While Android TV doesn't enjoy the wide support that Chromecast gets, and its current app catalog can't hold a candle to competitors that have been in the market for much longer like Roku, it's slowly and surely getting better. The latest major network to offer an official Android TV app is PBS, the United States' government-funded Public Broadcasting Service. The free app is available to download on Android TV units now.
PBS Video uses the same Google Play Store listing as the phone and tablet version of the app, it's just been expanded to Android TV with additional API support. The app allows users free access to streaming some, but not all, of the channel's currently-running shows, plus segmented versions of NewsHour and Austin City Limits and at least some shows from local markets. Read More
Amazon has been slowly but steadily improving its official Music app for years. The latest update, which is christened version 5.0, adds quite a few features. Most notable among them is the ability to download music from your personal library and/or Amazon Prime Music directly to your phone or tablet's MicroSD card, assuming you have one. That should be especially useful for users with budget phones, which tend to rely on expandable storage and ignore the fact that many apps don't access it in the first place.
Android 6.0 has a lot of cool features, most of which are enabled out of the box. You don't have to go turn on doze mode or app backups, but the system UI tuner is another story. You might not even know it's there without being told. Once it's enabled, you can make tweaks to the system UI elements that weren't possible in earlier versions of Android.
Now, an app called Custom Quick Settings is on the scene to take advantage of the UI tuner. Using this app, you can create your own quick settings tiles that open apps, toggle settings, and launch websites. Read More
When you think of the intersection between America Online and email, you probably think of the phrase "you've got mail," septuagenarians forwarding politically-charged but factually lacking messages, and/or Meg Ryan. But AOL Mail is still going strong, and it looks like the company is actually trying to branch out into mobile software. Take Alto Mail, for example: it's a new stand-alone mail client just published in the Play Store alongside more antiquated options like AIM and AOL On. Read More
Amazon really likes to package a bunch of regularly paid apps and give them away for free, seemingly at every opportunity. The latest batch is ostensibly in honor of Halloween, though a lot of the paid apps being offered don't really have any connection with the holiday. We don't mind - anyone who's been keeping up with these promotions has built up quite a little library of freebies by now. You can see the full collection here. Read More
Nope, Apple Music still isn't available on Android (though it's being actively tested). Instead, the second Android app that Cupertino has officially published is in support of the hardware half of its Beats acquisition. It's a companion and pairing app for the Beats Pill+, the latest revision of Beats' portable Bluetooth speaker. That's it. That's all. There isn't any more. Read More
This many decades into the Internet's existence, the publishing industry is still in a state of flux. Do we upload everything to free websites and pump out stories in an endless stream? Do we continue printing articles on paper? Some may scoff at the idea, but this Android Police writer, despite writing for a blog, still enjoys reading things in print.
Google Play Newsstand offers something of a middle ground. You get the layout and style of the print magazine, but you get the instant availability and portability of electronic content. And now you can buy those subscriptions in the South American countries of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. Read More
You could just buy apps and games wherever you want, or you could be more strategic about it and save a few bucks. That might not be a lot of money, but over time it adds up. Maybe one day you'll be able to retire on the savings from all those app purchases. I mean, probably not, but why give up on your dreams? Dreams are what keep us going! Wait, what were we talking about? Oh right, here are some app and game sales. Read More
Updates to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides tend to travel in groups. They're timid that way. Few of them are bold enough to jump out at you directly. But taken together, they're worth a look.
Sheets brings the bulk of the changes. Google's spreadsheet app will now show you more content when you zoom in and out of a spreadsheet. The toolbars will disappear and reappear as needed. And while you're taking a look at things, you can now view filters that were created on the web.
Then once you start tweaking a document, Sheets' paste special option will also let you copy content and paste only associated values, formula, data validation, and other formatting. Read More
The Google app now has its own beta channel, and the first official version dropped last week. Of course there are a number of bug fixes and probably some fine tuning for performance, but no notable features seemed to turn up between the two releases. However, like most other updates, there are new clues about features we've yet to see. This time around, there is evidence of Chrome's Custom Tab feature coming to search results, a new event card for concert tickets, and a pair of new cards for system status toggles.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.