AirDroid is one of those indispensible tools that goes on a new phone or tablet the minute I set it up. And it's only gotten better in the years since it debuted: the second version of the web-based management app allowed users to access their Android device for files, contacts, photos, and other functions from any browser with a login system. With version 3, just published as a beta app, the developer has added a stand-alone desktop manager for Windows and OS X.
Kodi (formerly the Xbox Media Center) isn't the only piece of software attempting to find a new image. One of the most popular Android remote control apps for the media manager, Yatse, is getting a major visual overhaul. Version 5.0, now available in a Google+ beta, is showing off a shiny new interface that takes more than a few pages out of the Material Design playbook. Check out some comparison shots below.
Plume is one of the more long-standing "power user" options for Twitter on Android, thanks to a ton of built-in features, a customizable scrolling widget, and solid notification support. It's also one of the better apps in terms of visuals, even before the latest update. But the new beta available on Plume's Google+ community brings the app into the Android 5.0 era with some noticeable changes to the app's visual layout.
Lollipop users, you can now download the popular SuperSU tool from the Play Store. Not that you couldn't before, but version 2.35 is particularly notable: it works with a lot more of the usual root apps, after both SuperSU and the apps that use it were having trouble on Android 5.0. You can flash 2.35 via the usual ZIP in TWRP (and probably other custom recoveries), with updates coming via the Play Store after that.
Chrome users love to try out new features in the beta version of the Android browser, and fans of Opera's long-running software have been able to do the same since March. Now you can try out the new goodies in the pipeline early for the Opera Mini browser as well: the company just published a beta app on the Play Store. And what's more, the very first release of the beta version is making it count with a fresh new user interface.
The Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth-enabled door lock lets owners unlock a door just by tapping a finger against it, as long as their phones are in range. It's a cool piece of tech, something we reported on over a year ago when it first hit the market. Android compatibility was in the works, but a few roadblocks popped up along the way.
The primary issue centered around Android's lack of proper support for Bluetooth Smart.
When the time comes to take control over someone's machine (with their consent, of course) you're going to want an app that can get the job done reliably. TeamViewer is one such option. With it, you can control a massive Windows, Mac, or Linux machine from an itty-bitty Android device.
Today TeamViewer has announced that version 10 is available as a public beta, and the team has updated its Android app to play along nicely with the new features.
Sonos has introduced the ability to manage multiple accounts, so people with music streaming to the sound system throughout their house no longer have to share a single login. This lets everyone in the family or a full set of roommates each utilize Sonos in their own way.
This feature isn't rolling out as a stable update just yet. To get your hands on multi-account support as soon as possible, you will need to sign up for the beta.
Microsoft released a remote desktop app for Android just over a year ago, but now there's a new separate beta version of the app listed in the Play Store, and it makes some big changes. Of course, this still uses the RDP protocol, so you'll need a Pre version of Windows to use it. It's pretty robust if you've got the support built-in.
When it comes to pushing pixels and providing deeply immersive experiences, consoles have a leg up over Android devices. But this doesn't mean that phones or tablets don't have a role to play in couch-based gaming. Xbox One SmartGlass users can turn to the Android app as a way to manage their Xbox account and interact with others without having to back out of their game.
An update has rolled out to the SmartGlass app, which is still in beta, that gives users a place to highlight their best game clips, show off their achievements, or share their location.