One of Google's big projects for Android M is battery optimization. It's doing this by implementing a new Doze mode that puts unneeded apps into an ultra low-power state that keeps them from doing too much in the background. While this should all work smoothly on its own, it turns out you can go into the settings and fiddle with things.
If you check the other apps from a developer in the Play Store right now, you get a boring generic list of apps. Going forward, you'll start seeing richer, branded pages where developers can properly display their wares.
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.