Google officially announced the not-so-secretly-kept Play Games this morning, which brings game sync, leaderboards, achievements, and more to Android. Naturally, the first question on many users' minds is do any games already support it? In fact, several developers have already updated their games to add this new feature. Here's a look at what we've found so far:
Let it be not be said that Google neglected the Google TV platform today at I/O. Though it wasn't mentioned during this morning's 3 hour-plus keynote, the company rolled out a new version of the YouTube app for TV during the presentation.
Specifically, the updated application brings a simplified UI, enhanced video playback controls, and support for paid channels. The video discovery and subscription tabs now show playlists with blown-up video thumbnails and bolded titles for easier browsing. Read More
If you're in the market for a new Android virtual keyboard, you could do a lot worse than SwiftKey, especially since it's just been updated to version 4.1. In the company's ceaseless drive to improve every nook and cranny of the app they've added three shiny new themes: Regal (purple), Pitch (black) and Dusk (navy blue). In addition, both the smartphone and tablet version of the swiping, predicting, multi-language keyboard are on sale for half off. Read More
A hot new Play Store update just hit the internet. We're now up to version 4.1.6. So far we've spotted a much nicer looking button and wishlist designs, more consistent menu text, and a few minor visual tweaks, like new open/uninstall buttons.
Here's the new content section buttons, which are a lot more inviting than the old designs. Read More
T-Mobile is currently in the process of pushing a fairly major update to its version of the Galaxy S III, which brings Android 4.1.2 and a slew of new don't-call-it-Touchwiz features.
- Auto-pairing via NFC
- enhanced Camera options
- Sound Balance
- Paper Artist
- Samsung Gallery
- Blocking Mode
- Easy Mode
Have you finished downloading CyanogenMod's 10.1 RC1 release for your device yet? If not, hit cancel and refresh your browser. Just three days after RC1 started rolling out, CM 10.1 RC2 has hit the download center, going up over night for forty seven devices at the time of writing, including devices from the Galaxy SIII to the Nexus Q.
the list goes on
For those not sure why they should care about CM10.1 RC2, an RC or Release Candidate is basically a firmware release that the CyanogenMod team believes is up to snuff for a daily driver – a new-but-not-bleeding-edge release that's stable enough to rely on. Read More
Directionally-challenged Greeks, Google has answered your prayers. The search giant continued its international rollout of Maps Navigation today, enabling turn-by-turn directions for Greece. That, coupled with Google's recent significant expansion of Navigation to 9 countries last month, brings the total number of supported territories to 53. Not too shabby.
We've heard from a couple of Google+ users that turn-by-turn seems to be working well so far. Of course, Navigation is still technically in beta (and has been, as is typical for Google, for more than two years), but it's good to hear that initial service is stable. Read More
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. Read More
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; Read More
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). Read More