live wallpaper takes a static image (like Android's default wallpaper) and adds dynamic weather effects based on the weather at your actual location.