AirDroid offers one of the more Android-themed ways to get files from your computer to your smartphone or tablet. It's green, there's a bugdroid in the logo, and, well—this isn't the point. Besides, file sharing is just scratching the surface. AirDroid lets you control your device remotely, accessing texts and turning on the camera. Now the developers have rolled out a number of intriguing features in the latest updates to its Windows and Mac desktop clients.
On the Windows side of things, there's a new desktop widget. It lets you access much of the functionality the main client offers without having to load up the full window.
Back in October of 2014, a new beta app called Snowball was released. Back then it was a chat head-style multi-messaging client of sorts, which was useful enough in its own right. Snowball 2.0 is out now, and the app has apparently gotten a full overhaul - it's essentially a completely different thing now. Instead of being a messaging client, Snowball is now a full-featured (and damn good-looking) notification center. Check it out:
If I said this didn't look pretty useful, I'd be lying. Don't get me wrong - Android's notification panel has come a long way and is already pretty great, but there's always room for improvement, right?
Hangouts does some things well, but letting you know when someone new is trying to contact you is not one of them. Google is rolling out several new invitation options to Hangouts that will make things much clearer. What's more, it looks like they're already live in the Android app.
The Android Chrome beta channel got v44 in early June, and now it's time for that version to filter down to the stable app. You should get the new version in the coming days via the Play Store, but we've also got the app on APK Mirror for the more impatient among you.
The media playback situation on Android Auto is not great, but it's a little better today now that Audiobooks.com works in the car. This is somehow the first audio book source with proper support for Google's car platform. Hey Audible, maybe you want to get on that too? Thanks.
Pocket lets you take whatever website you don't have time for right this moment and saves it somewhere for you to get back to later. It then reformats this content to make the text easier to read. That's what it does, and for the most part, that's all it needs to do.
But maybe this alone isn't hitting your buttons. You want more features, and you want them now. Well, just for you, Pocket has rolled out a beta channel. This will let you get access to upcoming functionality before it comes to everyone else.
Right now Pocket is working on a way to recommend high-quality stories and videos, not just those that are popular and new.
Okay, TV viewers. If you like watching overly muscle-y men and women wear skimpy clothing and ridiculous outfits while they fondle each other angrily, listen up. The WWE Network app is now out for Android TV.
This Android app lets you view all of the programming you would expect from the network. This means live feeds and on-demand content, including the substantial archive of angry flesh-on-flesh action from decades of WWE, ECW, and WCW. You also get access to all pay-per-views as they happen. Then there's the behind the scenes footage that fleshes out just who these deep, complex actors really are—or kind of are.
Streaming movies from Google Play is rather nice. I sort of scoffed at the feature at first, wondering why I'd want to spend that much money to rent a movie when I could wait and buy a physical copy later. But hey, $3 to $5 really isn't that much compared to watching a film in theaters, and it lets you see a movie much sooner than waiting for the DVD version to drop in price.
The thing is, Play Movies isn't available all over the world.
Here's an idea. Let's take that video chatting thing that people do all the time using Skype, Hangouts, or FaceTime, and remove the sound. Huh, Yahoo is already doing that?
Yup, and the service is called Livetext. Yahoo has been testing it in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Ireland. Now the tech company is bringing its intriguing communications platform to five additional countries. There's Canada and the US in North America. France, Germany, and the rest of the UK have joined Ireland in Europe.
In Yahoo's video of Livetext in action, you can see how each sentence you type appears at the bottom of a video feed of whomever you're chatting with.
Music creation apps on Android have lagged far behind iOS, but things are slowly catching up with improved latency in newer versions of Android. A music creation app just hit the Play Store that music aficionados might want to check out. It's called Stagelight (no, not Stagefright—bad timing) and you can try it for free.