It's common for companies to eliminate redundancy when an acquisition takes place. So it should come as no surprise that Apple is reportedly in the process of shutting down Beats Music, the streaming service it picked up when it bought the company for $2.6 billion earlier this year. The timeline isn't clear, but the wheels are allegedly already in motion.
The makers of Digitally Imported Radio (DI.FM) have hit the Play Store with another streaming app, and this time they're out to give fans of Latin, Hispanic, and Caribbean music reason to bob their heads, sway their hips, and tap their toes. The app, Fresca Radio, provides 40 stations filled with curated tracks. There's a Cuban Lounge station, one for Latin Metal, and another option dedicated entirely to Reggae.
Music streaming apps aren't such a rarity that they get a shoutout merely for existing.
When Sony announced that the PlayStation 4's Remote Play feature would be available to Android phones and tablets in November, gamers got excited... right up to the point where they found out that the feature would be exclusive to the new Xperia Z3 line. While the Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact look like fine machines, that isn't much consolation if you can't afford them or can't even find them in your country.
Most cloud storage apps have a few things in common these days. One: free online storage measured by the gigabyte. Two: an Android app. Three: a feature that automatically uploads new photos taken on your phone or tablet to the service. Microsoft really wants you to take advantage of that last one, and to encourage users to do so, they're giving them even more of the first one.
According to this blog post, Microsoft is doubling its already generous 15GB storage allowance for free users if they enable the "camera roll" (automatic photo upload) feature.
Google has officially made it possible to run Android apps on Chrome OS devices, though the current implementation of this feature is a little underwhelming. First of all, it's limited to only a handful of apps, and second of all, it requires a Chrome OS laptop or desktop, and can't be run in more widely-used operating systems. Now an ambitious developer has managed to overcome both of those limitations, enabling (in theory) any Android app to run anywhere that Chrome does.
Update 9/19/14: The bill reminders feature of Google Now seems to have been in a pretty limited rollout since May when this article was originally published - nobody on the Android Police team has seen one personally. But starting earlier this month, many of us have started seeing them all of a sudden, which seems to indicate a much wider availability. Perhaps Google took the time to iron out all the kinks before expanding bill reminders to everyone.
There still isn't an official API for custom Android Wear watch faces, but there are plenty of them in the Play Store anyway. If none of those strike your fancy, perhaps because they don't account for the taller peek cards, Facer could be just what you want. This app lets you build and edit watch faces and sync them over to the watch in a snap. There's also a fast-growing community of users posting some really awesome designs.
Instapaper was one of the earliest article saving services geared toward mobile devices. However, it took quite a while to come to Android. While Pocket is arguably the king on Android, Instapaper might be a more attractive option now that it's a free app. There's still a subscription that adds features, though.
The Pebble team is continuing to pump life into their monochromatic smartwatch, and it's now rolling out an update that toggles on a few new features. Version 2.5 of the Pebble firmware brings support for emoji, enables compass functionality, and introduces iOS 8 compatibility (one of the items on this change log impacts us less than the others). Just like the previous updates, you get the goods by firing up the Android app and making sure it's paired with your watch.
There is no shortage of calendar apps for Android, each of which is looking for a way to set itself apart from the crowd. Lately I've settled in with Sunrise Calendar as my go-to, as it's just easy to use and provides all the features I want in a calendar. And it just got a little bit better.
As of version 1.3, it now syncs immediately with Google Calendar. When changes are made in any of the apps, on the web, or in the Chrome app, then it happens across all devices in real-time.