Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: the new Google+ web design, the LG V10 (again), the cancelled Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, and Android audio latency explained.
Android Studio v1.5 just rolled out to the stable channel today and it's absolutely packed with a feature. Truth is this release was mostly focused on bug fixes, performance improvements, and other fine tuning. Of course, for a tool used in professional software development, those certainly aren't bad things. Take a look as Reto Meier explains the changes and trolls teases Android developers with a mystery box that surely must include new language support, or a fully functional theme editor, or... something more likely.
The one notable addition can be found in the Memory Profiler. It's now capable of detecting leaked activities while testing.
Virtual reality (or whatever term some picky people would like to apply to it) is the hot new thing. Conventional businesses are trying to incorporate it into their plans, and nothing shouts "conventional business" like a hardware store. To that end, US hardware chain Lowe's is working on some interesting ways to get customers involved in their renovation projects, even before they start putting down plastic sheets. At a few stores in Colorado and Ohio, Lowe's has created special VR stations that will let you recreate an entire room, then swap out 3D appliances, apply different paint colors, and do all kinds of home improvement things while seeing the results in real time with an Oculus Rift headset.
Editor's note: the first three paragraphs of this story are a brief primer on fair use in US copyright law and the complications created by the DMCA. Skip down if you're already familiar with this stuff.
The United States copyright system has a series of protections for citizens who want to use video, audio, text quotes, and other copyrighted material in legitimate ways. These are generally called fair use exemptions: they're why Saturday Night Live can make a parody of Jeopardy or The Big Bang Theory without the fear of CBS suing them for copyright infringement, or why a movie reviewer can use clips of the movie in his video critique.
Nuance announced it was bringing its business-oriented voice dictation service Dragon Anywhere to Android back in August, and now it's finally here. The app is live in the Play Store, but it's not free. Dragon Anywhere requires a $15 monthly subscription, but you can give it a shot free for 7 days.
Isn't it interesting that now that we have the kind of graphical horsepower that our parents could only dream about while they were playing Pong and Adventure, we seem to be developing a serious case of nostalgia addiction. While high-end console and PC games are starting to look photorealistic, simpler fare like Minecraft and Crossy Road are earning enough money to make Solomon blush. Take Horizon Chase: it's about as simple as racing games come, but its charming graphics and straightforward setup are taking the mobile gaming world by storm.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a new entry in the interesting Lifeline series, strategy games starring both vikings and samurai, a pair of cartoony tower defense games, a multiplayer board game, and an American football manager.
A fresh update of Google Play Services is headed out to our Android hardware around the world. This brings the framework package up to v8.4 and actually carries a couple of user-facing changes for us to check out. There's nothing too big, which is pretty normal for a Play services update, but there are some nice visual touch-ups for Smart Lock and a new option in the Android Auto developer options. But that's not all, a teardown shows that we're getting much closer to family organization (yes, for family sharing) and app invites will finally become useful as they can finally be sent to the people that need them most – the people right next to us.
You've probably played a million tower defense games, and "orbital shooters" aren't too uncommon either, but what about playing them at the same time? Artificial Defense combines a few different game types with some nerdy computer vernacular to create a distinctive mobile game, and you can give it a shot for free.
During the keynote address yesterday for this year's Chrome Dev Summit, VP of Chrome Darin Fisher shared some numbers about the mobile web browser's rate of adoption. tl;dr, people are flocking to Chrome, and fast. Over the past year, the number of 30 day active users has doubled from 400 million to 800 million.