30
Sep
PushBullet-Thumb

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.

27
Sep
unnamed

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.

26
Sep
Spectrum2-Thumb

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.

Spectrum2

This latest update primarily deals with all the bloatware that comes pre-installed on the device.

26
Sep
movies

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.

26
Sep
Remote-Thumb

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.

25
Sep
unnamed (5)

We've got one last Google update to discuss this evening – YouTube. Bumping up to version 5.1.1, YouTube didn't get an official change log, but there are a few things worth discussing briefly (before Artem does his teardown magic, anyway).

First up, YouTube has a new permission for receiving data from the internet, which it uses to give you new video notifications.

25
Sep
nexusae0_unnamed_thumb32

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.

25
Sep
tuneinradiopro

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.

Reviewers started making a stink, a bunch of users on Reddit got sad, and TuneIn soon realized what they'd done.

25
Sep
hangouts

It's update Wednesday, and Google is making good use of this one. Earlier today the company showed off the new version of Gmail with a card-based UI in the conversation list, and now it's Hangouts' turn to get a nice little feature bump.

The Hangouts update – which brings the app up to version 1.2 for those who like to keep count – brings about some mighty useful (and oft-requested) features:

  • You can finally see who is on Hangouts!

25
Sep
Lucid-Thumb

When the LG Lucid first hit store shelves, it was one of the best mid-range handsets available at the time. It served as a shining example that a budget phone didn't have to feel like it was a budget phone. Now an OTA update is rolling out to the handset over a year after its release, further evidence that not all budget phones are destined for neglect. This new software version doesn't fundamentally change things, but it's nice to have security patches and a newer version of Google Map Services, among other things.

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