Some trends are awesome, and some are not so much. This one counts as the former. Android manufacturers have increasingly turned to the Play Store for distributing updates to their core Android apps. Sony's been doing this for a while now, and the Xperia Keyboard is its latest upload.
In case you missed it, Google just released an official Camera app into the Play Store. It isn't exclusive to Nexus or Google Play devices either, so go ahead and download it. I'll wait.
Alright, let's dive into the app's new Lens Blur feature. Google's released a blog post with some of the details. In short, it's one of the features of HTC One M8's duo camera made available to any Android device running Android 4.4.
Google is simply on a roll today! As it turns out, the stock camera wasn't the only new app to hit the Play Store today - we now have the Chromoting app as well. Chromoting, for those unfamiliar with it, is a way to securely access your computer remotely by connecting to Chrome running a special Chrome Remote Desktop app. Anyone familiar with Remote Desktop, VNC, and other similar apps should feel instantly at home with Chromoting.
What a way to start our favorite day of the week - Update Wednesday! Google just dropped the official Camera app into the Play Store, thus paving the way for quicker updates and new features without having to wait for and install OTAs.
The new camera version 2.1.037 has a brand new interface and includes a new lens blur feature for more DSLR-like shots, which you can read about here.
Mother's Day will arrive next month, but it's never too early to appreciate that special woman who brought you into this world and/or devoted many years of her life to raising you. Many will be happy to receive nice flowers, a thoughtful card, or some article of clothing - but for that tech-savvy, Nexus-toting mom out there, the Play Store is here to help. Google has kicked off a Mother's Day promotion that will last until May 5th, offering up an entire year's subscription to certain magazines for just $5 and 50% off a good number of books (unfortunately, since there's no gifting functionality built into Google Play, you will have to buy these things under her account somehow).
Google's steadily rolling out Google Play gift card availability to various countries around the globe. We previously reported that Austria, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland had all made the 'coming soon' list. Now all four have bumped to officially being available now. Not only can consumers find cards in local retailers, each country has its own gift card site. Here's Spain's below.
In every country except Switzerland, the gift cards are available in increments of 15 €, 25 €, and 50 €.
Computer security is important, even if the computer in question fits in your hand. There should be no doubt about that fact. However, you should be just as wary of security software as any other app. Case in point: there's a slick new app in the Play Store called Virus Shield. It's got a cool look and it's easy to operate. Just press a single button and your virus shield is activated.
Attention residents of the UK, Canada, and Australia: Google would like to ask you some questions. In exchange you will be paid exactly one pittance. Don't complain or they'll cut it to, like, 0.75 of a pittance. But hey, free money is free money. All you have to do is grab the newly updated Google Opinion Rewards app and wait patiently for Google to call your number.
A new "People" section has popped up inside the Android Play Store app, and it doesn't require an update to hop into (we're still using 4.6.17). This corner of the market will point you towards other Android users, particularly those in your circles, and offer a look at what apps and content they're using. The area is accessible right from the app's sidebar, and it's significantly glossier than the similar "From familiar faces" section of the Play Store's home page.
CCleaner has knocked the filth and grime out of many a Windows machine, along with a few Mac ones, over the years. Now the program's coming to Android. A stable release isn't yet out, but developer Piriform has introduced a beta and is calling on eager testers to help it work out the kinks. How? By joining the company's new Google+ beta testing community. Afterwards, you should be able to download the app from the Play Store.