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.
There is no arguing that the new Hangouts Android app, which replaces Google Talk and aims to unify several communication methods, has had a rough start. One of the main issues we've run into from the very beginning was wonky tablet support. In fact, most people couldn't install it at all because instead of the Update button, only a lone "Open" button would show up on tablets. Dan Morrill, one of our favorite Android engineers (HOLOYOLO!
Google officially announced the not-so-secretly-kept Play Games this morning, which brings game sync, leaderboards, achievements, and more to Android. Naturally, the first question on many users' minds is do any games already support it? In fact, several developers have already updated their games to add this new feature. Here's a look at what we've found so far:
- World of Goo by 2D BOY
- Osmos HD from Hemisphere Games
- Eufloria HD from Omni Systems
- Riptide GP from Vector Unit
- Beach Buggy Blitz from Vector Unit
- Shine Runner from Vector Unit
- Modern Combat 4 from Gameloft
- Dungeon Hunter 4 from Gameloft (update coming soon)
- Asphalt 7 from Gameloft (update coming soon)
- Eternity Warriors 2 by Glu
- PBA Bowling Challenge from Concrete Software
- Townsmen from HandyGames
- Save the Puppies from HandyGames
- Farm Invasion USA from HandyGames
- Rocket Island from HandyGames
- Triple Town by Spry Fox LLC (temporarily pulled due to crashes)
- Chip Chain by AppAbove Games LLC
- Super Stickman Golf 2 by Noodlecake
- Wind-up Knight by Robot Invader
- Plague Inc.
Let it be not be said that Google neglected the Google TV platform today at I/O. Though it wasn't mentioned during this morning's 3 hour-plus keynote, the company rolled out a new version of the YouTube app for TV during the presentation.
Specifically, the updated application brings a simplified UI, enhanced video playback controls, and support for paid channels. The video discovery and subscription tabs now show playlists with blown-up video thumbnails and bolded titles for easier browsing.
If you're in the market for a new Android virtual keyboard, you could do a lot worse than SwiftKey, especially since it's just been updated to version 4.1. In the company's ceaseless drive to improve every nook and cranny of the app they've added three shiny new themes: Regal (purple), Pitch (black) and Dusk (navy blue). In addition, both the smartphone and tablet version of the swiping, predicting, multi-language keyboard are on sale for half off.
T-Mobile is currently in the process of pushing a fairly major update to its version of the Galaxy S III, which brings Android 4.1.2 and a slew of new don't-call-it-Touchwiz features.
- Auto-pairing via NFC
- enhanced Camera options
- Sound Balance
- Paper Artist
- Samsung Gallery
- Blocking Mode
- Easy Mode
Have you finished downloading CyanogenMod's 10.1 RC1 release for your device yet? If not, hit cancel and refresh your browser. Just three days after RC1 started rolling out, CM 10.1 RC2 has hit the download center, going up over night for forty seven devices at the time of writing, including devices from the Galaxy SIII to the Nexus Q.
the list goes on
For those not sure why they should care about CM10.1 RC2, an RC or Release Candidate is basically a firmware release that the CyanogenMod team believes is up to snuff for a daily driver – a new-but-not-bleeding-edge release that's stable enough to rely on.