There's a lot to love about Android Wear 5.0.1. The new custom watch face support was just the tip of the iceberg, as we have recently discovered that you can disable Tilt to wake, image searches are more functional, and screenshot support is available but finicky. Another new feature that made it onto Wear 5.0.1 is the new mode switcher for Theatre and Sunlight, both of which are accessible by swiping down on the watch face and scrolling beyond the Mute screen.
The new Play Store is certainly snazzy, but a lot of the functionality of the older site has been missing ever since it got a fresh coat of digital paint. One of the most bemoaned omissions was contextual keyboard shortcuts, especially handy for touch typists whose fingers never leave the keys. (ThinkPad users, I'm looking at you.) Good news, everyone: as of late yesterday, they're back.
On any single app listing, press the left or right arrow keys to navigate between the posted screenshots.
Widgets are an indispensible part of Android for many users, including yours truly. It's just too bad that they're so ugly - who wants to use a 1080p screen for looking at Twitter feeds or checking emails when you could stare at some fantastic wallpaper instead? All joking aside, Popup Widget is a pretty fantastic solution for those who prefer their homescreens without clutter.
It's a simple idea: instead of having a big, space-consuming widget sit there all the time, hide it in a shortcut.
I'm a huge fan of text expanders. Seriously, they are necessary to me. As a regular user of both Mac and Windows, I have sought out solutions on both platforms and rely on them daily. That's why I've always felt horrified that there weren't any great options on Android. After all, mobile devices are already input-impaired, it only makes sense that we need quality shortcuts. As it turns out, such a shortcut has been under our noses for quite some time, tucked away where few would look and only available with the stock Android 4.1 (or higher) keyboard.
Looking to give users the "fastest, smartest launcher for Android," Jesse Andersen brought Conjure to the Play Store recently. The app, which is actually more of a launcher companion, can perform an incredible range of actions, from finding and launching apps to calling contacts, adjusting device settings (like volume, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.), and searching the web.
What's great about this app is not that it can do a lot, but that it actually adapts to your usage, storing a history of actions and listing content results by frequency of use.
You may remember the recent Facebook update that added two rather controversial app shortcuts on users' devices, with icons that had to be revised because they looked a little too similar to a couple of Android's stock icons.
If you found the added shortcuts to be redundant, confusing, or just plain useless, you're in luck - with the app's latest update, the shortcuts have been totally removed.
It's not exactly clear why Facebook so quickly yanked the shortcuts from the app, but rumblings from the user community about the – in many cases – unwanted installation of extra apps may have something to do with the decision.
Thumb Keyboard, a multi-layout keyboard compatible with both phones and tablets, is, in my opinion, the absolute best single piece of software you can grace your precious tablet with (see our review for more details).
The split-key design allows for comfortable typing without having to reach too far, and the number of bells and whistles keeps increasing with every release. Different designs for each orientation, multiple themes, multiple size customizations, a multitude of layouts (phone standard, phone split, 5", 7", and 10"), 34 languages...