Android TV may look different from vanilla Android, but underneath that tiled interface is the same operating system you know and love. That means it's possible to sideload whatever APKs you want. The thing is, without a touchscreen, most of them are pretty useless.
Take the regular Amazon Instant Video app. Besides requiring that you have the general Amazon app installed first, it fails to provide a passable experience on Android TV (which lacks an officially sanctioned Instant Video app because Amazon). Read More
Google Fit users, it's time to get off your butts and update the activity-tracking app. Version 1.52 has rolled into the Play Store, and it's ready to hit the gym with a new set of clothes and one of those fancy wristbands.
For starters, Fit can now track distances and calories. Fire up the app to see how far you've gone and how much you've burned in the process. Google has tweaked the look a bit, and you can now group your fitness history by days, weeks, and months. Read More
Google I/O 2015 is drawing ever closer, and that means it's time to start lining things up for the big event. As tradition dictates, Google is working on a fresh update to the Google I/O app. We've now got a beta release of the app, which just started rolling out to a small group of people who signed up last year. Read More
Just like on mobile, Android TV users turn to the Play Store to install new apps. An update has rolled out that bumps the software up to version 5.4.12. The most immediate difference is a tweaked look, as the interface now sports larger titles.
On the functionality front, there's now an Update All button. Presumably it bumps all of your apps up to the latest versions, just as the Play Store does on smartphones and tablets. Read More
A brand new update to YouTube just started rolling out, and it gives users just a little more control over their privacy. The latest version adds a new option called "Pause watch history" so users can prevent new videos from joining their previously watched list. This joins an existing option to pause search history and two commands to clear the history from either list. Now we've got an easy way to keep prying eyes from discovering that we watch cartoons during lunch breaks. Read More
In just 3 weeks, we expect Google to officially announce a new subscription option that will allow users to enjoy YouTube completely ad-free. In the lead-up to this, both the web service and its Android apps have received a swarm of updates and features. In just the last month, there has been a revised web player, search for 360-degree videos, and some improvements to YouTube Kids (with more to come). Read More
Besides a dogfood version of Play Games, update Wednesday brought us a new version of Play Books - 3.4.5. The changes in this update aren't major (or even immediately apparent), but they are worth taking a quick look at.
First up, there's a brand new translation interface. Rather than a toolbar and sheet overlay, the new translate interface lives on a card, just like the existing notes and dictionary interfaces. Here's a quick before and after.
Left: Play Books 3.3 Right: Play Books 3.4
Next up, new changes to notes. The ability to take notes in a book was present in 3.3, but users could not do that in a free sample of a book. Read More
It's been a few days, but Google just posted the changelog to Newsstand 3.4, and it looks like a lot of algorithm changes. Read More
Frequent travelers know Google Maps all too well. It's one of the most widely used apps on Android for a reason. A brand new update to version 9.8 just turned up, and there are a few notable changes to take a look at. This release appears to be dedicated to fine-tuning different parts of the interface, so there aren't any big changes here. Maps now gives users the option to upload multiple photos simultaneously, hide reservations from location cards, and more. As usual, we've got a download link at the bottom of the page if you'd rather jump straight to the apk. Read More