A couple of months back, rumors that Google was working on a gamer-focused video streaming service first appeared. And so we waited. Now that the appropriately named YouTube Gaming is finally here, it plans to go head to head with Twitch.tv - easily the most popular such service in the world. Google has a tremendous amount of experience in the video streaming space in the form of YouTube, but it has never offered anything that was geared toward gamers. YouTube Gaming is hailed as the brand-new service that aims to fill that gap.
Currently, YouTube Gaming is only available as a beta program. Read More
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. Read More
Microsoft has restricted the Cortana virtual assistant to Windows device thus far, but an official Android release is right around the corner. You don't have to wait, though. The beta Cortana app has leaked, and it appears to be fully functional. Just grab the app from APK Mirror and give it a shot.
Microsoft started a beta test for its Hyperlapse video app a while back, but today it's out of beta and ready for download. This app takes a boring video and speeds it up into a clean time lapse clip. It doesn't have a ton of settings to play with, but most of the magic is automatic.
VLC For Android has been steadily improving over the past months, but today's beta update is a big step forward to the app that even the developers acknowledge as a "major release."
VLC went through a hardcore bootcamp between versions 1.3.2 and 1.5.0, emerging with enhancements all across the board. Internally, the app's code has been rewritten to be faster and to require fewer permissions especially on KitKat devices and above. Externally, the app's design has been given a small facelift to better fit Material's clean and elegant look. And functionally, VLC can now handle video playlists, auto-detect external USB devices, switch between audio and video, and more. Read More
Online gamers know the value of communication, believe it or not. For every twelve-year-old cursing into his mic like a sailor with a stubbed toe, a dozen are connected to third-party communication apps and coordinating efforts behind the scenes. That's actually a bit tricky for PC games - you either need some kind of overlay or you have to switch programs to manage your connection. Curse, a service with more than a million registered users, hopes to fix that.
Curse is a mobile app that lets you communicate with your fellow players without having to break the flow of the game on your computer screen. Read More
If you've been drooling over Amazon's version of Google Now and Siri (or perhaps HAL-9000... in a good way), you can now buy it without an invitation. Starting today, the Echo is available in the United States for $179.99. That's $20 off of the original "retail" price, but $80 more than Amazon Prime customers have been paying after going through the invitation process. Those who purchase today will also have to wait a bit, since the Echo isn't shipping until July 14th.
The Echo is basically a physical implementation of Google Now that ties into Amazon's services instead. Users can speak "OK Echo" or "OK Alexa" (the device's anthropomorphized digital voice) and an omni-directional microphone will record voice commands. Read More
Back in May Spotify offered a healthy serving of new functionality to iOS users that, dagnabbit, we Android folks wanted too. At the time, we were told that our taste would come in the near future with no specific timing. Well, premium Spotify subscribers have started to see the features show up in the latest beta updates.
We detailed the changes back when iOS got its hands on them, so I'm going to skim over them now. There's a new "Now" start page that provides music based on the time of day while also adapting to your mood and personal tastes. Read More