When the Chromecast launched it had only one non-Google content source from Android devices: Netflix. Now that service's primary opponent, Hulu, also has the ability to "cast" video directly to Google's streaming dongle. Of course, like everything else concerning Hulu, you'll have to shell out $8 a month for access to the Hulu Plus service and corresponding Android app to take advantage of it.
To start using this feature, just press the Chromecast button from any window in the Hulu Plus app.
If you were drooling over a few of the themes in our first look at Themer the other day, some of you now have the opportunity to play around with them on your own phones. The official beta has hit the Play Store, but only approved testers will be given codes to activate the app. Sad, but you can still get on the list for access.
Themer is a one-click method for setting up a home screen theme on your Android device.
You gotta love it when a community of developers congregates around some exciting hardware. That's certainly what's happened with the Pebble smartwatch: it's been getting steadily more capable ever since its release, thanks in no small part to Android and watch app developers. We've seen apps link the Pebble and the popular automaton engine Tasker before, but PebbleTasker (catchy!) does it better than anything else so far.
This go-between app will install a companion app on the Pebble and allow you to assign any three tasks you want to the top, select, and bottom buttons on the right edge of the watch.
It's hard to love Intuit. Their most well-known product, Quicken, is what people use to manage their finances, and budgeting is about as exciting as watching your weight. That said, they've found immense success on Windows because their software was usable and, eventually, became a standard that users could expect banks and other financial services to be compatible with. Unfortunately, their Android app has not garnered the same reputation. Last year's release was plagued by a number of issues, and judging from the screenshots provided, it doesn't look like all that much has changed.
You could probably use a break from all the political back and forth, right? Picking up some new apps and games is always fun, but the cost! With the right sales, even furloughed federal employees can afford to get in on the fun. Yep, we've got those.
Telenav's Scout for Android app already guides users throughout their daily commute, points out nice places to eat, helps them keep up with local events, and pinpoints gas stations with low prices. Now the versatile navigation app is gaining a new ability that makes it much easier to coordinate and travel to events with friends. The app will track multiple users and provide each with a real-time look at where each person is and when to expect them to arrive.
There's been a quiet trend among user interface augmentations as of late: the swipe-out app and menu bar. SwipePad is probably the progenitor (and still my go-to app), and we've featured a handful of interesting alternatives, but Edge: Quick Actions deserves special attention. This little app has managed to outdo Google itself by making the Recents function (the right-most button on the default navigation configuration) obsolete.
How so? Instead of tapping a button and then tapping the app you want to switch to, Edge embeds the last five open apps into a quick-firing mini-launcher that comes across the screen as a ribbon.
Sony knows you like playing pinball, but they also know you tend to reach for the volume rocker after you launch the ball into the first bumper and it sets off a cacophony of sound. They know that all that pinball experience needs to be perfect is background music that overpowers those obnoxious pinball sound effects. So they've brought in hits from rock bands both new and old to provide the soundtrack for Pinball Rocks HD, an experience Sony's pitching as the loudest pinball game ever.
A note from the editors: This is a guest post by Ryan Oldenburg, the original creator of PushBullet.
I've left my job to work full time on PushBullet. Two of my friends are joining me. Now the question is: how much can we build, and how fast?
PushBullet’s going to be the easiest and fastest way to get things on and off your phone and tablet. So far this means pushing yourself files, links, notes, to-do lists, and addresses that instantly show up in your notification tray.
One of the best things about Android is the degree to which the system can be customized. That extreme level of customization has allowed the community to create some pretty stunning themes that can be applied to almost any device. It's easy – all you need is a new home screen, some backgrounds, some icon packs, a few additional widgets, maybe some skin files, some other odds and ends, and lots of patience.