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.
The latest version of the Firefox Beta has hit the Play Store, and it introduces a change to the new tab page that is sure to liven up your mobile browsing experience. As usual, top sites are presented as thumbnails on the default screen, but version 26 makes your history, bookmarks, and reading list all accessible with just a few swipes. It's an intuitive and attractive experience that easily trumps that offered in the stable version of the browser.
Android 4.4 introduces a new interface for accessing files from within apps. Traditionally, trying to upload a file - say, to a social network - created a popup asking which source to pull it from. Now apps will open a sidebar navigation menu that lists all the available options, and Box has already rolled out an update adding support for it.
By default, the new storage access framework only shows local files and Google Drive, but any app that has added support will also appear.
This afternoon, Motorola's Punit Soni shared a post on Google+ to follow up on the company's earlier "more to share soon..." post. Soni's post pointed users toward Motorola Mobility's online upgrade checking interface, which tells users whether or not their Motorola device will be receiving any planned updates.
The tool now confirms that Android 4.4 KitKat will be coming to the Moto X along with the DROID Mini, Ultra, and Maxx.
About a month ago, we found some enticing goodies in Hangouts' 1.2 update. Specifically, we found evidence of activity statuses - rich status messages that would allow you to set a status with accompanying iconography for things like biking, driving, laptop, tablet, and phone. Some of these, (like biking and driving) we predicted, may be set automatically by Hangouts. The teardown also revealed the possibility of moods, using the bouncy yellow fellow found on Google+.
Earlier today, Google started rolling out a major update to Google+ for Android. Together with our readers, we've examined every corner of the app and found a whole bunch of things that are new to this version 4.2 but haven't been mentioned in the official announcement. You should definitely read through the list if you haven't yet.
However, one new feature that I found fascinating managed to fly completely below the radar because it's located not within the app itself but rather in the widget menu.
Vine has had a rocky start on Android since it launched over the summer, lacking many of the features found in its older iOS sibling. The app has started to get more positive reviews on Google Play since then, but it's been a slow ascension. Today's update isn't groundbreaking, but it does a little more to nudge those reviews in the right direction. Version 1.4 introduces two new features called Sessions and Time Travel, which collectively give users more time and options for tinkering with their videos before sharing them with the world.