Just like on mobile, Android TV users turn to the Play Store to install new apps. An update has rolled out that bumps the software up to version 5.4.12. The most immediate difference is a tweaked look, as the interface now sports larger titles.
On the functionality front, there's now an Update All button. Presumably it bumps all of your apps up to the latest versions, just as the Play Store does on smartphones and tablets. Read More
One of the less glamorous improvements to Android 5.0 Lollipop is the move to updating WebView via the Play Store rather than only with system updates. WebView is the component that lets apps render web pages internally rather than kicking you over to a browser. A recent update to WebView was crashes left and right, but now Google thinks it has that all sorted out.
Swype, at its core, helps us be lazy. Want to type? Don't bother lifting up your thumb. Don't know how to spell? Just get close. Sure, these are only the byproducts of creating an input method that takes the pain out of using touchscreens, but the end result is the same. And things are only getting easier.
The latest update reduces the need to hold down keys with numbers as secondary characters or switch back and forth between alphabetical and numerical keyboards. Read More
Last month someone thought it would be funny to submit a depiction of a Bugdroid pissing on an Apple in Maps Maker. Google quickly took down the edit after images started spreading across the web, but it isn't stopping there. After experiencing an uptick in spam over the past few months, the company will now temporarily turn off the ability for users to submit Google Maps edits.
The shutdown will take effect tomorrow, May 12th. A notice is greeting users who head over to google.com/mapmaker. Read More
Like a number of other device manufacturers, HTC releases some of its apps into the Play Store. From there, HTC devices can receive updates more quickly than waiting for over-the-air firmware updates. Apps remain exclusively available on the company's hardware, so this does nothing to open them up to more users.
The latest addition is HTC Service - DLNA. To explain this, get ready for a bunch of acronyms. This app is what enables your phone to work with DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance Server). The background service lets devices connect via DMR (Digital Media Renderer) to play files stored in DMS (Digital Media Server). Read More
A brand new update to YouTube just started rolling out, and it gives users just a little more control over their privacy. The latest version adds a new option called "Pause watch history" so users can prevent new videos from joining their previously watched list. This joins an existing option to pause search history and two commands to clear the history from either list. Now we've got an easy way to keep prying eyes from discovering that we watch cartoons during lunch breaks. Read More
Mizuu is a popular app for managing local media files, particularly movies and television shows. While it isn't a player, it still has attracted many fans for its ability to index and retrieve useful metadata by checking videos against a third-party database and presenting the library in a visually attractive way. In spite of that popularity, its lone developer has announced via a blog post that he will be removing Mizuu from the Play Store and ceasing support and updates for the app. Read More
At long last, Nintendo is loosening the reins on its intellectual property and developing games for devices that don't bear the company brand. Yesterday in the yearly financial results briefing, the video game giant outlined plans for bringing five games to mobile platforms by March of 2017, with the first title available by the end of this year.
This is great news for fans of Nintendo's many storied game franchises, and the news gets even better. Read More
Google's search engine first attracted users because it was a fast and useful way to find the information. The faster you send users away, the faster they come back, the thinking went. These days Google has no shortage of services to keep us from ever leaving its servers. But some new features keep that original vibe of Google-y awesomeness. This latest addition to Search is one such feature.
Now when you search for a local restaurant, Google will show the option to place an order. Read More
Last Wednesday Google updated Play Music to version 5.9. We tore into it as we are wont to do, but we found nothing in the way of user-facing changes (though we did see code that hints at a future way to handle when two or more devices try to use the same Chromecast at once). Google has pushed out two other 5.9 updates since then, and now we have a changelog. Read More