There are a lot of sales going on today – a suspicious number actually. There's not a holiday I forgot this week? No? Maybe Google is about to have some sort of summer promotion, or a few developers' sale dates might have coincidentally lined up. Whatever is going on, you can reap the benefits and save some cash.
Apparently, segmenting your customized software into easily-updatable Play Store apps is a popular trend. HTC is the latest to get on board, presumably because the person who makes the keyboard work is tired of waiting on the whole Sense team to put an over-the-air firmware update together. HTC published extra language packs back in April, and now Sense users can get timely updates for the keyboard as well.
You know the drill: this will only work on compatible HTC hardware, so don't even try it on other phones or tablets.
English is one of the most prominent languages spoken in India, but that doesn't mean everyone speaks it, nor do all the people that do necessarily prefer to use it. So Google has rolled out Hindi support in both the mobile app and the browser-based version of Maps. Have a look.
Support is available in the latest release of the mobile app for people running Android version 4.3 and above. To take advantage of it, users must select Hindi under the "Language & input" area of phone settings.
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.
The official Chromecast page has not thus far been a good resource for finding apps. It only listed a tiny fraction of the apps with Chromecast support, but now you can use the page to see all the apps. That's a lot of apps, but luckily you have search functionality now too.
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.