Users of newer versions of Windows or just about any Microsoft web service might be familiar with the company's rudimentary two-factor authentication system. If it's been a while since you've logged in or you're setting up a new Windows device, it might ask you for a verification code, accessible from a backup email account. Of course that can be a pain if you don't remember the password for that account, or simply don't want to dig it out.
Last week Google released a sizeable update to Google Wallet that finally let you carry loyalty cards in digital form. Now Amazon has released its own version of... pretty much the same thing, minus all the other stuff that Google Wallet does. Amazon Wallet is currently in beta on both the Google Play Store and Amazon's own Appstore in a rare simultaneous release. Compatibility seems to be limited to phones at the moment, and since it's labeled as "for Fire Phone" on this promo page, it may be pre-loaded on that device.
Wacom's Bamboo Paper app has been a big hit on the iPad, and now it's out on Android tablets. This follows the release of the slimmed down Bamboo Paper Memo app for phones late last year. To drum up some support, Wacom is including all the premium features for a limited time.
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.
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.