Motorola Skip, the NFC clip that lets you bypass your pattern / PIN lockscreen, was announced last week as an accessory exclusive for the Moto X. At the time, the Skip setup page linked to an app on the Play Store that wasn't yet publicly available, but that just changed. The Motorola Skip Setup app is required to get your Skip up and running. To set it up, install the app, turn on NFC on your phone, tap the skip against the back of your Moto X and follow the app's instructions.
The Field Trip app on Android is a fun little diversion. It pops up location-based cards that tell you about interesting things nearby. It could be a landmark, a historical event, or a place to grab a bite. But the app requires you to whip out your phone to see the notification. Field Trip has just been announced for Google Glass, and it looks like the perfect platform for it – this is what augmented reality is supposed to be.
Google announced a big update to Google Keep today, adding a much-needed feature to the nascent note app: time and location-based reminders, powered by Google Now. Nice! You can now select, at the bottom of a note while creating or editing it, to be reminded of that note at a certain time or place. I can already say this is going to get me using Keep a lot more. The reminders can be snoozed or adjusted in the notification bar when they appear, too, which is pretty awesome.
Automatic app updates are a convenient way to stay up-to-date. The problem is, not everyone wants every app to update automatically. Thus, the Play Store has had an option for a while to disable automatic updates for specific applications, which could then be manually updated at the user's discretion.
However, therein laid another problem: the "Update All" option ignored this setting, and, once tapped, updated all apps with new versions available – including those that were set to not auto-update.
After about a month of beta testing and several updates, SwiftKey 4.2 has entered the Play Store for both phones and tablets. Without a doubt, the most significant feature in today's update is cloud sync that synchronizes your personal dictionaries between multiple devices.
Cloud sync uses your Google account for authentication and, in addition to syncing predictions, can also periodically download currently trending phrases as well as data from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and RSS feeds.
You like to learn stuff? That fancy book learnin' don't come cheap though, right? Well, the new Chegg app on Android could make it a little more affordable and simple. Chegg is an established web service that offers tons of real and electronic textbooks, as well as guided solutions. But now it's on your phone.
You can search for any book by subject, title, author, or ISBN. The app is mainly aimed at giving you access to eTextbooks on your mobile device, but some more features for physical books are coming soon.
I'll admit it - I tried to avoid signing into apps using Facebook back when doing so first became a thing. I figured the company already had enough information about me, and I didn't want them getting more. Now I wager that consolidating my information is probably no less safe (or unsafe?) than leaving my contact information scattered across many different servers, each maintained by scattered companies of varying size that may or may not exist this time next year.
There are many powerful to-do list apps out there that can be used to help you remember the milk, but given the sheer number of features they provide, relying on these apps for such a singular purpose could feel like overkill. Even the somewhat barebones Google Keep may come with more weight than someone needs for their weekly shopping runs. If you want an app that just strives to do one thing - in this case, be a shopping list - and do that thing well, then you may want to consider Buy Me a Pie!, the latest popular iOS app that has made its way over to Android.
One of the advantages of using Waze for navigation has long been its real time traffic reporting by way of a committed user base. Now Google's acquisition of the company is bearing fruit as that live-updated data is being piped into Google Maps.
Google Maps can already estimate traffic conditions based on the movement of Android devices, but this new source of data is more exact. It will tell Maps users about accidents, road closures, construction, and other general traffic frustrations.