When Android runs on a TV, it's still Android, there are just a few checks in place to make sure users aren't installing unprepared phone apps to their big screens all willy-nilly, creating the kind of awful UI experience that could make a techie cry and any one else scrunch their face in confusion. In a way, Google's only trying to protect us from ourselves. Most TV viewers will want nothing to do with such shenanigans, so only apps that have been updated and declared compatible with Android TV work with the platform out of the box.
Microsoft has launched its Bing Rewards app into the Play Store, and if you're expecting an experience akin to Google Opinion Rewards, don't. This offering is even easier, assuming you can handle using Bing as a search engine. This may be painless for some folks, but Microsoft apparently wants users enough to pay them. People can win points just by searching for things and eventually redeem them for gift cards and other prizes.
Since the beginning, Lookout has been a consumer-focused company. Now, after having snagged millions of paying subscribers and deals with many carriers spread across various parts of the globe, it's ready to get down to business. Big business, so to speak. The company is pushing its offerings towards enterprise clients, the kind of customers with plenty of employees all managing potentially confidential information on their mobile devices. It's trying to entice them with the promise of a security solution that works and a user experience that won't tick people off.
In ye olden days of Android, a video-sharing service by the name of Qik attracted millions of users. It grew rapidly enough to catch Skype's eye, and the larger video-based serviced acquired the smaller for a cool $150 million. It eventually shuttered the offering, and now it's bringing it back in the form of a peculiar new video messaging app.
Skype Qik draws inspiration from a number of different apps.
Every now and then an app pops up that looks like it was designed entirely for people like us. And by us, I mean tech reviewers, enthusiasts, and people who just somehow end up with more gadgets to maintain than we know what to do with. In this situation, it can be challenging to keep up with all the electronics and make sure each device is charged enough for use. Potential is a new app (still in beta) that can keep track of everything's battery life from a single location, and with its slick Material-inspired design, it looks good doing it.
When the Glympse app first came to Android, the idea of instantly sharing your exact location with someone was still novel. The function has lost much of its magic since, but it remains as useful as ever. Now the company is improving the service not by adding more features, but by gutting them out. The new Android-only Glympse Express app strips everything from the main app except for the essentials, the features you actually care about.
Countless people out there have surely checked out Asus tablets in department stores around the world and walked away thinking, "I wish I could have that." You would think they were talking about the hardware (especially considering how cool the original Asus Transformer was at the time), but instead, they had their eyes set on the spiffy live wallpaper being used to show off the device. Lucky for them, Asus has now released the animated MyWater wallpaper into the Play Store and opened it up to competing electronics.
Another year, another companion app to another installment in an annual sports series. This time we're taking a look at NBA 2K15. No, it's not 2015 yet, but this is a sports thing. As in this will presumably be what you're using throughout most of next year, since it's coming out at the end of this one. I know most of you are rolling your eyes right now, but there is surely one person reading this who was confused, and I'm looking them straight in the eyes right now.
Treehouse is another one of those online education platforms people can use to get some learning done without having to set foot inside of a classroom. This particular company focuses on providing people with the knowledge needed to design their own apps and websites. To aid in its goal to reach a tech-savvy crowd, it has released an Android app into the Play Store that provides access to much of its content.
In the Android community, there are a ton of freelancers working together to get stuff done. Whether it's a graphic design artist contributing to apps or websites, video editors helping with game trailers, developers hoping to create the next big thing, or writers churning out content for blogs (yours truly), the mobile space is filled with independent types coming together to accomplish great things. In our space, and in the broader world at large, freelancers need to sign agreements and write up documents that help guarantee payment and assign ownership of work.