Google is doing its darnedest to make developers happy. To a certain extent, anyway - it still makes some major mistakes on a pretty regular basis, but at least it's trying to expand availability for paid apps to more users and, crucially, more developers. Today developers in Azerbaijan, Iceland, Peru, And Yemen can submit paid apps to the Google Play Store, as well as offer in-app purchases. Previously Android users in all four nations could buy apps, but not sell them.
In its previous update, Pocket Casts added an Android Wear companion app that allowed you to browse your Up Next list of podcasts and pick an episode to play. It worked even when Pocket Casts wasn't launched on your phone and without requiring the notification first, which was awesome if you needed to start playback from your watch without having to dig your phone out of your pocket/purse. The whole idea though relied on you having already populated your playback queue because you couldn't browse your entire library from the watch.
The family-oriented section of the Play Store is now offering up another free app of the week. When Google first started the giveaways, Daniel Tiger Daniel Tiger Grr-ific Feelings was the debut app. Toca Hair Salon 2 came next. This week we're looking at Dr. Panda & Toto's Treehouse.
Luxe is a service that allows you to summon a valet to park your car when time or energy is low, something that many people probably won't consider using due to either reluctance to paying for this sort of thing or because they don't live in an area where it just isn't very hard to park for yourself. The name itself screams, "This is a want, not a need" (also, luxury).
Amazon's latest app giveaway is worth more than $50 and will remain available for the next week. As you can see in the hero image, some of the headliners include The Bard's Tale and Weather Live, though there are several more that may interest you. And while the super-popular Monument Valley has disappeared from the promotional page, it's free too. This is bigger and better (and longer-lasting) than its typical free daily deal, though it isn't their best ever. Beyond those already mentioned, you might want to pay special attention to Quell Memento and Alarm Clock Pro.
Here is the full list of what's on offer, all of them free for now:
Not many Android apps can say they've been installed a billion times. In fact, before today there were only ten - and out of those ten, only three of them were non-Google apps (and all owned by Facebook). Today Google's first party messaging client, Hangouts, joins this elite group of billion-device apps... notably behind its competitors, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
A billion installations doesn't mean a billion users, it means one billion different Android devices have downloaded the app once. (Phones and tablets now out of service count, multiple downloads and updates don't.) That said, Hangouts' daily users probably number in the hundreds of millions at this point, if only by virtue of its inclusion as the default SMS app on many Android phones.
Facebook would really appreciate it if you would help them take over the world. You know, if you're not too busy or anything. To that end, they've decided to make Facebook Messenger (recently graduated from a simple social network feature to a quasi-platform) truly stand on its own. So now you can use Facebook Messenger even if you're not one of the billion or so people with a Facebook account - or even if you are, and you don't want to associate your account with your messages.
Facebook made the announcement in its official Newsroom blog, encouraging new users to simply use their phone numbers to create a Messenger profile.
Activision's Geometry Wars series is one of the more popular casual shooters ever developed and really needs little introduction. Instead of writing something tiresome, I'll just let you watch the trailer for the newest entry in the franchise, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions.
Warning: Viewing The Following Video Is Not Recommended For People With Epilepsy, An Aversion To Techno, Or Who Find The Mass Slaughter Of Innocent Shapes To Be Objectionable.
The big news here is that the franchise has finally released one of their games on mobile platforms. It was first made available a couple months back on iOS, but as of today, it is also available for Android.
Circa News launched on Android in late 2013, and right from the start it was a neat way to keep up on the day's events. However, CEO and co-founder Matt Galligan has announced via Medium that Circa is shutting down its news operation. The company is low on cash and has yet to figure out how to monetize, so that's the end.
The standalone Photos app was released to the public during last month's Google I/O conference, finally completing the separation with Google+ as rumors (and facts) had long suggested. While the new Photos app was widely accepted as an improvement in many ways, it also lacked many of the enhanced editing features that had made the old version so useful. Unfortunately, installing the standalone Photos app effectively hid access to the version built into Google+. That was probably a pretty good sign about what was to come. With the latest update to Google+, users who have stuck to the old version will be warned that it is not long for this world.