If you've invested in a Sonos speaker system for your home, you have probably cursed the Sonos app on more than one occasion. It was vastly improved last spring, and now there's a new public beta that makes some welcome changes. According to Sonos, the new app is "A Little Bit Faster Now."
The Instagram app for Android might have a few problems, but you can be among the first to get fixes if you join the new official beta program (or maybe just bugs, hard to say). It's a regular Play Store beta, so sign-up only takes a few seconds. Just don't get too excited about the first beta build.
Folding@Home, at first glance, looks like a trendy name for a blog about mastering origami, but it's actually an initiative that could some day help crack the secrets behind certain life-threatening illnesses. Folding refers to the way in which proteins bend themselves into various shapes, forming the building blocks for our bones, skin, and everything in between.
Sometimes proteins don't fold correctly, leading to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's. Unfortunately, the process occurs so quickly that it's difficult for scientists to observe. A lab led by Dr Vijay Pande at Stanford University developed a way to slow the process down in a simulator, but it requires a good deal of processing power.
Unified Remote is a remarkably powerful app for remotely controlling the functions of your PC. (Not your TV, unless you have an IR port.) The last beta release of the app, which used the frustrating Google Groups testing system, implemented remote control support via an Android Wear app. Now you can get that Wear support in the standard Play Store version, no beta opt-in necessary. You'll need the full version, a $4 add-on, to access the Wear app.
Using the customization tool in the phone version of Unified Remote, simple commands from the various hardware and web service functions of the Unified Remote server can be accessed on your wrist.
You don't need to live in the UK to turn to the BBC for your daily news—there's already a decent chance you're either using the company's mobile app or consuming its content through some other means—but you do need to live on that side of the pond if you want early access to the upcoming version of the Android app. BBC has made the beta version available to British folks through an official Play Store testing trial.
If you aren't familiar with the routine by now, the first thing you need to do is ask to join over on Google+.
The Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth-enabled door lock is the kind of tech that reminds us that we're living in the future. With one of these installed in your home, you can get inside just by tapping a finger against the lock. Before you panic, this only works if your phone is in range and on the right side of door (i.e. the outside).
The product first hit the market over a year ago, but it only supported iOS. The developers didn't want to exclude Android—the platform just wasn't ready. To get things to work, they relied on Bluetooth Smart, which Android has only now started to properly support with the release of Lollipop.
A number of our readers have witnessed a change after opening up the Facebook app. The social network is apparently testing out an updated version of the user interface that sports a flatter look and more colorful, circular icons. We wouldn't call it a big Material redesign, but it does show signs of trying to better fit in.
Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.
Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch.
Developers don't have to do anything to optimize their apps for Pebble.
Android Lollipop has started rolling out to people in the months since version 3.3 of Fleksy hit the Play Store, and the third-party keyboard's developers aren't just settling for giving the next release a material theme. The beta contains a new interface, plenty of new themes, and keyboard extensions. This last category is the one we're most excited to see.
The Material keyboard themes look less like Google's and more like simple recolored versions of Fleksy, and while they're not particularly exciting, at least they're not indicative of the effort the developers have taken to make the app look at home on Android 5.0.
Among tech-savvy media fans, Video LAN Client (VLC for short) is easily one of the most popular video and audio players in the world. It's available for every major desktop platform, and for almost two years, it's been in beta for Android. Today the app has officially graduated to a 1.0 build, marking its formal exit from beta and a day of celebration for fans of flexible media playback on mobile devices. In other words: Good news, everyone!
Artem gives us a bonus for every Futurama reference we publish. Ka-ching.
Aside from graduating to a stable release, the 1.0 version of VLC fixes a few Android 5.0 bugs and issues that specifically affected devices with ARMv8 processors.