Smart home technology is great. The Nest Learning Thermostat, Phillips Hue, and Sonos sound systems are wonderful products that make life more convenient, automated, and beautiful. These technologies are great, but many components in a smart home are controlled by applications from a smart phone or tablet. Having to pull your phone out of your pocket and unlock it every time you want to turn off the lights while watching a movie can be a little annoying.
Fortunately, the Logitech Harmony Home Control makes running a smart home a little easier. The remote works great for controlling your media center, but it also can be programmed to control many different home automation devices. Read More
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.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Currency FX - Exchange Rates
This week's roundup is brought to you by Currency FX - Exchange Rates from HandyApps. This currency converter includes everything you could ever need to convert monetary values between different national and regional currencies. Read More
Dropbox doesn't just make syncing and backing up files easier done than said, it serves as a great way to collaborate on projects too. But managing shared folders and permissions isn't as simple as dragging files into a folder and watching them fly off into the sky (that's how the cloud metaphor works, right?). To address this, Dropbox has unveiled a new feature to simplify life for teams.
A new Teams folder lets everyone store files in a single place. The content here is automatically accessible to every member, making it easier to exchange files.
Dropbox has included the option to divide teams into groups, speeding up the process of sharing files with specific people. Read More
If you've been following the Google Now On Tap saga in recent days, you'll be happy to know we've come full circle. A new version of the Google app last week enabled On Tap for the third dev preview, but it stopped working soon after. Now it's back to displaying a cheerful "coming soon" message. Why do you taunt us, Google? Read More
Google Photos may have started as a part of Google+, but since splitting into a standalone product, it has to move quickly to introduce new features and improvements to keep users engaged. The latest update to v1.5 didn't bring any visible changes to the app, but it does include evidence of some interesting changes we can look forward to in upcoming releases. Read More
One of our readers spotted this neat trick in the latest update to the Google Now Launcher (which is part of the primary Google app). A single tap on the app drawer icon will open the app drawer as usual, but a long-press will open it and immediately highlight the app search field. It will also automatically open your default virtual keyboard, quickly and easily allowing you to type and search for apps.
This is especially handy for those users who keep dozens (or hundreds) of apps on their phones. Check out the animation below to see it in action:
The long-press function is only available in the latest versions of the Google App. Read More
After the launch of YouTube Gaming at the end of August, we posted a teardown of the new app that revealed plans to officially support screen recording and live streaming in the future. A recent announcement at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show Keynote (embedded below) confirmed Google's plans to enable Android devices to stream gaming footage to YouTube without the use of any additional software. The latest update to Play Games contains the evidence that Google is moving forward with this, and probably pretty soon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
One way to get accustomed to a service is to try it out. Then, after you've gotten used to things, keep using it for a year. Maybe then you will be better able to determine if you value the product enough to start paying. Read More
Fitness tracker apps are a dime a dozen in the Play Store, but few are as visible as S Health. This app has tens of millions of installs because it comes bundled on all newer Samsung phones, and now it's available to everyone else. The latest update expands support to just about any device.
We started hearing reports the other day that Google had thrown the switch to allow Citi cards to be added in Android Pay, but we were unable to get confirmation. Now the Android Pay site has been updated, and there can be no doubt. Citi is a go.