Sometimes a site or service needs a new approach, or a little fresh paint. This would seem to be the case with Minus, formerly a simple cloud storage provider akin to Dropbox. Yesterday the company unveiled a new look and new direction: location-focused, social sharing of photos. It includes local chat features, with the new tagline "make friends near you." The revised app description sounds like a combination of Instagram and Foursquare.
Remember that little diagonal arrow that used to appear next to suggestions in the Google Search box as you typed? The arrows could be used to insert suggestions into the search bar, while you kept typing away. For a while now, though, the arrows have been missing from Google Search. Those that want that feature back are in luck, however – astute Redditor Foxsbiscuits notes that a simple long-press will fling search suggestions into the search bar, providing essentially the same functionality with a slightly more discreet UI.
Popular cross-platform messenger service WhatsApp is a little behind the times. It's part of the depressingly huge collection of Android apps that ape their iOS counterparts, never aspiring to anything higher. That appears to be close to an end, as the latest beta release of the Android client has a new user interface, and it conforms to the Holo guidelines that the rest of your phone (hopefully) uses. Google+ user Jose Luis de la Torre took some shots of the updated interface.
Update: Over the course of the evening, ROM Manager was updated yet again, to version 22.214.171.124 - this time adding support for the TWRP recovery, which is undoubtedly a feature many users have been wanting for some time. Just update ROM Manager in the Play Store and you'll have it.
ROM Manager, one of the most useful and versatile tools available for a consummate ROM-flasher, got an update today, bringing the app up to version 126.96.36.199.
Popular cloud syncing and sharing app SugarSync, which promises to give you "all of your data at your fingertips," got a major update today – its first since July 20th, 2012.
Probably the most obvious change is to the app's interface. In the 4.0 update, SugarSync has been totally redesigned to bring it closer to its desktop and web counterparts, adding – among other things – a new gallery with larger thumbnails, thumbnail support for common video formats, and some holo-esque elements.
Back in December, Media Monkey released a beta of the Android version of the media player app that received a level of success on the desktop. It still packs the same ability to tag and run scripts that the original possessed. Now it's arrived on the Play Store, which should make rolling out bug fixes much easier.
Speaking of bug fixes, the most recent set includes ensuring that playback position will be remembered, improving memory utilization and preventing duplicate tracks.
Around the offices of Android Police, we go through a lot of apps. We're talking hundreds or even thousands every week, to bring you the best in our app and game roundups or (if they're good enough) individual posts. Before every major holiday, we are inundated with more themed applications than we know what to do with. And to be honest, most of them are terrible. But we've found four Valentine's apps that are bearable, even interesting.
If you're a Swype Beta user, the popular finger-dragging keyboard has received a significant update, to version 1.4.5 today. This new release basically just makes things better: smart editor has been improved, the keyboard launches more quickly in web browsers, advanced language models have been been enhanced, and a handful of smaller fixes and tweaks are in tow.
Swype Beta v188.8.131.5237
- Implemented a number of Smart Editor improvements and resolved some compatibility issues
- Improved keyboard launch responsiveness in web browsers
- Advanced Language Models improved for English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Korean
- Improved logic surrounding Language Downloads
- S-Note: Resolved some instances where text would be duplicated
- Plus many more bug fixes and overall enhancements!
Google just pushed an update to its Search app (which, as you know, includes Google Now). Among the new additions are the Google Now widget that we've all been hearing so much about, movie ratings, the ability to pull up movie passes purchased from Fandango, and real estate listings from Zillow when Google thinks you're in the market for a home. Now that's fancy.
Additionally, the update also adds a music button when a song is playing in voice mode, though that feature is currently limited to the U.S.
As if there weren't enough contenders out there for music subscription service, Slacker Radio has updated its business model. You can still get the standard ad-supported radio station features that were always available. However the company has added a Spotify-like buffet option for $10/month. Pony up the dough and you can remove all ads and listen to as many tracks as you want.
The combination is pretty powerful, as one of the biggest complaints over Spotify is its discovery problems.