Work is pretty dull. Google wants people to use its products to get stuff done, and the company's previous name for its efforts in this area - Google Enterprise - fully communicated just how stuffy and non-exciting the experience would be. Now the search giant is changing the name of its business-related offerings to something that, while equally mundane in its approach, doesn't have to show up for work in oxford shoes and a tie.
Hangouts may be fun, but it's not all fun and games. It should come as no surprise that in this day and age, many people turn to Google's video chats as a means of getting work done. So the company is rolling out a number of business-related improvements to the service.
For starters, the company is now covering Hangouts under the same terms of service as other Google Apps for Business products.
I may have just heard about focus- and relaxation-inducing music site Focus@Will, but that hasn't stopped me from already falling in love with it. For much of my stare-at-a-screen-all-day career, I've actually wanted a service like this, and even have a few stations on Pandora and Spotify that almost mimic the service. Now that I've found F@W, though, those stations are essentially defunct.
What is Focus@Will?
That's probably the biggest question on your mind right now.
Autodesk has a fantastic record of powerful, well-built apps. Continuing the pattern, the Pixlr Express makers today released SketchBook Ink, a (you guessed it) sketching and line work app specifically built for tablets 7" and above.
While SketchBook Ink is perhaps not up to handling a professional illustrator's full time workflow, it's a versatile tool with functionality that's suprisingly sophisticated for a mobile app. Ink's got a full screen workspace built on a "new resolution independent engine," with seven preset ink styles, a wonderful color picker (with RGB sliders, a color wheel, and a block for shade selection), layering options, and plenty of options to explore.
If there is one major downside to the custom development community, it's that the sheer volume of minor variations in custom ROMs and largely-borrowed development makes it difficult, if not impossible to find real, quality development. XDA aims to change this by creating Original Development forums. These special forums will be reserved for projects that adhere to a set of rules, not the least of which is being largely original work.
Steve Kondik, better known as Cyanogen, the father of CyanogenMod, has posted an interesting update to his professional life on his Facebook page. Steve, who has founded the largest family of custom Android ROMs on the planet, has just joined Samsung Mobile to presumably work on Android-related goodies for one of world's largest electronics manufacturers.
It's only fitting to see the two masters of their own domains join forces, so here's to hoping the fruits of their labor are going to be beautiful and exciting for us, Android users.