After spending years as a kid and many more as a student, we each get to a point where the majority of our time gets sucked into work. This leaves many employees glued to their phones, and unsurprisingly, the tech giants all want it to be their phones.
A lot of you might like to follow the example of the esteemed Johnny Paycheck, and tell your boss to Take This Job and Shove It. Alas, if you want to keep eating and sleeping indoors, you'll simply have to take comfort in Alan Jackson's less confrontational message: It's Five O'clock Somewhere. But if you've got an Android Wear device, we've found a watch face that might just make your Shift Work (Kenny Chesney) more bearable by showing you exactly when you can start singing the 5:01 Blues with Merle Haggard.
Update: Just as mysteriously as it entered the Play Store, Work Chrome has left - its listing appears to have been removed.
The idea behind Google's Android Work effort is to allow users of enterprise devices (whether BYOD or company-provided) to use the apps they're familiar with in one unified experience that keeps work and personal data separate. Work data will stay secure, with Android Work providing restrictions and controls for what can be done with the data, while personal data is readily accessible without needing to install any special third-party apps or launchers.
Facebook and work are as synonymous as office jobs and solitaire. Sure, not everyone does it, but it's hardly surprising to catch a glance of some employee's news feed left open on a nearby monitor.
LinkedIn is supposed to be a social network for the corporate world, but using that site actually feels like work, and who wants to do more of that while they're taking a break? So Facebook is taking a more serious shot at the issue with "Facebook at Work."
Facebook at Work allows for work accounts that are separate from your personal one, letting you and co-workers communicate professionally without opening up your social lives to everyone at your company.
Android 5.0 is heading out to select Moto devices, Nexus owners are firing up fastboot, and the sweet smell of candy and tangibly designed interfaces are in the air. Feeling the spirit, Lyft has updated its app with a slightly more up-to-date look.
The biggest change here is the introduction of a new sidebar. It now pops out over all other UI elements.
Lyft has also removed the separator underneath the action bar and whitened things up a tad.
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.