It's been nearly a year and a half since we last wrote about the Amazon MP3 app, because that's the last time the company did anything interesting with it. Compared to the competition at Google and elsewhere, Amazon's iTunes competitor looks positively stale. Today the Amazon MP3 app gets a fresh coat of paint to bring it more in line with current visual trends, or at least, those trends that are on display in the Kindle Fire tablets.
A few months ago we told you about a nifty music streaming app called SoundSeeder, which lets you stream audio directly from one Android device to another over WiFi. At the time I mentioned that it was a cool idea, but the fact that it didn't allow users to stream Google Music songs over the connection was a bit of a let down. Developer JekApps took my complaint under advisement, and let us know that there's a new version that enables Google Play Music streaming after all.
If you're a regular user of the iHeartRadio service, there's a big update waiting for you in the Play Store. The most useful addition in the new version of the Android app is undoubtedly the expanded control options: you can now pause, play, or advance your streaming music on the lockscreen or the new notification. The notification is even expandable - are you watching this, Pandora?
The user interface gets a fancy new slide-out menu, accessible from the main player and home screens.
It's about damn time. While Pandora has been slowly and steadily updating its Android app for years (the latest big update was a sleep timer), the tablet experience has been sorely lacking ever since Honeycomb. The music streaming service has redeemed itself with version 5.0 of the Android app, which now shifts the interface significantly on Android tablets.
The main play interface occupies the center of the screen, going back through your play history with album art and displaying contextual track information below it.
Pandora's Android client gets a small update today. The first new feature is something that everyone can use: a sleep timer. In the main station view, tap the Menu icon to find the new "Sleep timer" entry. Tap it, then choose between 15, 30, or 60 minutes. After the set time Pandora will cut off, letting you drift into the arms of Morpheus without killing your battery.
The developers have also added support for the NissanConnect system, which allows the app to be controlled with the dash-mounted touchscreen or media buttons on some late-model Nissan vehicles.
I really like the Sonos system of wireless music servers and speakers. I also can't afford it due to a wretched and unshakeable habit of collecting novelty egg cups. But my job does give me a paper-thin excuse for buying tons of Android devices, and it just so happens that a new app will let me cobble those together to make a vague approximation of a connected music system.
SoundSeeder is more or less a straight-up copy of Samsung's Group Play, with the obvious addition that you don't need Samsung hardware at either end to use it.
If you're one of those people who likes to know the full lyrics for every song in your library, prepare for a shock. The TuneWiki service will be shutting down on Friday, June 28th, after nearly five years of dutiful service providing scrolling lyrics for pretty much every song under the sun. The shutdown was announced on TuneWiki's website, with no concrete reason given, aside from members of the company moving on to "new journeys."
When I saw that Fruityloops Studio had been released for Android, I don’t mind admitting I was pretty excited. I love my phone and I love my tablet, but I often find myself wishing I could do something more productive with them. The tablet I use is the Acer Iconia A700 and, judging by the specs, this slate should be more than capable of empowering me to actually create some kind of content instead of simply facilitating content consumption.
Nothing brings a smile to my face like the words "Tablet Optimized," and thanks to SoundHound, I'll be walking around with a little grin all day long. The music recognition service has updated its Android app to include a fully realized tablet UI and a few other performance enhancements. Here are a few screenshots for comparison (taken on my Nexus 7):
The new tablet UI replaces the boring stretched out rows with drag-able lines of large cover art, making much better use of space on the main screen, discovery, and song pages.
There was one black spot on our mostly favorable review of the Pebble smartwatch: the music control app just didn't work on some phones. As stated in the review, that's probably got more to do with the phone in question than Pebble's software, since it worked just fine on two separate Nexus devices. Even so, the people at Pebble have been listening, and the latest update to the official app includes a music player selection feature.