You've got to respect the American Red Cross: they're just a bunch of people who love to help people. As a recipient of their assistance through multiple emergencies (hey forest fires, you suck) I've been delighted to see their various disaster apps pop up on the Play Store. But their latest tops them all: Team Read Cross gives you a ton of information on volunteer opportunities in your area, then "gamifies" the act of completing them, sort of like a Foursquare that actually encourages you to do meaningful stuff.
The Google Analytics app for Android doesn't get a lot of love, despite the fact that the service itself is incredibly popular. Yesterday version 2.0 began rolling out, and it's improved in just about every way. It's another staged rollout - you might not be able to see the new version on the Play Store just yet - but a goodie bag of new and improved features should make nearly all users happy once they get it.
Get this, Microsoft has drastically redesigned MSN for Android, introducing a new app to replace the outdated MSN World. I know, that's trippy. Apparently MSN is still a thing. This new release leaves the interface looking somewhat spiffy, as it now shows off tiles that would look at home on a Windows Phone device, yet still looks good mixed with Android's versatile Holo interface. That said, the bottom black toolbar might look crowded on devices with a virtual toolbar, and it gives me the impression that Microsoft figured it could update its Android app with the interface it threw together for the upcoming iOS 7.
Widgets are an indispensible part of Android for many users, including yours truly. It's just too bad that they're so ugly - who wants to use a 1080p screen for looking at Twitter feeds or checking emails when you could stare at some fantastic wallpaper instead? All joking aside, Popup Widget is a pretty fantastic solution for those who prefer their homescreens without clutter.
It's a simple idea: instead of having a big, space-consuming widget sit there all the time, hide it in a shortcut.
Guys, we have good news for those who know how to read: Google Play Books is now available in a slew of new regions.
- Czech Republic
- Update: we've confirmed Sweden too (thanks, Andre!)
So, what does this mean? It means that residents of the aforementioned countries can now purchase and read Play Books from the Play Store. That brings the total number of countries where Books is available to 26 – more than any other Play service (Movies, Music, etc.).