AirDroid is one of those indispensible tools that goes on a new phone or tablet the minute I set it up. And it's only gotten better in the years since it debuted: the second version of the web-based management app allowed users to access their Android device for files, contacts, photos, and other functions from any browser with a login system. With version 3, just published as a beta app, the developer has added a stand-alone desktop manager for Windows and OS X.
Considering the competitive nature of the mobile market, it's actually pretty surprising that Microsoft supports Android as well as it does, at least for its own services. The company has released over 30 apps for Android, including a free and official version of Microsoft Remote Desktop, the official RDP client for Windows. Today's update brings support for KitKat's handy immersive mode, which makes a lot of sense for a remote computer viewer...
Google has officially made it possible to run Android apps on Chrome OS devices, though the current implementation of this feature is a little underwhelming. First of all, it's limited to only a handful of apps, and second of all, it requires a Chrome OS laptop or desktop, and can't be run in more widely-used operating systems. Now an ambitious developer has managed to overcome both of those limitations, enabling (in theory) any Android app to run anywhere that Chrome does.
You've got to respect the classics. And since the developers (or rights owners) of games like Civilization, Starcraft, and Age of Empires aren't releasing their classics on Android, or they're turning them into twisted versions of the originals, strategy fans need an alternative. Enter ExaGear, an emulator designed to let those fans play at least some of the classic PC strategy games on Android, complete with controls adapted for precision.
Human capacity for speech seems infinite, but after writing a steady stream of text messages, emails, and posts over the years, things start to get repetitive. PhraseExpress has spared Windows users sentences, paragraphs, and pages worth of mundane conversation since its release, and now the software is ready to do the same for Android.
The Autotext PhraseExpress Android app has the ability to save any number of text snippets (though the free version is limited to 25), organizing them into a folder hierarchy similar to bookmarks.
For better or worse, manufacturer apps tend to be exclusive to their own phones or tablets in the Android world. Not so with Windows programs, or at least, not usually. Samsung's SideSync program, an automated backup, remote desktop, and file transfer system, was previously limited to Samsung's own ATIV line of Windows laptops and tablets. But with the update to version 3.0, the company has removed that restriction - you should now be able to use SideSync with a Samsung Android device and any Windows machine.
There comes a point in a person's life when he or she may be looking for a new device of some sort, and trying to fulfill multiple roles at once could be important. For example, a tablet/laptop hybrid may be sought after by someone who doesn't have the disposable income to justify having one of each. These types of devices – like recently-announced ASUS Transformer Book Duet – are, in my opinion, a great option in that situation.
The guys behind Pushbullet always seem to be working on something new. This time it's a beta Windows app that you can take for a spin right now. This program is similar to the browser extension, but it includes some useful extra features.
Each computer you install Pushbullet on is now its own device, so you can push content from Android directly to a specific PC. The app already has support for pushing and receiving all the content the website can, but it also integrates with the Windows shell.
Google keeps a running list of previously downloaded apps available in the Play Store, but if you want to genuinely backup and own the apps you buy, you need to extract the APKs to a safe location. Not a problem. Rooted users just need to navigate to the correct location and save those files. Even if you're not rooted, finding an app that will get those APKs for you isn't all that difficult.