The Touchless Control feature on the Moto X and Verizon's 2013 DROIDs (Ultra, Maxx, and Mini) is already one of the coolest Android manufacturer add-ons around. Today it gets just a little cooler: the Touchless Control app was updated to add a "What's up" command. This voice command will make your phone read out the unread notifications in your status bar. This should be great for hands-free updates while driving. Or bathing.
It's been a busy month in the Android app world, particularly if you want useful tools or visual tweaks. There's one big app that we're not featuring in this roundup: the Google Now Launcher, AKA the Google Experience Launcher. We're omitting it from the main list because it's only compatible with Nexus and GPE devices - even the few standard Android devices that have been upgraded to KitKat can't play with it unmodified.
I love Update Wednesdays, and today we've already seen pretty decent updates to several Google apps. As you've already seen, Google Play Games was updated to v1.5, but the one I'm excited about the most is, without a doubt, Google TTS v3.0, which made a jump today from v2.4.
So, what's so cool about TTS 3.0?
First and foremost, Text-to-Speech 3.0 adds support for high quality voices.
Today the Google Play Games app has made the big jump from version 1.1 to 1.5, and there are quite a few new features tucked away inside that may cause you to hit its icon in your app tray a little bit more often. Let's dive in.
The previous version allowed you to join multiplayer games from within the app, but the latest update introduces the ability to view invitations as well.
The official Motorola Migrate app received a notable update today, adding a few new features to Moto's smartphone transfer tool that should ease the pain of getting a new handset.
In particular, the new version allows more granular control over which content you want to transfer to the new handset, instead of just sending everything over wholesale, at least for Android-to-Android migration. You can toggle contacts, messages, photos, videos, music, and call logs as part of the new version's migration process.
Flipboard was already making headlines today after finally adding the option to sign into the Android app with Google+. But it looks like they'll soon have a lot more headlines to choose from, namely the ones that constantly appear on CNN.com. Flipboard announced this morning that the company will be partnering with the venerable TV and web news service, bringing both standard and international news to the platform with featured channels.
There are multiple ways to go after users. One way is to come up with a catchy word (Scroogled), slur a competitor with it (Google), sell some shirts, and hope it sticks. An alternative approach is to introduce functionality that could potentially draw their interest. The latest Bing for Android update does just that. Now Bing supports downloading images found in search results, a feature Google previously introduced into its own search app only to remove it later.
Nickelodeon has released no shortage of apps into the Play Store, but the kid-targeted network's latest offering is more of a one-stop shop. Inside the new Nick app, youngsters can find full episodes available for streaming, bite-sized games to occupy their time with, the ability to vote in polls, and other forms of original content. I grew up watching Nickelodeon, and if your kid is doing the same, this might just pique their interest.
As an Android-specific site, you might say we're a bit biased when it comes to some of the non-essential services built into apps. Seeing an app that allows a universal Facebook sign-in option, but not a Google alternative, really gets on our thungas. Case in point: popular magazine-style news reader Flipboard. Before the latest update, you could only access the service by signing into a new account the old-fashioned way or using Facebook.