It's been quite the wait for certain cellular Galaxy Tab 3 owners. The Wi-Fi version of the tablet came out in July of last year, and while KitKat eventually rolled out to several variants of the device, some owners have still been left waiting. Sprint brought Android 4.4.2 to customers back in June, but that did no good for users sitting around on AT&T. Fortunately for such folks, the company has finally decided to push this thing out.
We often see carriers trickle out updates to one device on any given day, but today Sprint is pushing out a new firmware upgrade to two. These lucky handsets are the Samsung Galaxy Mega and the HTC EVO 4G LTE. Their change logs don't mirror each other, but one item is the same. It's not a particularly exciting one, but it's something.
The Galaxy Mega is one huge phone, and since it has already received KitKat, this update isn't huge enough to match.
The latest version of the Google Play Movies app has been rolling out to users over the course of the past week, and while we found in the code that the changes had something to do with placing pre-orders, we had to wait for Google to flip a switch somewhere for the functionality to get exposed. Now that Google has taken to its social network with the news, consider that switch flipped.
For anyone looking for another means of streaming music to their Android device without having to use an app with a UI that would make a Nexus cry, 8tracks is worth a look. The interface keeps things simple, which these days means it's pretty white. Existing users will be pleased to know that following the latest update, 8tracks now comes with Chromecast support. As long as your connected TV or monitor is on, you will see the familiar icon in the action bar at launch.
Amazon has pushed out an update to its Kindle app for Android that might pique your interest if you're into audiobooks, speak Dutch, or like to highlight things. Yes, that's an admittedly eclectic mix of traits and interests, but that's the way these updates work. Developers aren't particularly invested in making sure we bloggers have a theme to categorize each new version under.
- Start playing narration before audiobook download is complete
- Localized support for Dutch
- Tap on highlight to edit
- Several bug fixes
So let's just tackle this list of changes in order.
Tasker is quite possibly the most exciting, boring-looking app in existence. A new user stumbling across its Play Store page is sure to walk away scratching their heads, but it only takes reading a few blog posts to realize that there's more to this piece of software than the screenshots would suggest. Out of the box, it's capable of giving users more control over their Android devices than any single other app, but there are no shortage of plugins out there that still manage to crank things up to the next level.
With a big OTA expected to hit Android Wear devices starting around October 15th, Google has just published what might be a preparatory update for the Android Wear companion app. Taking the app up to version 1.0.2, the update adds about 3MB to the APK's file size. Google hasn't published a change log quite yet, but we can already tell from a cursory teardown that the new version brings with it an update to Google Play Services for Wearables (a package sent to the watch from the app) - version 6.1.11 (up from 5.0.91).
The WordPress Android app isn't the most feature-rich means of editing a blog, but it's arguably the quickest. The latest version of the software brings about a number of improvements that round out the experience. The list of a site's posts now refreshes automatically, but there's still the option to refresh manually either through the menu or by pulling down on the screen. This update also brings in the ability to infinitely swipe through posts.
Google+ got a somewhat unexpected bump to version 4.6 today, an update that brought with it plenty of Material touches. Since we first reported on Material Design (at the time known as Quantum Paper), we've expected that Google's own apps would be undergoing their own gradual transformations in updates leading up to the launch of Android L. The Google+ app got its first round of material changes earlier this summer, but today's update starts its journey through the last mile.
Most of Google's apps offer ways for us to enhance the quality of our own lives, whether it's through improved communication, managing documents, or just browsing the web through Chrome. One Today, an Android app the company launched over a year ago, turns this around by empowering us to actively help others instead. The core idea here is to donate a dollar a day to a different charity (today's is an adopt an afternoon lesson program through Develop Africa), but there's no reason to stop there.