Besides a dogfood version of Play Games, update Wednesday brought us a new version of Play Books - 3.4.5. The changes in this update aren't major (or even immediately apparent), but they are worth taking a quick look at.
First up, there's a brand new translation interface. Rather than a toolbar and sheet overlay, the new translate interface lives on a card, just like the existing notes and dictionary interfaces. Here's a quick before and after.
Left: Play Books 3.3 Right: Play Books 3.4
Next up, new changes to notes. The ability to take notes in a book was present in 3.3, but users could not do that in a free sample of a book.
Snapchat 9.7 is here, and it packs two new features. They don't fundamentally change the app. In fact, if you blink you might miss them.
The first item on the changelog deals with snaps highlighted in Discover. If you recall, this is the part of the app that shows content from the likes of CNN and National Geographic. You can now tap and hold on the center to share a clip with friends. Snapchat lets you add a caption, doodles, and filters before sending it off.
The second addition is the ability to zoom into video while you're recording.
I'm sure everybody can agree, it makes almost no sense that the Nexus 9 is only now receiving a tiny maintenance update to 5.0.2 a couple of months after 5.1 came out. Nevertheless, that's how events are playing out, so we should at least know what's so special about this update. We've generated a changelog from AOSP, and honestly, there's not much to see.
Be aware, the Nexus 9 update goes from 5.0.1_r1 to 5.0.2_r3. However, since we've already seen the changelog for 5.0.1_r1 to 5.0.2_r1, we're keeping the previously seen changes in the old list, and producing a new one that includes only the commits that make up r1 to r3.
If you haven't heard, there's an Android version of the popular desktop file manager Total Commander. It has been around for years, and through all of that time, it hasn't been a particularly pretty piece of software. Okay, it started out somewhat fine by Gingerbread standards, but successive versions of Android have not been nice to it. If you go to the Play Store right now, here's one of the screenshots you will see.
Yup, that's some kind of Gingerbread-Ice-Cream-Sandwich-Holo-Frankenbaby.
Now things are starting to improve. Version 2.6 isn't exactly what we call pretty, nor does it hang out with anyone we'd consider all that attractive, but it's making an effort.
You could say that using a custom ROM is akin to testing a beta product indefinitely, and in that case, using the beta version of CM Downloader previously available wasn't much of an issue. But for the more cautious ROMers among you, version 2.0 of CyanogenMod's automatic update-downloading and flashing app has gone stable.
This piece of software (formerly known as the CyanogenROM Downloader) saves CyanogenMod users, especially those who run on nightly builds, the effort of manually checking for and flashing the latest version. The app can flash deltas so that you only have to re-download the part that has actually changed, and it contains a number of other features to improve the experience.
Opera for Android used to offer an Off-Road mode that compressed websites to help consume less data. But users sometimes ran into issues with compatibility. Now the company is fixing things by bringing Opera Turbo to its main Android app, with the hope of letting you save data without sacrificing speed or formatting.
Opera Turbo has been available on desktops for the better part of a decade. It runs on different servers than the Android version's old Off-Road mode (which used the servers behind Opera Mini). The feature still compresses non-HTTPs webpages, but the actual rendering happens on your end.