It's not update Wednesday anymore, but Google can do whatever it wants with its apps. That's how things work. Today Mountain View has started rolling out an update to Google Maps with some stuff to make cyclists very happy. Not to leave everyone else out, there's now conversational voice actions while in navigation.
NBC Universal has launched Sprout Now into the Play Store, giving parents all over the country the option to let their kids stream a full episode of their favorite series and get a couple moments' rest. The app comes with a full program guide, plenty of shows, and enough content to occupy children for up to four, five minutes tops.
Of course, there are caveats. Parents need to have a TV subscription of some kind in order to get access to the shows.
Starbucks is looking to provide customers with the option to order their beverage in-app, saving them the effort of waiting in line to get in and get out with something to drink. Re/code reports that the company will start testing the feature in an undisclosed market later this year.
The concept of placing an order using a mobile app in order to skip the wait later on is not groundbreaking. After all, Chipotle expanded this feature to all of its locations late last year.
There are ways to share your real-time location with people, but doing so typically requires some degree of hassle. People either have to predict how long they want to share their data with someone or manually remember to turn it off later. Google account holders can send a map via Hangouts every couple of minutes and experience some degree of success, but Jink looks like a more elegant solution. The app lets multiple people share their location with a few taps, and the connection will automatically end once everyone meets up.
There once was an app called Flayvr, and it did okay. Then one day, the developers decided it should work differently, so they gave it a new name and design, and it magically became MyRoll. And they all lived happily ever after. The End. Oh, but the app is available in the Play Store, and it does stuff.
Here's the scenario: you're trying to explain something over the phone to your mom, coworker, friend, roommate, or some other person and they just don't get it. This can push even the most docile human being into a fit of frustrated rage, but now there's a solution. It's called Clarisketch, and it's so brilliant I'm not sure why no one thought of it before.
The concept is simple: take a picture, draw on it while recording a voiceover, then share it with the aforementioned bonehead.
So, you still don't have Koush's AllCast? If you happened to snag all those free Amazon Coins from a few weeks ago, you can officially get this incredibly useful casting app for exactly zero moneydollars. If you didn't jump on the free coins bandwagon, however, you'll have to suck it up and pay five moneys for the full version (via IAP). See, it pays to get free Amazon things from time to time, because then you can get more free Amazon things.
Updates are typically exciting, but just like they can add new features, they can also take them away. Version 5.5 of PayPal's Android app tells precisely this type of story. The latest release adds in the ability to link loyalty cards to an account and reduce the strain on wallets everywhere. It also brings in faster logins, though this second change takes place behind the scenes, as the login screen looks just like it did before.
Update Wednesday has gotten off to a slow start, but there's a new Google Wallet version to get things moving. You can now use Wallet to manage your gift cards and request money. As usual, it's US only.
The Chrome developers have released a new version of their browser that may not have a particularly exciting changelog, but it does lead to a better browsing experience. Version 36 should make text on those websites that don't have a mobile alternative render somewhat better. This, combined with non-specified performance improvements and bug fixes, should result in more enjoyable browser use.
Text rendering on a non-mobile website using a previous version of Chrome.