Today, Google finallyopened the Chromecast up to developers in a meaningful way, releasing the Google Cast SDK and integrating the relevant Android API into Google Play Services, the ever-growing backbone of Google's Android-based offerings. The update has already begun its rollout. Of course, that means we're going to look inside and see what's new, and we've also got a download for those who just can't wait for Play Services 4.2 to hit their device.
The Play Store doesn't make it easy to figure out what content you've paid for thanks to all the free apps gumming up the works. You don't have to dig through all that anymore now that My Paid Apps is a thing. It shows you all the stuff in Google Play you've spent money on and even breaks things down into categories.
The most difficult thing about watching video is figuring out what to actually watch. This was challenging back in the days of black and white television, and it only became more frustrating as the numbers of channels and media formats increased. Now we live in a world of high-speed internet, and interesting content can reside tucked away on any website anywhere in the world. StumbleUpon is offering a solution to this problem with its latest app, 5by, which dishes out videos from all over the web that are selected based on what you're into and what you're in the mood for.
OmniROM is getting a lot of attention from serial ROM flashers, and that lot tends to be pretty flighty – there must be something to this one. Now, the developers have added a new feature that might pique your interest. The latest nightlies of OmniROM include a new app switcher called OmniSwitch. Alternative app switchers are not an entirely new idea, but OmniSwitch looks to have a number of interesting features.
There are a number of big names when it comes to home screen replacements, and Apex is very near the top of the list. This app adds a ton of options to the AOSP launcher and it has just gotten an update to v2.3. It includes plenty of fixes, but also some new features.
Lockscreen feeling a little boring? Why not toss the whole thing out and try something different? Many third-party lockscreens are a bit awkward and lack features, but SlideLock seems like it does some cool stuff. SlideLock stands in for your stock lockscreen and replicates the notifications from the notification shade so you can deal with them without unlocking the phone.
SlideLock has a clean interface with a clock, date, and custom (optional) status bar.
Privacy and technology maintain a tenuous relationship, and the balance between convenient features and personal security is always one worth keeping in mind as users make the most of their devices' capabilities. To that end, Chainfire has released a new proof of concept app that aims to give users at least some peace of mind when it comes to the - for lack of a better term - trackability of their devices, specifically related to Wi-Fi.
Sony is continuing to mimic Motorola by adding its apps and services to Google Play. This time it's the new Xperia Transfer Mobile app, which seems a lot like Motorola Migrate. Who knows... maybe Sony is going to sell itself to Lenovo any day now.
Popular file and notification-sharing app Pushbullet has already supported transparent status bars on KitKat devices, but with the latest update, it now has a transparent navigation bar as well. It doesn't make using the service any different, but it sure is pretty.