Swype is far from an unfamiliar face in the mobile world. It has served some of the finest Android phones as an included keyboard, permitting one-handed writers to swipe out words rather than peck away with their thumbs. During this time, it was unavailable as a separate download, and using it was somewhat of an exclusive experience. It has since entered the Play Store, and it's now making the jump up to version 1.5.6 less than a month later.
Root Explorer is a favorite among power users, including yours truly, for its no-nonsense approach to file management on Android. That said, the app was getting a bit long in the tooth before today, with a stale UI and a lack of new features. Developer Speed Software has released a major update to Root Explorer with a ton of new content, including a revamped user interface, networking and cloud storage options, and background processing.
Electronic Arts' mobile racing magnum opus has been downloaded more than ten million times worldwide on Android alone, and it doesn't look like they're ready to stop adding content any time soon. The latest update to Real Racing 3 is a doozie, adding a new manufacturer and cars, a brand new racing venue, and more than 50 challenges and events for the dedicated virtual driver. The game is free and so is the update, though you'll still have to put up with the annoying time-based in-app purchase system.
Verizon may not be the fastest carrier when it comes to sending out over-the-air updates, but it looks like it's finally getting around to pushing a fairly sizable 129.1MB update to its version of the Galaxy S III. The OTA brings many small improvements, as well as a slew of Samsung-specific customizations along for the ride.
Generally speaking, once Verizon updates its support page, updates tend to start rolling out within a few days (if they haven't already).
The ASUS Transformer AiO is a strange sort of beast – it's half desktop computer, half massive Android tablet. Here's the thing, though: it's surprisingly cool. I've been using one for the last week or so (review coming soon), and have been extremely surprised at the amount of utility I've found in this mix-n-match device, as well as how well thought-out it is. But I'm getting ahead of myself here – you'll have to wait for the review for the full skinny.
Following the release of beta features to Chrome stable yesterday, the beta channel of Chrome for Android was promoted to version 28 today.
The update brings a number of desired additions and improvements, all of which I will break down for you below. Here's the relatively incomplete list the Chrome team posted on its blog:
Google is going a little nuts with the card UI updates today – first Drive, and now Play Magazines. Today's update brings Google's magazine-reader to version 2.0, and makes it overall easier to use and nicer to look at – both welcome additions to an already-good app. Besides the new Card UI that replaced the terrible rolodex style called StackView, Magazines followed suit and adopted the new slide-out navigation drawer that we first saw in Google Earth and Shopper.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you are probably aware of the recent improvements and updates to the Google+ experience, both on the web and in mobile apps. While Auto Awesome, Auto Enhance, Auto Highlight, Auto Backup, and other widely discussed features are certainly exciting, one subtle nicety managed to fly under our radar until a post by Google's +Tor Norbye pointed out just how awesome it is.
The feature I'm talking about is visual recognition in Google+ photo search.
The new activity recognition features introduced in the latest Google Play services update are just two days old, but SmarterApps has already released an AutomateIt update in the Play Store that takes advantage of the new functionality. The latest version touts the ability to make your phone smart enough to automate different tasks depending on if you're walking, running, biking, or driving.
The new sync adapter brought in via Wednesday's Google Play services update introduces a location reporting API, a task that previously was performed within apps themselves locally.