A week or two after Chromecast hit the streets, we started to see all kinds of unofficial applications for Google's HDMI streamer, many of which came from CyanogenMod Team member and ClockworkMod creator Koushik "Koush" Dutta. Now he's worked around the developer whitelist for Chromecast, allowing his app to be used on any Android device and with any Chromecast. He's calling it AirCast, and it's available for a test download now.
Our readers already know about CyanogenMod, as it's only the most popular Android ROM out there, so I won't waste time with an introduction. Many also already use CyanogenROM Downloader to get their hands on the latest versions, even though it's not an official updater. The app's already awesome, but its author sent out a tease a few days ago implying that it could be even better - that it could automatically update your ROM to the latest version overnight, do a backup beforehand, and install your preferred custom kernel without a single touch.
Do you find you can't get things done? If you are king of the procrastinators, ruling over a realm of incomplete tasks, HabitRPG might be for you. This app is basically a to-do list manager, but it frames everything as a quest in your own personal RPG.
If you finish something successfully, you get experience and gold. Why would you need gold? To get better weapons and armor, obviously.
The Geekbench benchmarking program is a staple on PCs, thanks to quick and varied tests for multiple hardware systems and an impressive database of results. The Geekbench 2 test has been gaining steam on Android as well - we've used it in a few reviews and comparisons. Version 3 has been released as a stand-alone app, but the small list of improvements hardly seems to justify it. It's a good thing that it only costs a dollar.
If you're still in the market for a Google Reader alternative that's simple, clean, and well integrated with Android's UI, take a moment to check out Press. This straightforward, perhaps traditional, RSS reader received an update today that gave the already attractive app a touch-up, a redesigned Settings screen, a handful of new features, and a slew of general bug fixes and improvements.
Press, which already syncs with Feedly, Feed Wrangler, and Feedbin, has gained support for Fever, a service which helps readers pick what feeds to focus on by displaying which stories are "hot." The app has long supported offline reading, but now images are cached offline as well.
The new Play Store is certainly snazzy, but a lot of the functionality of the older site has been missing ever since it got a fresh coat of digital paint. One of the most bemoaned omissions was contextual keyboard shortcuts, especially handy for touch typists whose fingers never leave the keys. (ThinkPad users, I'm looking at you.) Good news, everyone: as of late yesterday, they're back.
On any single app listing, press the left or right arrow keys to navigate between the posted screenshots.
Getting around New York City can be a bit of a chore, but there are a growing number of options out there. Today VeriFone has launched Way2Ride, a mobile app that makes it easier for New Yorkers to hail a cab and pay the fare using just their phone. Yes, it's jumping into an area that Uber has honed over the years and others are seeking to dominate, but there's a chance there are lower rates to be found here.
Layar was one of the first apps to show the potential of augmented reality, and coincidentally, one of the first Android apps that made users stand up and say "Wow!" But four years later the shine has come off of AR, at least for the purposes that the original app served, like mapping and location discovery. So Layar has reinvented itself with a whole new app, look, and website.
Layar's new ad copy says that the company hopes to "help bridge the gap between print and digital." What does that mean, exactly?