One of the strangest changes with regard to Android 4.4 was the apparent removal of the hidden App Ops menu. You remember this one – it was the interface that allowed you to restrict permissions on a per-app basis. Well, apparently it's still in there – Google just made it harder to find. Color Tiger, developer of Smart IR Remote has just released its new App Ops 4.3/4.4 app that pulls up the standard App Ops and can add new features with root access.
Google-owned Motorola has already added several of the unique stock apps from the Moto X to Google Play for faster updating, but now it looks like the Moto G is going to get the same treatment. The FM radio app for the upcoming budget-friendly phone has hit Google Play.
This app doesn't appear to be compatible with any other devices – not even the Moto X. The tab-based interface looks clean and you get around by swiping.
We're all spending a lot on mobile data, but are we getting our money's worth? That's the question the FCC hopes to help answer with the new FCC Speed Test app. It's exclusive to Android right now and provides you (and the FCC) with data on mobile network performance.
Unlike most speed testing apps, this is not just a run-on-demand service. You can trigger a test whenever you want, but the app is configured to run occasional tests in the background to get a picture of your network speeds over time.
The Android lockscreen has been slowly evolving over the years, and it's got a respectable feature set these days. But sometimes rethinking a feature can provide a better overall experience. Cover is a new beta lockscreen alternative that tries to learn where you are and what you're most likely to need access to, then put it right there on the lockscreen. It's a compelling approach, but how is it?
Microsoft has been showing a little more love to Android as of late with the release of apps like Remote Desktop and Xbox Music. Now the business set is getting some attention with the new Dynamics CRM app.
If you've never heard of Dynamics DRM, you probably don't have any use for it. CRM stands for customer relationship management – it's a tool for tracking sales, supporting users, and managing business relationships.
Google Maps is a fine tool if you need to find your way around, but Google also has a way to create custom maps called Map Engine. The service is getting a mobile upgrade today with the release of the Map Engine app. This will allow users to view and share custom maps on Android devices. It even comes with some neat samples.
The Map Engine Lite web service is available to everyone and has a fairly robust set of tools.
After a number of delays and an untold number of fake spam apps, BBM for Android is about to really arrive in Google Play. This will mark the first time Blackberry's premier messaging service has been available on a non-Blackberry device. You'll be able to download the app today, but you might not be able to actually use it.
BBM was leaked a few weeks back and the flood of users caused all manner of server issues for the company.
A lot of Android devices have dedicated buttons to bring up the multitasking list, but Switchr may offer an even faster way to jump between running apps. This utility debuted on XDA recently as a beta, but now it has come to Google Play in both free and paid forms.
Switchr, like some similar apps, creates an active swipe zone on the edge of the screen. Swipe in through that area, and you trigger the app switching interface.
Need to get at something on your desktop, but just aren't nearby? You need remote access, and many Windows PCs have that feature built right in. Microsoft's new Remote Desktop app for Android lets you hook into the included remote access system so you can use your PC from a phone or tablet. It's also completely free.
The computer you're accessing needs to be running the remote desktop host, which is not included in the basic version of Windows.