Last week was pretty busy with some big app updates and even bigger product announcements. One update that slipped through the cracks was Allo v6. There aren't any obvious new features, but there's plenty for a teardown. Some of the upcoming features will include a chat bot to enable voting among members of a group chat, Android Auto support, animated emoji, and some new drawing tools.
There's a new version of Google Keep rolling out to Android devices, but it's not going to look very different unless you are looking in exactly the right spot. The screen for drawing notes is now equipped with the "Grab image text" function. Shifting gears slightly, a teardown also reveals some new drawing functions are going to be added to the same screen in a future update. As usual, there's a link at the bottom where you can download the latest version.
Just last week Cody Toombs spotted the building blocks for a drawing function in Google's Keep notes app, and now it's live. The latest version of the APK, 3.2.435, makes it active and visible. You can wait for Google to get around to delivering it via the Play Store, or you can skip the line and download it from APK Mirror below.
Dear readers: I have a confession to make. I completely forgot about our monthly best-of games series, because when the event came up on the calendar I was busy drooling over the new SHIELD set-top box and other Game Developers Conference-related stuff in San Francisco. Here, belated but hopefully still appreciated, are my picks for the top seven Android games of last month and a few honorable mentions.
The basic version of Autodesk's SketchBook app has been in the Play Store for a long time, but now the professional version has come to Android. Autodesk SketchBook has more advanced tools, a ton of brushes, layer support, and a lot of it can be accessed for free. Of course, the best stuff is behind a paywall, but it's not too expensive.
It's no secret that I enjoy Autodesk mobile apps. From Pixlr Express to Sketchbook to AutoCAD 360, it's hard to find an instance when the company has produced a sub-par piece of mobile software.
Continuing that trend, Autodesk released FormIt to the Play Store today, two months after teasing the app's progress on its blog. The former iOS exclusive is meant to help users quickly create and manipulate building forms based on quick ideas or inspiration while on the go.
In this pursuit, the app allows users to quickly build their ideas using a gallery of pre-determined shapes, or by extruding their own shapes from lines.
Autodesk has a fantastic record of powerful, well-built apps. Continuing the pattern, the Pixlr Express makers today released SketchBook Ink, a (you guessed it) sketching and line work app specifically built for tablets 7" and above.
While SketchBook Ink is perhaps not up to handling a professional illustrator's full time workflow, it's a versatile tool with functionality that's suprisingly sophisticated for a mobile app. Ink's got a full screen workspace built on a "new resolution independent engine," with seven preset ink styles, a wonderful color picker (with RGB sliders, a color wheel, and a block for shade selection), layering options, and plenty of options to explore.
I bet you thought that when Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab 10.1 2, that the company was finished unveiling 10.1" tablets for the week. Not so! Today Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 10.1, a full-size tablet packed with the Galaxy Note's trademark S Pen. Oh, and did we mention that the tablet comes pre-loaded with Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas? Yeah. It's actually pretty cool.
While the Galaxy Note has had its fair share of critics, the supersized phablet has also gotten some pretty glowing reviews. Even our own Brandon Lancaster enjoyed it after spending some time with it.
Another week, another giveaway. This time we're giving away a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (16GB, Wi-Fi) courtesy of Simply Applied - developers of the apps Sign and CritiCall.
Sign is a gesture-based texting and dialing application, allowing you to associate a drawn figure with calling or texting a particular contact. CritiCall is another handy app, one that I'm considering buying now that I've taken a look at it. While your phone is on silent mode, it allows phone calls and texts from pre-selected contacts to override silent and play ringtones and notifications normally. This is great for those of us who like turning our phones down at night, particularly if you're expecting a phone call.
Autodesk is one of the many devs out there that consistently impress me with its high-quality, well-made apps - especially when it comes to Honeycomb. The newest app out of Autodesk's camp, SketchBook Pro, meets - and perhaps surpasses - all of the standards that have been set in my mind for quality development.
SketchBook Pro is a drawing app designed with the professional in mind - and it appears to be quite full-featured. It's designed to be used with a stylus or with your finger, depending on what type of look you're going for.
After watching the video, one of the coolest things about Sketchbook Pro in my opinion is the "mirror" feature, which makes creating images that require precision symmetry extremely easy.