Over the last few weeks, we've heard of a feature popping up for Google Play Music All Access users here and there (thanks for the tips!), whereby the app or web interface would link users to relevant music videos inside the app. When listening to or browsing music, the app would show a YouTube icon, sometimes in the center of the screen, sometimes weirdly positioned in the "now playing" bar. It was clear Google was still testing the feature but it looks like now, with the publication of an official change log for Play Music's latest update, Google may be flipping the switch on a wider basis.
When we first wrote about Quantum Paper (the internal name for the material in Material Design), we noted that Google was anticipating a series of updates to its own apps between the introduction and completion of the new design direction - updates which would bring the apps a bit closer to the new design style in a progressive fashion, so that the apps wouldn't undergo fundamental transformations overnight.
Update Wednesday held at least one more treat this week - a bump to Google Play Movies & TV, bringing the app up to version 3.2.25. Google hasn't published an official change log yet, but so far the only user-facing change we've found is the presence of applicable wishlist content (from your Play Store wishlist) inside the app, both on the "Watch Now" screen, and in the slide-out navigation bar.
Kiwanuka is a Lemmings-inspired physics puzzler that we've been looking out for on Android since we heard about it on iOS. Thanks to a partnership between original devs CMA MegaCorp and the developers at Jakyl, the game has finally made its way to our favorite platform, and it's awesome.
Basically, you play the guy or gal in charge of saving a crowd of Kiwanuka, using a magical staff that whips the humanoid critters into shape, arranging them in tall, swaying towers you can use to climb through low-poly geometric terrain.
A few days ago, it was confirmed that Google had started asking manufacturers to brand boot animations with a specific "Powered by Android" lockup as part of Google's Mobile Services license. Samsung's Galaxy S5 and HTC's new One M8 both carry the branding, and today Motorola's Moto X and Moto G have joined the party, but Motorola has something else in store as well - a new boot animation just in time for April Fools Day.
Free-to-play Android games aren't difficult to come by, but this one has a little more going for it than mere affordability and simple play mechanics. CastleStorm made quite the name for itself on consoles this past fall, and now a touch-friendly adaptation is hitting Android as a private beta. The game combines tower defense with destructive physics, crisp graphics, fully voiced characters, and over 100 quests. The game isn't entirely free, as you need to spend money to get your hands on some in-game items, but with any luck, this won't hinder gameplay too much.
There comes a time in every Nexus device's life when it must leave the Play Store. For the Nexus 10, that time began earlier this week, when reports began surfacing that the tablet may be permanently out of stock (from the US Play Store, anyway). Since then the device's availability has flipped from available to "out of inventory" again and again, but at the time of writing, the original 10" Nexus' 32GB variant has been out of inventory in the US for two days (since January 16th), meaning we likely won't be seeing it again.
Amid the flurry of new devices quietly launched recently, Google released a new Nexus accessory - a folio case for the Nexus 7 (2013). Despite my varied experiences with Nexus accessories, I'm always eager to see what Google thinks will work best with their devices. I'm particularly interested in tablet accessories. Tablets are meant to be super portable and usable anywhere, so making an accessory that retains the appeal of the device's form factor while also adding some utility is an interesting challenge.