AT&T has long had a chip on its shoulder when it comes to video chat apps running on its network. It took a few years to enable Apple's solution, but Android users were stymied just last week when the new Hangouts app refused to connect to video calls over AT&T's 3G and 4G. The rationale the carrier is using to justify its decision is incredibly convoluted, to say the least. However, things are going to change in the second half of 2013.
Ah, Google Glass. Though the venerable headset has a lot of potential, it has yet to become something people want to use all the time. If you're a social media addict, a news junkie, or a productivity pro, though, Google's heads-up computer just got a lot more compelling. Today at I/O, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN, Elle, and Evernote pledged to support Glass by releasing official applications - "glassware," as Google calls them.
In our review of the Pebble SmartWatch, we only had two complaints about the software: a lack of apps, and a lack of utility. The second point stems from the fact that the Pebble can only receive alerts from your phone, and it can't send information back. Both issues have now been addressed by the Pebble SDK. Developers have been cranking away on watch apps for some time, but the latest SDK update adds AppMessage, a method of implementing bi-directional communication for Pebble.
Even if you're not physically attending Google I/O, the official convention app might serve you well. It allows attendees to scan badges, view schedules, and just guide themselves around with vector-based maps. If you're not going to be in Moscone Center tomorrow, you can stream sessions with the app. Waiting just about as long as possible, Google has pushed an update to the I/O app, and it adds some cool stuff.
Google I/O is almost here, so surely you've got Google on the brain. Why not take your mind off things with some neat new apps and games? Oh, but the cost! At least there are some cool sales going on to reduce the impact on your wallet. The selection is solid today, ranging from classic utilities to polished games. These deals aren't just in Google Play – Amazon's Appstore is makes a few appearances this time, as well.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?
Had enough of noisy hotels infested with bed bugs and slathered in unidentifiable fluids? Why not rent short term accommodations from a regular human being? That's the service Airbnb provides, and the startup has been making headway in recent years. In an attempt to make the process of finding appropriate lodging more convenient on mobile devices, the company has completely redesigned its Android app and added a few new features.
The new app is more attractive an Android-y than the old version, which made heavy use of gradients and iOS-style buttons.
If you've spent as much time on the Google Play Store as I have, you begin to recognize a pattern: developers asking (and sometimes begging) users to email them directly with complaints or bugs, because they can't reply to that snarky review left in lieu of a bug report. After years and years of frustration for devs who just want to make their apps better, Google has finally rolled out a direct reply feature.
Readers probably don't need to be reminded that each month, we distill all of the Play Store's latest entries into a selection of the very best apps of the previous month, hand-picking a shortlist to save you both time and money in testing everything out. This month, though, there were just too many worthy apps to cut down to the usual five, so we've got a slightly-less-short list of the best six apps from April 2013.
As the start of Google I/O 2013 grows achingly close, Mountain View has seen fit to grace us with a pretty significant update of the official Google I/O app for this year's conference. For anyone attending the event, this app is going to be their golden ticket. The app should work on most Android form-factors (2.3 Gingerbread or higher), with a killer card-based UI that's consistent with Google's new design aesthetic.