SoundCloud has made the jump to version 2.8, bringing along a few new enhancements in the process. Many of them are visual, though the changes are small. Tabs are white now. The explore section introduced in version 2.7 has had the position of artist names and song titles moved around, as have the search results. Speaking of searching, the app has new support for hashtags and recommends a page filled with them when clicking on the search icon.
Plex was one of the early apps to add Chromecast support. This is great, because as a service that takes content stored on one of your computers and makes it accessible anywhere, it's the ideal candidate for Chromecasting. Yet the team isn't settling for simply putting videos up on the big screen, and after the latest update, the app now goes a step further by tossing up detailed information on it while you browse through content on your mobile device.
In between those countless hours spent cutting fruit, flinging birds, and laughing at cats, it might be beneficial to put your mind up to something more productive. Lynda.com already provides a way to learn new skills from the comfort of your desk, but its pre-existing Android app could use some tender loving care. Today, it has received it. Lots of it.
The new native app that fits on both phones and tables has more courses, a sidebar for navigating through its content, voice search, and support for playlists.
Pushbullet has received its first update of 2014, and it's one centered around improving the notification mirroring experience. The app, which makes it easy to exchange files and notifications between multiple devices, already allows Google Chrome and Firefox users to have each notification they receive show up on their PC as well. Now notifications that do so can be dismissed from either device. This saves people from reading messages on their desktops but having to reach for the phone to actually clear them.
An updated version of Minecraft for Android is hitting devices now, and it brings in a number of exciting things, including the use of powered rails. How a game called "Minecraft" could exist for this long without minecarts may be initially baffling, but this is the pocket edition after all, and some things do take time to bring over to our handy mobile platform. Gamers hooked on this immensely addictive title will also be happy to know that this isn't the only addition making its way over from the PC version.
Google's rolling out an AdSense update for its Android app that should provide a better experience for monitoring your revenue stream on the go. Version 2.0 introduces an enhanced interface, one that presents new information in a more visual manner. And don't worry, the widget introduced in the last release is still intact.
Back in October, Google announced a rewards program that would give financial incentives for "down-to-earth, proactive improvements" to security across third-party open-source projects that Google deems "vital to the health of the entire Internet."
Starting with core infrastructure services, Chrome foundations and other "high impact libraries," Google vowed to expand the program soon. Today, in an entry to the official security blog, Google announced that the program has been expanded in scope to include open-source bits of Android, found in AOSP, and several other projects.
The first OTA update for Moto X has been making the rounds, already landing on T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and US Cellular. Now the enhancements are landing on Verizon devices. The delay is not at all surprising, really. When you have the best coverage in the country, you're free to take your time with these things. Verizon has all but made this philosophy corporate policy.
Google just updated the web Play Store with a completely new UI that was teased back at I/O 2013, and it immediately caused a whirlwind of mixed reactions. We have a separate post coming up on all the differences as well as the features that didn't make it into the redesign (there are, unfortunately, a lot - even more than went missing in Maps v7), but right now I want to commend Google and address one aspect that immediately stood out to me within the first few seconds - speed.
Pantech Marauder owners will soon see a software update arriving on their QWERTY-sliding handset. Verizon is pushing it out three months after the last one, ushering in another wave of general enhancements and touchups. The notification panel's status bar has been updated so that users can preview application messages directly, and a Google+ button has been added to the Calendar app so that viewers can jump directly to the social network to see event details.