Coming across a genuinely new launcher interface and paradigm on Android is rare. Most third-party clients try to emulate the default Android launcher and add some customizations and improvements here and there. Not to undermine the power of something like Nova Launcher, but there's only so many times you can swipe left and right between homescreens or tap to open and close an app drawer before you wonder what that new launcher you installed does differently. If you seek the novelty of a new welcoming interface each time you unlock your phone, choices are somewhat more limited especially if you want a reliable and simple app, not one that has been built for the sake of difference more than usability. Read More
If there's one place that Google Docs is a market leader, it's where it comes to collaboration. A web app was a natural place to build on the familiar commenting features from Microsoft Word and make them work in real time and without formal software requirements. On the other hand, we don't normally think about spreadsheets in those terms. With the latest updates to Sheets, though, Google is bringing comments to Android and the web.
I know I haven't even thought much about the need for this kind of feature in a spreadsheet app, but in hindsight it makes plenty of sense. Read More
With all of the activity surrounding YouTube Red, including a brand new YouTube Music app, it seems like a good time for a Play Music update. Version 6.1 just landed and aside from a mysterious new "Auto-offline" feature and a bit of cleanup in the Settings screen, it looks like a pretty typical bug fix release. However, the teardown tells a different story. It looks like this version also brings support for the recently announced family plans and Android Wear speaker support. As usual, we've also got a download link at the bottom if you can't wait for the apk to roll out to your account. Read More
Things are heating up for Android Wear lately. Earlier this week, a new version of the Android Wear companion app began rolling out to make preparations for the next OS update. There's now an update to the Google app in the Beta channel which follows up with some interesting changes of its own: a new Wear-specific app that places the Google Now stream into a distinct card on watches. A teardown also shows some interesting new experiments for continuous queries and text-to-speech. There's even a small tweak for the Google Now Launcher.
The Google Now Card
Views of the new Google Now card and the first page to the right. Read More
Google quietly unveiled a new YouTube Music app when it rolled out YouTube Red last month, and we've been waiting ever since to see it become available in the Play Store. Well, today's the day. Google has officially announced its new YouTube app dedicated entirely to music. Read More
You want to become a rock hard slab of skin and muscle. I hear you, and I understand. Here's a pro-tip, you have a great fitness trainer already floating around in your pocket. Look at it. That flat, hard sheet of glass. That chiseled frame. Your phone is in great physical shape, and it knows just what to do to help you get there.
First, download Runtastic Results. This is the latest release from Runtastic, and those guys make good software for people who prefer the thought of training at home rather than going to the nearby gym. In the past we've covered their approach to running (go figure), riding bikes, and getting those six-pack abs. Read More
Android isn't all about fun and games. Sometimes you have to use that phone or tablet (but probably phone) for work. Before that, someone has to develop apps for use in a corporate environment. Google launched Android for Work earlier this year, and it's up to other folks to make the apps.
Well, Google has recently released an app to make that whole ordeal go by more smoothly. It's known simply as Test DPC. Read More
LinkedIn's main app rarely gets significantly updated. It has added a few new features here and there over the past years, but it has looked the same since time immemorial. Very Holo, very grey, very Ice Cream Sandwich. You can finally bid adieu to that old design though, since version 4.0 is ready to coat your smartphone's screen with fresh animations, a cleaner design, more white, better use of space, and some nicer transitions and animations.
LinkedIn's design reshuffled and reorganized the app too. Gone is the side drawer, replaced by a blue bar at the top with icons for each tab. Swipe left and right to switch between your feed, profile, messages, connections, and search. Read More
Offline navigation and search (and a few other things) are now legitimate features in Google Maps, even if most of us can't use them until our individual accounts are blessed by Mountain View. I get it, I'm in the same boat. Even though there are quite a few additions in this update, it seems that a couple of things didn't quite make the cut; but there are bits and pieces that show they're in the works. A teardown shows that we're probably going to see prices for different types of fuel, rather than just regular. Read More