A recent post from @Upleaks claimed that ads were coming to HTC BlinkFeed, but the company had nothing to say at the time. Today it's official—BlinkFeed will have native ads as part of a pilot program in the US, UK, Germany, Taiwan, and China. If you're bummed about that, it's not the end of the world. You will be able to opt out.
Vessel has a beta Android app now. You're probably wondering what Vessel is, though. Imagine YouTube with less content, but the content shows up a few days early. Oh, and you have to pay for it. Interested? I didn't think so, but the app exists nonetheless.
Last year, Google released an open-source web project called Topeka. The project demoed the power of Polymer and material design on the web, and aimed to give developers some direction on how to execute material design in their own projects.
Your options for moving files on Android devices continue to get better. Earlier today Pushbullet unveiled Portal, an easy QR-based way to exchange files between your phone/tablet and PC using your local wireless network. A few hours later, BitTorrent Sync has released Shoot, a different QR-based way to move things from one mobile device to another.
Shoot is simple. You tap 'send' on your device, have the recipient scan the QR code that appears on your screen, and then watch as the transfer starts. The app works on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, so you should be able to send something to pretty much anyone you know with a smartphone.
The developers that brought us Pushbullet have announced a brand new app. Portal is designed to do one thing and one thing only: move files between your computer and your Android device. While this is possible with Pushbullet, it isn't a strong point and requires sending those files to their servers and back. Portal sends them within your local wireless network, avoiding potentially costly data fees and making possible far faster transfer times.
To be clear, the developers haven't really invented anything here. Sharing files over your local wireless network is as old as, well, wireless networks. The innovation here is making it so simple that you don't have to have a clue how it works.
The latest app from doubleTwist lets you take advantage of all that online storage you're (maybe) sitting on. CloudPlayer does what the name suggests—it plays music from your cloud storage. Just upload your tracks and plug in CloudPlayer.
The app supports Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. You would, of course, be able to simply navigate to the file locations of any song in one of the official clients for these services and play it, but CloudPlayer operates like a traditional music player. You get high-resolution album art, playlists, offline sync, and a 10-band EQ. It's sort of a roll your own Play Music option.
OK, Amazon, I can sympathize with your plight. As both the legal operator of a massive software distribution service and a TV, movie, and music vendor beholden to various rights holders, you might be tempted to remove anything from your app store that even whiffs of piracy or copyright infringement. Hell, I could helpyouspotsomeexamplesifyouwant. But that really doesn't excuse booting legitimate, useful apps off of your store without a second thought, as appears to be the case with Kodi Media Center.
AFTV reports that Amazon removed Kodi, a highly technical open-source media manager (formerly called XBMC), from the Amazon Appstore last week.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Photo Wall FX Live Wallpaper
Today's app roundup is sponsored by the Photo Wall FX live wallpaper by Handy Apps. The idea behind this wallpaper is simple: it uses the local photos on your phone or tablet to make a grid collage, dynamically selecting and cycling photos and sizing them so that there's no space left between them.
Google has unveiled several handy new features for Sheets, their Excel competitor that quite honestly needs all the help it can get. The goodies include enhancements to core functions in addition to collaboration. One of these involves being able to apply sharing permissions to specific parts of the spreadsheet, rather than the entire file.
With the new functionality, I can highlight a cell or set of cells and then right click, tap on "protect cells," and then alter the access rights to them. You may share your document with someone but not necessarily expect them to make major alterations.
Google has all sorts of data points about the world around us, and it turns out the most recent Maps update includes a new use for that data. Maps will now tell you if you're navigating someplace that's going to be closed when you get there.