Today is about more than new Nexus devices. Google has also announced a new plan option for Google Play All Access. Rather than paying for multiple individual accounts, family members can now share a single family subscription for $15 per month. We posted this rumor yesterday, and it's now confirmed. Read More
Take a moment to consider the plight of poor app developers. In order to evade the fury of Android users, they need to check their apps every few months to make sure they work with incremental updates. Then every once in a while they need to add support for new phones with weird manufacturer skins or new chipset architectures. And if that wasn't enough, Google keeps adding entirely new product categories - Android Wear on smartwatches, Android TV for televisions, and Android Auto for cars. I'm not saying that developers shouldn't make every effort to keep their apps current, just that we should take a moment to recognize what a hassle it is. Read More
Microsoft has a music app. No, really, they do! It may have escaped your notice with the launch of a new service from a certain other company and the continuing dominance of Spotify, but the Xbox Music service is still going strong. Sort of - apparently Microsoft didn't think that brand name was strong enough, so they changed it to Groove. That name hasn't made it to the official Android app, for some reason.
But some other much-needed changes have been implemented in version 3.0, specifically the ability to access your Microsoft account and stream music stored on your OneDrive cloud. Read More
Joining an ever-growing group of popular apps with beta communities, Spotify has introduced one of their own. The most popular on-demand streaming music service will undoubtedly draw a lot of interest from its users, though, so it is not wide open like many beta programs are. To join, you must first send in an "application" and wait for approval.
It's not exactly a resume, since you only have to give them your Google email address, Spotify username, and community forum username (why these are not the same thing is beyond me). Judging by my own experience and the responses to their announcement, they are not simply rubber-stamping every single request as soon as it's received, either. Read More
There's no nice way to say this: May kind of sucked for new apps. There were a lot of notable updates to major existing apps (including a slew of Material Design updates), but the biggest news of the month came from Microsoft, of all places. Oh well - a short field just means it's that much easier to pick your bets. Here in no particular order are our top picks for the month of May, and a few runners up.
Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
The biggest apps to drop on Android in May are from Microsoft, the company's Holy Trinity of Office apps, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Read More
Amazon's Prime Music service is demonstrably behind competitors like Spotify and Google Play Music. Maybe that's why it's thrown in with Amazon Prime (which most people get for the shipping discounts) as a freebie. But never let it be said that Amazon rests on its laurels when it comes to new features: the latest update to Prime Music adds streaming music stations, like... well, like just about every other music service at this point.
The new stations are available in version 4.4. It's rolling out in the usual slow Play Store way, but a tipster sent in the APK and we've uploaded it to APKMirror for you to download at your leisure. Read More
The Amazon Echo, as a sort of physical embodiment of the functionality that voice-controlled services like Google Now offer, is an interesting idea. But without a screen or much in the way of direct input, its utility is limited by the number of services that it ties into. For example, before today the Echo could only access music from iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon's own cloud music service. The latest software update enables much-needed support for Pandora.
To use Pandora music with the Echo, open the Echo app on your phone and add your Pandora account details in the Music Services section of the Settings menu. Read More
By now just about everyone knows about ostentatious headphone maker Beats - if you haven't seen them shilled by hip-hop stars and football players, you've seen them in custom-made corner displays at Best Buy. The company has also technically been a part of Apple since May of last year, presumably because a gold iPhone 6 just isn't complete without a matching pair of Champagne Studio Wireless headphones. But a more interesting question to ask is this: what will happen to Beats Music, the multi-platform streaming service that competes with the likes of Spotify?
Over at 9to5Mac, Mark Gurman has at least a possible answer. Read More
We know there are a lot of people in India reading this site - you folks really love your Android! If you love your music as well, you'll be happy to hear that you have one more option for streaming starting today. Rdio, a streaming music service that offers both free and paid options, has announced that it's now available in India. Rdia claims that its library of 32 million streaming songs is the largest available in the country.
Users can listen to the entire catalog of Rdio music for free using a desktop web browser with built-in advertising, and selected digital stations are available for free on mobile as well. Read More
The market seems to have settled on $10 per month as a reasonable price for unlimited streaming music, which is a pretty good deal when you think about it. If you miss the supposed high fidelity of a real CD, you're pretty much out of luck—unless you use Tidal. This service costs $20 per month for lossless tunes, but there's now an Android app, so at least you have the option.