It's Update Wednesday, so get ready for a new round of Google app updates today. To start off, we have a new version of Google Play Music - 5.4.
My Devices interface
Most importantly, today's update finally adds the ability to manage and deauthorize devices without having to go to the web interface - a feature we've longed for ever since discovering the 10-device limitation. While 10 devices may seem like a lot, once you factor in a few rounds of phone upgrades, various tablets lying around the house, and Google TV, you may just find yourself running into the limit soon.
One of the most popular feed reader apps in Google Play is undeniably gReader. It has survive the demise of Google Reader and is now riding high with a new update to version 3.6. This is a big one too – it contains some solid improvements, fixes, and new features.
Perhaps you've heard of a little app called DashClock? The creator of that mega-versatile widget has just released a new app, but this time it's less utilitarian. Muzei Live Wallpaper takes pretty pictures, adds some Gaussian blur, and slaps them on your home screen.
Each day the app will get a new piece of art to serve as the base of the background. You can go into the Muzei app to see the piece in more detail (in immersive mode), or double tap on the home screen to clear the blur effect for a few seconds. If the art isn't doing it for you, there is also support for random or specific images from your gallery.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
DigiCal Calendar & Widgets
Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar & Widgets from Digibites. DigiCal is a complete calendar solution that integrates with Google Calendar, matching it feature-for-feature and then some. A wide selection of calendar views (agenda, day, week, month, text month, list) and great tablet compatibility means that your calendar will look great and be easy to use no matter what device you're using.
On the official Google... Google+ page, Google announced today that the newest version of Search for Android will now allow you to call or text contacts merely by uttering their relationship to you.
For example, saying "call Mom" will now begin a telephone call to whichever contact you've marked as having that relationship to you. If you've merely put in "Mom" as a contact, Google will just call that. However, if you don't yet have a contact marked, an interface allowing you to select the person you want to associate with that relationship will then appear. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem there's any kind of interface for managing these relationships just yet.
English rock band Radiohead could just release another album, but there are certain experiences that music alone cannot provide. So the band has worked with design agency Universal Everything to create an experimental piece of software that occupies the space somewhere between being an app and a game. Its name is PolyFauna, and, really, make of it what you will.
Handy Photo is a mobile photo editor that can seemingly work magic with such features as un-cropping, the ability to remove objects from a photo, and the option to apply any number of its impressive filters. We put version 1.0 of the app through its paces last year and saw a lot of promise. Now Handy Photo is making the jump to the big 2.0, and it's bringing with it a new UI.
This is a photo editor, so most of the other changes get pretty specific. We're talking about the ability to selectively adjust tones, partially apply filters, and move or scale textures.
Paying bills sucks. Everything about the entire experience, from reading the email/letter, writing the umpteenth check/visiting the umpteenth website, and kissing that hard-earned money goodbye, is considerably unpleasant. Then there's the consistently broken promise of doing better next month only to find that after forgoing all of that fast food, you actually managed to spend more money than the month before. Again, it sucks. The new Mobilligy won't make it not suck, but there's a chance it will at least make it suck less.
The premise behind Mobilligy is pretty simple. It's free, it consolidates all of your bills into one place, it checks your checking account before paying to prevent overdraft fees, and it give you the ability to pay everything off without having to hop around from site to site.
If you spend a lot of time at a computer, then you probably realize how much easier it is to handle text messaging using a browser and keyboard. If you haven't yet explored that option, however, you're missing out. There are many different applications in Google Play that achieve the same end result, but MightyText is easily among the best – it's free, extremely easy to set up, and has both a Chrome extension and tablet app.
For those who want a little more than just the basics, however, MightyText announced its new Pro plan. This options brings many advanced features to the table, like the ability to schedule messages to be sent later, support for contact lists, templates, unlimited message storage, signatures, bulk messaging for up to 25 people, the ability to block numbers, and themes to make the web interface prettier.
The Qualcomm Toq occupies this awkward space in the smartwatch race. Like the Pebble, it uses a display similar to e-ink that sacrifices fancy animations and responsiveness for battery life, only it manages to one-up its competitor by supporting more colors than black and white. Unfortunately, at $349, it's even more expensive than the already ludicrously overpriced Galaxy Gear. Yet for people who purchased one anyway, version 1.3 introduces new features and major bug fixes that should make using the watch a more pleasant experience.