Sprint just surprised everyone by being the first US carrier to roll out the Android 4.3 update to the HTC One, just missing the September deadline by a hair. But not everyone owns HTC's latest flagship, so it's nice to see that the One isn't the only device having all the fun (granted, it's having most of it). The HTC Evo 4G LTE is also getting an update today, and while it may not be anything nearly as exciting as the jump to Android 4.3, it's better than nothing.
Root Explorer is a solid file manager, but - surprise, surprise - it's even better for people who have rooted their phones. Back when Android 4.3 first arrived, many root enabled file managers suddenly had broken root support, but not Root Explorer. And since the functionality is already so solid, the latest update introduces a new feature some of us would consider superfluous. If you like Root Explorer, now you can make it prettier, look more integrated, or be as obnoxious as your eyes can handle without permanently rolling over backwards and staring into the darkness between your ears.
There are many ways to move files between your computers and your Android devices, but most of them feel like a hassle. PushBullet makes things far more simple. This combination web browser plugin/mobile app can send files and links from your computer directly to your notification tray, where you can access them without having to dig around, and its Android app just received a substantial update to version 11.1 that makes it both more attractive and accessible than before.
It looks like Google isn't done adding goodies to the latest round of updates for the official Search app. The hotword for activating the voice search function is now "Ok Google," and it also works while looking at results, not just from the standard search screen. You'll need Search 2.8.7 (grab the APK here if you don't have it yet) and an updated English (US) language pack to see the new functionality.
Verizon is currently issuing OTA updates to a number of its midrange handsets. Yesterday we reported on an update rolling out to the LG Lucid, and now it's the LG Spectrum 2's turn. The Spectrum 2's update isn't exactly more exciting than the Lucid's was, but it's nice to see both devices getting some love.
This latest update primarily deals with all the bloatware that comes pre-installed on the device.
Google Play Movies & TV received an update to version 2.7.15 today (or yesterday, but I haven't seen anyone with an APK until today), and while
the changelog is still missing, we have noticed a number of new things.
The previous version was v2.6.9, so these line up with a point release - nothing too significant, but still more than just bug fixes.
Update: I just realized that the changelog, which Google updated on September 18th, is actually current - they just never released the update until now.
Smart IR Remote has been missing from the Play Store for over a month, but now it's back, and it comes with greatly needed changes. For starters, you no longer have to purchase a separate version of the app to use it on both the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, a deal that's bigger than you would expect considering that we're talking about two $10 purchases. And since the app is currently available for 50% off, you can get support for both smartphones for just $4.99.
Somewhere amid the rest of Google's app updates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.
First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.
Yesterday, TuneIn Radio Pro, one of my favorite radio apps, was updated to version 9.0 and brought a bunch of sports-related improvements. However, a pretty significant bug made its way into the app as well - pausing and rewinding live streams, which are two of the most important features of Pro, no longer worked.