What timing. Just over a week ago I transitioned my HTC One over from Sense 5 to CyanogenMod, accepting the fact that I was sacrificing IR functionality in the process (and yes, that was something I used somewhat regularly). Now an update for Smart IR Remote has landed that adds IR functionality back to HTC Ones and Samsung Galaxy devices with custom ROMs installed, even if the ROM lacks IR drivers.
Last month YouTube announced that they were going to introduce an offline viewing option to their mobile apps sometime in November. They've since rolled out details about how it's going to work. If you add videos to your device and then disconnect it from the Internet, you will be able to watch the content for up to 48 hours. After those two days have passed, you will have to reconnect in order to watch the videos again, but the 48 hour window will refresh, and the content will remain on your device.
One strength of iOS is that everything works seamlessly together. If you have iTunes installed on your computer, it doesn't take much effort to get music over to your iPhone. With Play Music, Google has taken a different approach for Android users looking at an out of the box experience, and if you don't have the internet connection to rely on the cloud for music listening, it's less than ideal. doubleTwist takes the iTunes approach, and with the reinvented doubleTwist Sync app that's now available for Windows, it looks more promising than ever.
Mercury Browser has been one of the top alternatives to Apple's Safari browser on iOS for a while, and now the developers have finally ported it to Android. It might not be sewn into the fabric of your Google account like Chrome is, but Mercury Browser has a slick interface and plenty of advanced features.
Google left many of us scratching our heads when they relaunched Quickoffice last month as a free app, one that probably should have shipped as a Google Drive update instead. Nonetheless, a new version has rolled out that nudges things in the right direction. Now opening a Google document inside Quickoffice will launch the file using the Google Drive app. Previously the document was merely displayed as a PDF instead.
Flashier Twitter apps have come and gone, but I'm still pretty enamored with Plume. One reason is that the developer (LevelUp, of Beautiful Widgets fame) is constantly rolling out new features, and today's update adds a doozie: push notifications. You should get notifications for new tweets, replies, mentions, and messages more or less instantly, and the widget and main feed can now use a "Live Stream" mode.
The service experimented with push background notifications before, but the developer wasn't satisfied with the battery-hungry feature.
This is what I like to see in an Android monetization model: options. The BitTorrent company released a full-function version of µTorrent (AKA uTorrent or MicroTorrent) a little more than a year ago. The beta app was free, but now there's a paid version that drops the beta tag in favor of a "Pro" label. The new app is $2.99 and includes all of the improvements made to the original app, with a little extra.
Comcast provides an Android app for people with active cable subscriptions, but it's a supplementary product, and sometimes it really feels like one. Today I'm reporting on the arrival of a feature that you could reasonably have assumed was included from the beginning. The latest version of the Xfinity TV Player adds HD support for devices with resolutions high enough to handle it, and if you've bought a smartphone or tablet in the last two years, there's a good chance yours is one of them.