Have a KitKat device? If so, you've made the leap to the latest version of Android faster than most other people. That's the fun part. You've also jumped to Android 4.4 before most apps. That's the not so fun part. While older apps are generally stable and compatible, sometimes an update is in order to iron out the kinks. Thus a new version of Light Flow is now available that makes the app more compatible with Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5.
You might just be seeing a new version of Google Maps in your Play Store downloads today - Google has updated the app from version 7.3 to 7.4. There's not a whole lot of new stuff going on inside, certainly not compared to the cavalcade of UI changes that happened earlier this year. A few tuned gestures, a few refreshed UI elements, and that's about it. APK downloads below.
If you're a regular Maps user, you'll notice that the one-finger zoom gestures have been reversed.
An updated version of Google Keyboard has made its way into the Play Store, taking most of the previously Nexus 5-exclusive features and expanding them out to other devices. We've covered the improvements in-depth before (and provided an APK), but in short, the swiping trail is now white, emoji are built-in, and users can swipe multiple words without having to lift up their finger. Unfortunately, some features still require KitKat, such as full-color emoji.
The latest Google Glass update is on its way, and thanks to its new features, so are you. With version XE11, Glass wearers can now tell their most expensive pair of glasses where they live and work. After that, commuting becomes as simple as saying "Ok glass, get directions to work." In addition to that, Glass now functions even more like a personal secretary. Saying "Ok glass, google my agenda" pulls up a list of upcoming calendar appointments.
Text-to-speech engines read text aloud, saving users from having to read it themselves. Google's TTS offering comes pre-installed on numerous Android devices, and like much of the software previously shipped as part of Android, it's now ready to spread its wings in the Play Store. Here it's available to far more users, as it can now be installed on devices that don't come with the software pre-installed (pictured below -left). In contrast, on the Nexus 5, Google TTS is apparently already installed and unremovable (pictured below - right).
It's not often that I get to fit the entire changelog of a software update in the headline, but today's the day. Verizon has shared details about an upcoming update for the Galaxy Note 3 that does two things - strengthens connectivity and improves sound quality. Though Verizon hasn't provided a proper software version number, the build hitting devices is apparently VRUBMJ7.
Swype may have just gained new split and mini keyboard options, but the SwiftKey folks have been sitting on something even more visionary for quite a while now. Their "Layouts for Living" program adds many layout options - split keyboards, movable pop-up keyboards, etc. - to what is already one of the most popular Android keyboards out there.
The video above highlights thumb, compact, and full layout options.
It's often the case that one piece of software will introduce a groundbreaking feature, but others will expand on it, eventually replacing the original. When it comes to Android, Swype and SwiftKey come to mind. But the latter has yet to vanquish the former, nor has the addition of gesture-based typing to the stock keyboard, and Swype has now been updated with a host of new features that show just how much of a heavyweight this contender remains.
I've tried a lot of different password managers over the years (and even covered using KeePass and Dropbox to stay in sync on Android as one of my first posts on Android Police – nostalgic!) but switched to LastPass many months ago. I find it to be one of the easiest cross-compatible methods of keeping my passwords in sync across all of my devices. The one downside, however, is that the Android app (and web UI for that matter), is pretty hideous.
Comcast's XFINITY app has undergone a name change with its latest update, and it now only answers when referred to as XFINITY TV Go. Does the latest version, in fact, make TV go? If we're referring to live content, then the answer's yes. Comcast customers with an Android device or two lying around can now stream the news, sports, kids shows, and other content live.
Live streaming works on both cellular and Wi-Fi data, which means you are not tied to your own home network as was the case with some apps in the past.