Kodi, formerly XBMC, has been available on Android in its revamped form since early April. But if you wanted to get your hands on it, you had to join either the alpha or beta groups on Google+, then register on the Play Store as a tester. Not so today: it looks like the developers have opened up the beta Play Store listing for one and all, and you can download it directly to your phone, tablet, or Android TV set-top box. Read More
Remember back when the CyanogenMod team discovered the code for heads up notifications hidden deep in Android KitKat, and everyone wanted to play with them? Now that it's been standardized in Lollipop, apparently at least some people aren't so keen on them. We've featured HeadsOff before in our app roundup: it's a neat little app that disables heads up notifications in Android 5.0 or later, and does it even without root permissions. Read More
SoundCloud version 15.06.09 is now rolling out to devices, but its visual changes aren't immediately apparent. Here's where you need to look. When you go to record audio, you're in for a much whiter experience. And no, I'm not talking about anyone's lyrics.
Left: Old, Right: New
Rather than changing everything all at once, SoundCloud has introduced material elements bit by bit. The most pressing ones came at the beginning of this year, but the recording interface went untouched. Read More
You may remember Google nearly bought the game streaming service Twitch a while back, but then Amazon swooped in and snatched it up when the Google deal fell through. Now Google is announcing a new service that competes directly with Twitch, and it's called (predictably) YouTube Gaming. While it uses the YouTube brand, this will be a standalone service with its own website and app when it launches this summer.
Giving away free apps is sort of Amazon's thing. Each day the company offers up a different piece of software in hopes of attracting Android users away from their default app store. Now Google seems to be dipping its toes in the water and trying out something similar. Instead of a free app of the day, we can download one for the week.
The offer isn't immediately apparent when you first open the Play Store. A banner advertising "New Family Fun" appears at the bottom of the screen. Clicking that will take you over to the family section, where you should see another banner advertising a free app of the week from PBS Kids. Read More
If you've got a big media library to manage and you want to get it on multiple screens, Plex is one of the best ways to do it. The Android app has been updating at a breakneck pace recently, and today there's yet another version bump. It comes with various layout improvements and some tweaks to Android TV functionality.
Twitter made its name on the basis of brevity. You have 140 characters to get your point across, and that's it. This limit has also been in place for direct messages this whole time, but that changes in July. Twitter has posted an overview of the new DM API features so developers can get ready for longer messages. Read More
Hangouts may not be as ubiquitous as Skype, but as Google sells more devices, people are increasingly turning to the company's built-in method of video chatting. Today the search giant announced an addition to the desktop Hangouts experience that we Android users may encounter as we hop from our phones to our laptops. Now when users share their screens, others can view it in fullscreen.
Google says the video will use as much visible area as possible. Attendee thumbnails will overlay the content at the bottom of the screen, and a new button will appear on the control bar that allows viewers to hide these images and focus entirely on the presentation. Read More