To be perfectly honest, I'm not much of an e-mag guy. I tried Google Currents for a while, but never quite saw the utility of it, and so quickly transitioned back to my beloved Feedly and Google Reader. That's not to say I haven't realized the limitations of RSS many times, though, especially as certain websites I follow look to integrate more multimedia into articles. (Having to use Chrome to listen to audio or video in a weird custom player is really frustrating.) And concededly, apps like Currents look a thousand times better than feeds, which are traditionally text-heavy.
Wow. So when Glass was first making the rounds, we heard a few rumblings about a ridiculously fast update cycle; something like monthly updates. Sure enough, it seems like Google is delivering on that sort-of rumored promise:
Today, less than a month after the Glass unit left Google HQ, there's a new update: Version XE5. There's no public change log, but Phandroid says they emailed Google and got back the following list:
New features in XE5:
- Change to sync policy: require power + wifi for background uploads
- Crash reporting
- Incoming G+ notifications (direct shares, comments, +mentions), including ability to comment and +1
- Incoming Hangout notifications
- Transcription of queries & messages is now wicked-fast
- Long-press to search from anywhere in the UI (no longer just from off)
- International number dialing + SMS
- Hop animation on disallowed swipes in the UI
- New On-Head Detection calibration flow
- Show device Serial Number on Device Info card
- More reliable estimation of battery charge remaining
- New recipient-list mosaic
Google+ integration sounds awesome;
the only problem is it doesn't actually work right now.
Get ready to start downloading, as the CyanogenMod team has started pushing out its first release candidate for 10.1. The CM team only uses the RC moniker to describe software that is believed to be stable and reliable enough for regular daily use. If you are looking for a rock solid version of Android 4.2 for your phone, this is probably the one to get.
The timing is no coincidence, as this lands exactly one week before a new version of Android is expected to be announced at Google I/O 2013 (probably v4.3).
Spotify's bringing it down to the flo'. Nah, not really, but kind of. The crew behind the venerable music service has released an app update on Google Play, and among bug fixes and a playlist-sorting enhancement, a unique feature is listed in the changelog: "This app looks great in trousers."
The most significant change is playlist and track sorting. The app also now remembers what you were listening to when you last logged out.
It's a pretty big day for Viber, the popular VoIP application that brings "free messages and calls" to your mobile. Seems that the guys behind the app (appropriately named Viber Media) have been hard at work preparing not only major updates to the Android and iOS applications, but also on an all-new desktop client for Windows and Mac.
The update to the Android version of the app brings many new features, including a new Holo'd-out look.
If you've been paying attention to TV Guide's official app, you know that it's needed some attention for a while. Its UI through version 2.x was an outdated pastiche of Gingerbread tabs and gradated iconography desperately in need of a redesign (and support for 4.0+). Today, TV Guide has fulfilled that need (for the most part), bringing to the Play Store TV Guide Mobile version 3.0. The update also brought "many cool new features" to the app, which we'll discuss momentarily.
Though it's been little more than a week since the Galaxy S4 hit T-Mobile airwaves, the carrier's showing the newest member of its smartphone family some love with an incremental update. Rolling out OTA and via Samsung's Kies software, the focus of the patch (version M919UVUAMDB) seems to be on T-Mobile's pre-installed applications, rather than the system software as a whole.
The Visual Voicemail and ISIS apps are set to receive "improvements," whatever that means.
If you've longed for the abstract and ambient world of strategy game Auralux, but don't have a Tegra-powered device, good news is afoot: the most recent update adds support for non-Tegra devices. Exciting, no?
That's not all, either – it also brings a new level pack "where you invade enemy territory," one new free level, full gamepad and Shield support, and an "important stability [fix] on Nexus 7 devices."
All in all, this is a pretty good update, especially for those who haven't yet gotten the opportunity to play the game in the first place.
Verizon just started pushing Android 4.1.2 to the Galaxy Note II. AT&T will start offering that same update to the original Note tomorrow, May 3rd.
Update: The word on the street is that this update is already available through Kies. Hook up and get it!
While the Android version bump is the same, however, everything else about this one is quite a bit different. Here's what you an expect post-update: