There comes a point in time when an app steps out of the awkward, prepubescent 2.0 years and hits the big 3.0. For Twitch, that time is now. The game broadcast viewing app has transitioned to a whole new version number, and in the process it has matured into something more becoming. The flat, simplistic UI looks like something that should blend right in on modern KitKat devices.
For the sake of comparison, here's how Twitch used to look.
The official Chromecast page has not thus far been a good resource for finding apps. It only listed a tiny fraction of the apps with Chromecast support, but now you can use the page to see all the apps. That's a lot of apps, but luckily you have search functionality now too.
Dash is one in a slowly growing number of Android options that lets you track where your car is, where you've traveled, and how much gas you've burned up. To make things simple, it combines everything into a basic scoring mechanism - though this is only part of the app's appeal. Those of you with older cars can see why your check engine light came on without having to go to a mechanic, and the enthusiasts among you can turn to the app as an extension of your dashboard that provides more information than your vehicle manufacturer deemed necessary.
Android Wear has only been out for a few weeks, but already developers are trying their hands at designing apps for Google's wearable platform. Since this is a new usage paradigm for Android, it's hard to know what sort of user experiences will catch on and which will fall flat. This is the first installment of what will hopefully become a regular part of our roundups – all the best apps and watch faces for Android Wear.
A large media organization isn't worth its weight in salt if it doesn't have a dedicated news branch, so it should come as little surprise that the BBC has a sports app and that said app does occasionally get updates. Now that mobile piece of software has received Chromecast support, just in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games* in Glasgow.
The Chromecast support lets users stream live video straight to their TVs.
Music Boss was one of the apps Pebble users have found rather indispensible, and now there's a version for Android Wear. This is essentially an alternative way to control all your media apps (not just music) with swipe gestures and a prettier info screen. It's still not an ideal solution, but maybe you'll overlook its foibles.
There are a lot of goodies in the newest version of Google Maps, which just started rolling out to devices last week. However, some users are getting a bonus that didn't show up in the changelog. We've been able to get a few confirmations of a new Explore Nearby tool in Maps that offers much more fine-grained control of location-based suggestions.
Everyone is making a wearable thing now, but you can't buy Razer's Nabu smart band just yet. The device is still in limited beta trials, but once it's out, the newly released Nabu Android app will tie it to your phone. I guess until then you can stare longingly at the login screen.
So, a tiny little screen thing that's kind of like a phone but not a phone and is also strapped to your arm screams for a few very specific uses, and one of them is a remote control for your phone's camera. We've already seen at least one Android Wear camera remote, but that one was more of a proof of concept than a full-fledged tool. PixtoCam takes the basic idea that's been around for longer than mobile phones and adds some notable improvements.
I must confess to a near-total ignorance in all things Minecraft. My basic understanding is that you punch trees, dig, run from exploding zombies, and out of that somehow comes a full-scale digital model of the starship Enterprise or the entire country of Denmark. But I do know that "crafting" is a big part of all that, and in order to effectively craft, you need to know what to start with and what tools to use.