It seems like every cable and satellite operator is in a hurry to provide a second screen app for tablets and phones. And they all seem to have something in common: either they don't offer live streaming, or they do, and the service is rather arbitrarily restricted to use on a home Internet connection. Time Warner Cable's TWC TV app for Android was just updated to get around this restriction... at least in some cases. Unfortunately, mobile access via the TV app is only available to Verizon Wireless customers - everyone else will just have to live with paying TWC alone.
While details are scant at the moment, Blackberry just dropped a bomb at BBLive: Blackberry Messenger is coming to iOS and Android "this summer" as a standalone application. After years of rumors, the company is finally taking the plunge and making its most popular app multi-platform. Brilliant.
The app will start initially be released with support for "messaging and groups," though additional support for for "voice, screen share, and [...] channels" will come later. It be compatible with Android 4.0+ devices and be available for free.
While this may be a big deal in itself, it may already be too late for Blackberry to resurrect its former BBM userbase – this is a move that could've helped save the company had it made the decision a year or two ago.
For jetsetters and workaholics who require a little more than a legal pad to keep track of their billable expenses, Expensify has done solid if uninspiring duty as a mobile companion for some time. Yesterday the Android app got a brand new, Holo-compliant look, making form follow function right out of the land of Froyo buttons. While this update is the biggest change to come to the Android app in quite a while, the core functionality has not been affected that much, with only some new rule filters mentioned on the Play Store page.
Expensify automates expense reports with a variety of handy tools, now all the better for a little visual polish.
Listen up, Android users. If you're using Google Now, don't go to its Settings -> My Stuff and try to modify sports teams or stocks right now, as doing so completely borks the whole app. As soon as you go back to the main screen or click into Search, you will experience a force close. Repeated attempts to restart it will result in a crash as well:
The only thing that works is clearing out Google Search's data in Settings -> Applications, after which you need to re-enroll into Google Now. Changing your Home or Work locations does not seem to trigger the issue - it's just sports teams and stocks.
TuneIn Radio is one of the most popular streaming music services on any mobile platform, but it has just gotten a new feature for Android users. From now on when you hear a track you like, tap the Google Play button at the top of the 'now playing' screen to head right to Google Play and buy it. See the before and after images below.
For those not aware, TuneIn Radio streams over 70,000 radio stations live, and it's not just music. There's general talk and sports radio, as well. The podcast directory also contains a huge number of feeds to peruse.
Had enough of noisy hotels infested with bed bugs and slathered in unidentifiable fluids? Why not rent short term accommodations from a regular human being? That's the service Airbnb provides, and the startup has been making headway in recent years. In an attempt to make the process of finding appropriate lodging more convenient on mobile devices, the company has completely redesigned its Android app and added a few new features.
The new app is more attractive an Android-y than the old version, which made heavy use of gradients and iOS-style buttons. The new UI is flatter and has some Holo (#YOLO) design elements.
If a speaker, vibration motor, and an on-device notification light aren't enough to grab your attention when a new message comes to your phone, you need a more extreme option. The developer of HueNotifier Beta has provided one: an impressive sync between any Android 4.0+ device and Philips' range of Hue connected LED lightbulbs. After installing the app and setting it up, new notifications from any app can be assigned to pulsate the light bulb or bulbs in any available color.
The app is pretty basic at the moment, but seems to have all of its bases covered, with easy setup and quick modifications.
Here's hoping all of our readers are having a peaceful Mother's Day. If any of you gave your mom a Google Play Store gift certificate (and your mother is particularly fond of action games or weather widgets) you might point her towards this story for a few bargain-priced suggestions. Sega has a couple of their Android ported games on sale, and Minecraft is discounted over on Amazon. The surprisingly powerful eWeather HD/Radar HD is also on sale, along with the gaming-focused remote access suite Kainy.
- After Burner Climax - $0.99 (66% off)
- House Of The Dead Overkill: LR - $2.99 (40% off)
- eWeather HD, Radar HD, Alerts - $1.99 (50% off)
- Kainy (Remote Gaming/Desktop) - $0.99 (80% off)
Minecraft Pocket Edition is on sale, but only on the Amazon Appstore.
Readers probably don't need to be reminded that each month, we distill all of the Play Store's latest entries into a selection of the very best apps of the previous month, hand-picking a shortlist to save you both time and money in testing everything out. This month, though, there were just too many worthy apps to cut down to the usual five, so we've got a slightly-less-short list of the best six apps from April 2013. If you're looking for something to spice up your device, you can't go wrong with any of the below selections.
FL Studio Mobile
First up is FL Studio Mobile.