Since the launch of Android 5.0 last month, the sheer number of app updates has been magnificent – and downright overwhelming. Believe it or not, most of the new versions haven't done much more than add Lollipop support and splash a fresh coat of Materialized paint on the UIs. Seriously, we've been checking. This isn't entirely a bad thing, as it's giving me time to work on some other projects...
Along with a handful of new tablets, Amazon has officially announced Fire OS 4 (codenamed Sangria), which it says adds hundreds of new features to the "content-forward" operating system.
First and foremost, Amazon says the user interface in Fire OS has gotten a facelift. Amazon hasn't gone into detail in describing its UI changes, but visual tweaks are certainly welcome to an interface that can at times seem scattered.
Besides that, Amazon is touting new features like ASAP, Smart Suspend, and the addition of individual user profiles to make for easier sharing among families.
Update 2: Llama has been returned to the Play Store this morning as promised, listed as version 1.2012.12.29.1412. As for the pesky silent mode/vibrate bug? This version's changelog indicates that it is "hopefully fixed."
Update: It looks like KebabApps has pulled Llama from the Play Store while the developer sorts out "a pain-in-the-butt problem involving silent mode," in which the app can – for some users – switch what should be silent mode to vibrate mode.
Well, folks, we don't want to say we told you so. But if you'll take a look at any app in the web version of the Google Play Store, you'll see that almost all of the reviews have had the name entry changed to "A Google User." Try to add a review, and you'll find that you're required to do so from your Google+ account.
The change seems to have affected the on-device view a little differently - according to checks on multiple devices here at Android Police, the names that were formerly there (usually linked to the old Google Profiles) are just plain gone.
Finance radio! Are you excited yet? Good. Bloomberg has released an app for the company's 24 hour network of audio shows discussing economics, business, and investment. Through Bloomberg Radio+ you can either choose to listen to whatever's on the air right now, or pull from a list of on-demand shows. You can even download the episodes for offline listening.
The app actually looks very well made. It's as feature-packed as one would want a streaming radio service to be.
Twitter continues its march towards being taken seriously as a social network with today's update to its mobile app that brings some interesting new profile additions. For starters, header images. With Facebook and Google+ beginning the trend, it seems a social network can't have just a profile picture anymore. Everyone who's anyone has a profile picture, and a hero image.
Curiously, the header images can only be added via the mobile app itself.
If your Android device relies on your interaction with it in order to do things, you're seriously missing out. There are several options that allow you to cut the cord, so to speak. The popular options have long been Locale and Tasker but, as you can see from their market pages, you have to be fiscally dedicated to the tasks they perform. In addition to that, these applications (Tasker especially) can be somewhat (read extremely) intimidating in the level of control they give you and the sheer volume of options at your disposal.