Avast has been busy today. The company has released its new Mobile Backup app in Google Play, and it looks to have an okay feature set (it was previously in beta). The Mobile Security and Antivirus app also got a substantial update. Mobile Backup will grab your contacts, call log, images, videos, SMS, and more, then upload them to the cloud for safe keeping.
Today is a day to be joyful for science-minded Android users. Wolfram Alpha has just released a ton of new science and math calculation apps in Google Play. They run the gamut from basic fractions and pre-algebra all the way up to materials science and astronomy. Wolfram Alpha previously released similar calculus and algebra course assistants.
Google Now is quickly becoming an excellent aggregator for all the information that most users need on a regular basis – be it weather, that day's schedule, tracking shipments, and so much more. Aside from its already-useful functionality, though, Google has been working towards making most actions voice-searchable. For example, you can tell Now to set a reminder, play a particular artist in Music, and more. Today's Search update brings more voice actions to existing functions, making it even easier get quick access to important information:
If there are two words that can quickly get people excited, it's "free money." And we just so happened to have some to give away, thanks to Venmo. Haven't heard of Venmo? Here's the skinny: it's a quick, easy, and efficient way to instantly send money to friends. Kind of like Paypal, but without the Paypal-ness of it all – it's all just very simple and straightforward.
The fees are also extremely reasonable: transferring money from your Venmo balance is free, as are payments funded by U.S.
Last week the NFL released a shiny new version of its official Android app. There were some nice additions, like a much-improved interface and some team tracking features. Oh, and it unceremoniously kicked rooted users to the bench, not even allowing them to check scores. Considering that at least some of them had paid Verizon or a cable provider for access to live streaming video, they were justifiably upset.
It looks like the update to version 8.1.1 has quietly removed the root check, allowing power users to access the app without issue.
In a detailed post to Google+ this morning, Googler Virgil Dobjanschi announced new and enhanced features for the Google+ Android app. They'll be arriving in an update to version 4.1, set to go live today. According to Dobjanschi, the changes are focused on additions and revisions suggested by end users, and looking at the list, we're inclined to believe him.
First of all: no more Google+ Messenger. Ha-lay-freakin-lujah. Since the new Hangouts app has effectively replaced G+ messenger on the web, the mobile version is following suit, meaning you won't ever have to see that extraneous icon in your app drawer again.
It took us a little longer than usual this time, but we're finally back with a short selection of last month's best new apps. It wasn't easy to narrow them down, but those readers who don't have time, spare cash, or patience enough for our longer semi-weekly roundups can't go wrong with the five apps we've chosen. If, by some chance, none of the apps below suit your fancy, we've got plenty of runners up too.
The competition for cloud storage customers is getting fierce, and companies like Box need every edge they can get. To that end, the Box Android app is getting a huge overhaul today, focusing on user interface, local file management, and remote syncing and collaboration. Version 2.2 of the app will be live in the Play Store today, and should be rolling out to existing users over the next few hours.
The general interface gets the most attention, starting with a new and oh-so-trendy navigation drawer.