Over the past month or two, you may have noticed a change in our "APK Download" posts. Previously, we went through an admittedly tedious process of first hunting down the APK we wanted, and then uploading it to a selection of various mirroring services, each with their own interfaces, ad concerns, and other quirks. In fact we have switched mirroring services several times because of intrusive advertising or other issues our readers faced.
Developer joaomgcd has produced no shortage of Tasker plugins. Okay, that's an understatement. He's produced over twenty of them that integrate seemingly anything and everything with Tasker, giving Android users the capability to automate or control just about whatever they want. Want to switch the lights on using a Pebble smartwatch? Want to trigger more of your phone's functions using your voice? You get the idea.
Well now joaomgcd has decided to try something new.
Buried in the press release announcing the Sharp Aquos Crystal on Sprint was the first official mention of Sprint App Pass. It's a subscription-based app store the carrier plans to pre-load on all its Android devices, and we have the full scoop on features thanks to some information we've been given. The gist of it is that you pay a monthly fee and get access to all the stuff offered by App Pass, but only for as long as you keep paying.
If you could pay a flat fee for all-you-can-eat games on Android, would you? OUYA is hoping that the answer is yes, because the creators of the prototypical Android micro-console are now offering just such a service. OUYA owners can now purchase the $59.99 OUYA All-Access Pass from the website, which includes free access to "over 800" paid games and in-app purchases. OUYA claims this is an "over $2000 value," though a full list of the included apps and IAPs is not published.
There's really no easy way to remotely access a full desktop machine from a smartphone or tablet, but bless their hearts, the people at Parallels are trying. Their latest product, Parallels Access, attempts to translate remote access into an interface that's more familiar. It crams the basic functions of remote access into a more manageable form, attempting to make the applications on your computer act like Android apps on your phone or tablet.
If you've been paying attention to the tech rumor mill as of late, you probably know that Amazon has been planning to buff up its Prime subscription service with a musical component. The web retail giant flipped the switch last night, and now Amazon MP3 is Amazon Music. If you already have a subscription to Amazon Prime (which offers free 2-day shipping and access to Netflix-style streaming TV and movies), then you're now subscribed to Prime Music, the service's premium competitor to Spotify and Google Music All Access.
Pocket is one of the best apps out there for saving a webpage and deciding to read it later, a type of instapaper that reformats each saved article for optimum readability. Now the company is introducing a paid subscription model to pay the bills. As far as app subscriptions go, it's on the pricier end of things. Users will be expected to pay $4.99 a month or $44.99 a year if they want access to the newly unveiled premium features.
The headphones are gigantic. The advertising is inescapable. And now the maker of either the best or the worst music accessories on the market (depending on who you ask) is in the music streaming game. Beats Music is now on the Play Store, offering a streaming catalog of "over 20 million songs from every genre" for ten bucks a month. Beats will be competing with Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, and oh yeah, Google Music All Access.
With Google Play Music All Access coming to more and more countries around the world (though obviously still not all of them), Google is expanding the reach of its all-you-can-eat music platform into regions where services like Spotify reign supreme. Listening to music on your smartphone (or tablet) is probably an activity all of us partake in, too, so I'm curious to know what kind of services our readers actually like enough to pay for.