João Dias, also known as joaomgcdon the Play Store, is one of those developers who are never, ever, content with the current capabilities of modern smartphones. He wants them to be more powerful, respond to more commands, allow more interactions, all from more interfaces. His AutoVoice app has been available for a while, allowing you to harness the OK Google interaction scheme to automate plenty of new actions and issue commands that Google's default algorithms don't yet understand.
Now AutoVoice is getting a lil' sister app, an AutoVoice Chrome extension for your Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. Thanks to it, you can perform the same actions on your phone, but while sitting at your computer (or from another phone too), like taking screenshots, sending messages, hanging up on calls, and more. João has made a demo video to show you the possibilities.
AMIDuOS, a popular solution for running Android apps on Windows, has issued a major update today that brings users a full Lollipop virtual environment. The update, to version 2.0, is most notable for leaving the now very-dated world of 4.2 Jelly Bean. With it also comes support for 64-bit apps, the ART runtime, and better APIs and compatibility for hardware features such as Bluetooth 4.0. On the not-as-fun side, the lifetime license now costs $15, up from the prior version's $10 cost.
A key difference between AMIDuOS and competitors like BlueStacks is that it is not merely an "app player," as BlueStacks brands itself.
It's one thing to claim you have an open approach and another thing to make it easier to use your competitor's product. Google is putting their money where their mouth is as they release a Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office, though there is still some work to do. While on one hand you can see this as a way to help users avoid Docs, Sheets, and Slides, it also provides feature parity with Drive's own competitors OneDrive and Dropbox, both of whom enjoy deep integration with the office suite.
At this point, the plug-in only works on Windows and users are reporting that it doesn't function on the Office 2016 pre-release versions which will launch very shortly alongside Windows 10.
Windows Phone, eat your heart out. Android is now capable of virtualizing a full and up-to-date Windows desktop operating system. Well, one phone is at least, and it's probably not one you would have guessed: the ASUS ZenFone 2. XDA-Developers forum member ycavan managed to get Windows 7 running on his phone using a variety of custom tools, some impressive technical skill, and quite a lot of patience. Check it out in the video below:
To be clear, this is Windows 7, virtualized, running on a local virtual machine client accessed via the aSPICE KVM client for control. Windows is not being emulated (it's been done with older versions).
It might surprise you to learn that the Android Police staff does not work on a series of networked Chromebook Pixels connected to Google's sentient God-Cloud. Nope, most of us use Windows for daily posting and other general tech stuff. So it's awfully interesting that Microsoft is making a push to bring Android apps to its various Windows platforms starting with the upcoming Windows 10. At today's Build 2015 developer keynote, Microsoft said that devs will be able to "reuse nearly all the Java and C++ code from an Android phone app to create apps for phones running Windows 10.”
For Google Talk users, Product Manager Mayur Kamat has some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the chat service's desktop client for Windows will be deprecated on February 23, 2015 as the team continues to focus on making Hangouts better.
Of course that leaves the question of third-party clients like Pidgin, Trillian, etc. The good news is, as Kamat notes, that compatible apps will still continue to work.
If you’re not ready to make the switch to Hangouts quite yet, you can continue using Google Talk on Windows with a range of compatible third-party chat apps (http://goo.gl/FSbCX5). Please keep in mind these aren’t Google products, so exercise caution when signing in with your Google account.
This year's Consumer Electronics Show will kick off next week, and many tech companies are ready to show off their gadgets. Alcatel OneTouch plans to attract attention on the show floor with its line of affordable phones and watches. But this time the price isn't the biggest draw.
The Alcatel OneTouch PIXI 3 series of handsets offer screens ranging from 3.5 to 5 inches. The smallest will only support 3G, while the 4", 4.5", and 5" options should handle 4G LTE as well. All will apparently be able to run Android, Firefox OS, or Windows. Alcatel describes the devices as OS agnostic but doesn't specify if the same hardware will run each platform or if there will be different models to choose from. The company also didn't include photos with the press release, so we'll have to wait until next week to get more information on the phones.
SoundSeeder takes a bunch of Android devices lying around and turns them into a poor man's sound system by syncing audio playback across all of the phones and tablets so that they pump out tunes in unison. The app hit the Play Store in two parts last year, but now everything's bundled up into a single package. Not only that, it's now ready to shed its beta tag.
As you can see in the screenshots above, this release gets the app ready for Android Lollipop. Not only are there material elements sprinkled throughout the UI, there's a new navigation bar, a landscape mode, and support for tablets.
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.
The desktop client isn't a carbon copy of the "virtual desktop" web interface, it's more of a basic tool for accessing some of the more popular features of AirDroid without relying on a browser.