Google's remote application for controlling Android TV with your smartphone is... OK. It's adequate. It beats inputting passwords letter-by-letter with a physical remote, and that's about all you can say in praise of the app. While it lets you perform a voice search, it won't launch TV apps without going back to the home screen, and its trackpad isn't a cursor (as some apps might benefit from), it's just a gesture pad. Read More
Trendy and thrifty travelers have taken a real shine to sub-letting app Airbnb, and those of them with tablets have a good reason to celebrate today. Version 5.0 of the Android app introduces a new user interface specifically for tablets, and it's available in the Play Store now. The 5.0 update doesn't seem to be going out in batches, but if you're having trouble getting it, the APK is available for download on APK Mirror. Read More
Growing up in a traditional Lebanese home taught me the value of a great home cooked meal but limited my food experience to the local Mediterranean cuisine. It wasn't until my late teens that I started putting aside my preconceptions about flavors and experimenting with recipes. Nowadays, whenever I feel the need to do some creative cooking, I head into the kitchen with my Nexus 7 in tow. It houses twelve excellent recipe apps optimized for tablets, with some of them specifically designed to be used during the cooking process. Read More
Amazon's big Fire TV announcement yesterday left us a bit perturbed that there's still no way to get Amazon Instant Video on standard Android devices, but the retailer is continuing to support the more conventional side of its business. Take the Amazon For Tablets app for example: the latest update adds some handy features, most notably support for the Amazon Fresh grocery service. But since Amazon Fresh is still only active in parts of California and Seattle, that won't effect a large percentage of users. Read More
The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.
Check out these screenshots. Read More
It's about damn time. While Pandora has been slowly and steadily updating its Android app for years (the latest big update was a sleep timer), the tablet experience has been sorely lacking ever since Honeycomb. The music streaming service has redeemed itself with version 5.0 of the Android app, which now shifts the interface significantly on Android tablets.
The main play interface occupies the center of the screen, going back through your play history with album art and displaying contextual track information below it. Read More
Google made a big deal out of its improvements to the Play Store in the massive keynote that kicked off I/O, and at least some of them are live right now. Probably the most important for tablet owners is the ability to highlight apps specifically designed for tablets, or at least, the ones that have given some thought to layout and interface on larger screens. The updated tablet view is being rolled out right now, and on at least some devices (read:mine) it includes the option to filter out the smartphone chaff from the tablet wheat. Read More
Nothing brings a smile to my face like the words "Tablet Optimized," and thanks to SoundHound, I'll be walking around with a little grin all day long. The music recognition service has updated its Android app to include a fully realized tablet UI and a few other performance enhancements. Here are a few screenshots for comparison (taken on my Nexus 7):
The new tablet UI replaces the boring stretched out rows with drag-able lines of large cover art, making much better use of space on the main screen, discovery, and song pages. Read More
We've lamented the various restrictions on NFL Mobile's streaming audio and video before: the fact that it costs extra even for games on public broadcast, the fact that you can't use it with HDMI output, and most of all, the fact that it's only available on Verizon. Today the app gets a little less restrictive, at least assuming that you use Verizon FiOS for your home Internet connection. The latest update indicates that FiOS subscribers will be able to access NFL Mobile live streaming on their tablets for free. Read More