Today, Google finally opened the Chromecast up to developers in a meaningful way, releasing the Google Cast SDK and integrating the relevant Android API into Google Play Services, the ever-growing backbone of Google's Android-based offerings. The update has already begun its rollout. Of course, that means we're going to look inside and see what's new, and we've also got a download for those who just can't wait for Play Services 4.2 to hit their device.
The latest Evernote beta lets you take notes the old-fashioned way. No, you won't have to deal with tangled up spiral notebooks, but if you have a stylus or a tiny finger, you can doodle away illegible sprawl like the best of them. Just tap the pen button in the note editor and you can jot down text you will kick yourself for not typing when you're wondering three months from now if that is an "M" or an "N." Or is it a "W"?
If you use the official Twitter app for Android... dear God, why are you using the official Twitter app for Android? Stop reading this story and go download a better client. If you simply can't be torn away from mediocrity, you'll find a few new options the next time you update Twitter in the Play Store. Chief among them is a new crop tool, with easy shortcuts to Square ("Instagram mode"), Wide, and Original.
Today the folks behind Todoist have announced the latest version of their capable task management offering: "Todoist Next." This new name comes with a complete rewrite of the software that improves integration across its 13 supported platforms. Yet for us Android users, the app still looks largely the same. It has kept its current name in the Play Store, and it retains the look introduced in version 2.0 (even though the latest release is 3.0).
Earlier this week, Samsung officially started the rollout of the Galaxy Note 3's update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Appearing first for those in Poland through KIES, the update matched what had been leaked shortly before the rollout began.
Just a few days later, Samsung has uploaded the official kernel source files to its Open Source Release Center.
Interestingly, the manufacturer told developer Chainfire just yesterday "we only publish open source code of official version," responding to a request for access to the files.
Each month, Google updates Android's platform distribution numbers according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period. January's updated pie chart has just hit, and things seem to be following a fairly predictable pattern.
KitKat, which was positioned at 1.1% last month, has eked out an additional 0.3% to reach 1.4%. Gingerbread, meanwhile, fell from 24.1% to 21.2%, continuing its gradual decline. Jelly Bean (including API levels 16-18) has actually grown to 59.1%, up from 54.5%, as manufacturers work to catch up to Android's latest and greatest.
Google Play Services 4.0 was released in late October just after the Nexus 5 and Kit Kat became official, bringing with it plenty of improvements to things like Google+ sign-in, Wallet, Location services, and more.
Today, via the Android Developers Blog, Google announced the rollout of Google Play Services 4.1, which offers developers more and better tools to make compelling apps.
SwipePad is a gesture-based app switcher that lets users open a selection of apps without exiting the one they're in beforehand. The latest update isn't a large one, but it's bound to make using the launcher slightly less annoying. Now users have the option to select apps that should disable SwipePad's functionality while they are running. The recently updated version of Carbon, with its new slide-out view, is an example of one such app that could benefit from this option.