Just because you have an Android device, that doesn't mean you have to commit to using Google Now. Maybe you don't trust el Goog with that much information. Maybe, for some reason, you rather give that data to Microsoft instead. In such a case, you're welcome to use Cortana as your digital voice assistant.
tinyCam recently made the big leap to version six dot oh, dragging along a new icon and material design. On the functionality front, we saw the introduction of 24/7 background video recording. This allowed users to keep recording long after they've switched their attention to another app.
With version 6.2, the developer has added in an internal web server that lets users record video on one device and remotely access them from another. For someone who already has multiple Android phones and tablets lying around, this is a cheap way to make an NVR.
This may be the primary new feature, but the lengthy changelogs include a few other noteworthy additions.
Floatify has been around for a little over a year now. It's an app that presents an alternate way to display notifications, specifically the Heads Up (AKA Peeking) notifications that were hidden in Android 4.4 and fleshed out in 5.0. The app has been continuously updated even as Lollipop has become public, and now it's a full-fledged alternative to most of Android's built-in notification systems. The latest update is something really special - we kind of wish Google would steal some of developer Jawomo's ideas.
Want to see something new in Chrome for Android? Aside from essentially unlimited websites, of course. If so, and if you're using Android 5.0, 5.1, or the 6.0 preview, then download either the Beta or Dev version of the browser. Then go into the Settings menu and disable "merge tabs and apps." Now, go back to the main browser window, open the hamburger menu, and tap "new tab." Wey-hey, you've got a new interface to check out.
Left: new tab in Chrome. Right: new tab in Chrome Beta/Dev after disabling merged tabs.
The new standard swaps out the frequently-visited website thumbnails you're probably familiar with for icons, which are simply letters with some fancy background formatting.
Back in February, we told you about a new experimental service at Google called Tablescape. The app, which at the time served as a stylized funnel for content tied to Google+, encouraged users to upload "foodographs" (photos of food) with specialized categories like "naughty," "cheesy," and "vegetarian" among others. It would also show featured content and special foodography tips for users.
Just a few months later, though, Tablescape was unceremoniously closed, the experiment ostensibly over. But in the update sent to testers, Google was sure to note the following:
This doesn't mean we're giving up on food photography, you may see the influence of Tablescape in future apps.
If you felt like Google clubbed you over the head with tons of announcements and releases last week, you're not alone. Between giving out the codename for Android M, a new preview release, an Android Wear update, and about a dozen other things, it was a huge week. Toward the end of the onslaught, a fairly innocuous update to Google Maps bumped the version up to 9.13 and it has a couple of useful shortcuts that deserve a look. There's also a new Google app, but it's not in the Play Store, and that deserves a Teardown-style discussion of its own.
As has been its habit over the past couple of years, HTC is slowly uploading its own apps that come preloaded on its devices to the Play Store. This allows the company easier and faster updates and bug fixes to these individual apps, without having to resort to a full software update.
The latest to join the ranks is Motion Launch, which lets you perform a couple of actions before you even turn your display on. These include swiping to unlock or voice dial, double tapping to wake, and launching to some specific apps directly like the home screen, BlinkFeed, or the camera.
HTC Motion Launch appears to be compatible with the One M9 on our huge list of Android Police devices, but do let us know if you can install it on other HTC phones.
It's that time of the year again, when a new Android version spawns an avalanche of third-party app updates from developers rushing to add compatibility and new features to their software. Today we're talking about Talon for Twitter, the beautiful Material designed Twitter client. Its version 3.1 update has been released with Marshmallow compatibility, a new Android Wear app, and a few other useful additions.
First, the app is now compatible with Marshmallow-running devices, so all of you with Preview 3 on your Nexus devices can start using it again, and it also includes M's new app permissions.
Second, the Android Wear component has been revamped. You can now check unread tweets from your wrist, and then retweet, favorite, or reply to them (via voice).
Something interesting is happening on the Play Store this evening. Users are reporting mysterious "Play Daily" and "Dogfood Apps" buttons appearing on the store's home and apps pages, respectively.
The Play Daily button - at the time of writing - leads to an error page (the app gets a 500 error trying to reach https://android.clients.google.com/fdfe/daily), while the "Dogfood Apps" button leads somewhat predictably to a special apps collection called "Google Apps for Googlers." Inside the collection is, well, a bunch of Google apps including apps from Google Samples like Pie Noon and VoltAir. Worth noting is that the Play Store is not dispensing actual dogfood apps from this collection, just the normal variants that are always exposed to the public.