Spotify's bringing it down to the flo'. Nah, not really, but kind of. The crew behind the venerable music service has released an app update on Google Play, and among bug fixes and a playlist-sorting enhancement, a unique feature is listed in the changelog: "This app looks great in trousers."
The most significant change is playlist and track sorting. The app also now remembers what you were listening to when you last logged out.
Professional musicians, you are free to sit this one out. DJ space is probably not going to fill your needs. Unless you need to play god, turning the planets themselves into musical instruments as you conduct a cosmic electronic orchestra with naught but your fingertips. If that's something you've needed, then yes DJ space will serve your purposes quite nicely.
FL Studio this is not, however as the saying goes, "If you want to mix sweet tracks from scratch, you must first invent the universe." The app functions very similarly to Garage Band in that you select from pre-recorded loops of music and assemble them into tracks.
Back in October Subsonic was updated with a Holo interface, which was a vast improvement over the old UI. However, that update also included ads. There was a $4.44 in-app purchase to remove them, but now that's a thing of the past. The new version of Subsonic for Android is completely ad-free by default.
The upsell in the app didn't really make much sense in the first place.
Whether due to neglect or a topsy-turvy set of priorities, Android developers sometimes leave out basic features like lock screen or notification (I'm looking at you, Spotify) controls. Well, Pandora is fixing at least some of its problems with an update that brings the ability to pause or skip tracks from the lock screen. Unfortunately, notification controls still aren't available but, hey. One step at a time.
Here's the full change log:
What's in this version:
- Lock screen controls for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and later - Added elapsed and remaining timestamps to the track progress indicator - Reduced startup time - Bug fixes and enhancements
Aside from the lock screen controls, it's not a huge update, but it's always encouraging to see a prominent developer truly take advantage of what Android can do.
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.
We've all played the "Wait, who is that guy again?" or "What song is that?" while watching a movie. Now, with the latest update to the Play Movies app, if you want to get the answer to that question, all you have to do is press pause. Info cards will then pop up with face recognition of actors on screen, what other movies they're in, and what music you're hearing.
The feature only works on "supported movies" and it's a little unclear which ones those are (there doesn't seem to be any icon or indicator that shows whether any given movie in your library can show cards).
A few days ago, a pair of apps called RemotePlay and RemotePlayM by new Android developer Piddas21, a subsidiary of Taiwanese Quanta Computer, hit the Play Store ahead of SXSW. The idea is great - media and document sharing in real-time, across multiple platforms, such as Android, iOS, and Windows 8. Want to easily stream a video from your Nexus 4 to your iPad? No problem - it should be as simple as dragging it to a bucket with your iPad's name on it, and voila - you're watching a video on the big screen.
There's no denying the value in Google Music – it lets you store all of your tunes in the cloud and take them everywhere you go without using up precious free space on your device. The problem is, however, that you have to use Google's proprietary player to stream the music. If you prefer something like PowerAMP, Winamp, or one of the many other media players in the Play Store, you're simply out of luck.
I'm not sure we even have enough wat for this, but let's give it a go. Snoop Dogg—that is to say, the previous incarnation of the entity now known as Snoop Lion—will soon be appearing in a rhythm fighting game on Android called 'Way of the Dogg.' Developed by Echo Peak and under development for two years, the title will show "how we evolve as individuals." Plus, "[Echo Peak has] incorporated the journey of my own personal reincarnation as Snoop Lion into my character," says the rechristened rapper in a ringing endorsement.
As we get closer and closer to Google I/O, speculation inevitably ramps up about what Mountain View will be unveiling this year to set the Android world on fire. The most likely plans involve boosting Play Store features and availability, given the recent push not only to expand into new countries, but to frame the Nexus line as a great content consumption platform. If Fortune is right, then Google may have a huge axe to swing in that battle with not one, but two different subscription music services coming soon.