The weekend is nearly upon us, and you're probably looking to cut loose. You know, live a little. Well, downloading some apps and games is a kind of living. If that's all you really want out of life, we've got everything you need right here. If your hopes and dreams are more extensive, we still have a small sliver of what you need.
Earlier this week Ookla teased their revised and updated Speedtest.net app for Android, and now it's live in the Play Store for anyone to download. The go-to network test for end users and reviewers alike has been completely redesigned, with a new interface, new options, and the ability to remove the advertising with a $.99 in-app purchase. That's a nice perk for frequent users.
The old interface wasn't exactly awful, but it had been going for several years without any sort of refresh.
Google Play Movies & TV received an update to version 2.7.15 today (or yesterday, but I haven't seen anyone with an APK until today), and while the changelog is still missing, we have noticed a number of new things.
The previous version was v2.6.9, so these line up with a point release - nothing too significant, but still more than just bug fixes.
Update: I just realized that the changelog, which Google updated on September 18th, is actually current - they just never released the update until now.
There is no shortage of streaming music services that want to pipe tunes into your ears, but Slacker Radio just made its offering much more attractive for Android users. The app has a brand new clean interface and the option to instantly build a station based on what you happen to be up to.
The app has done away with the strange combination of Metro-style tiles and old fashioned Android tabs that it was rocking before.
Smart IR Remote has been missing from the Play Store for over a month, but now it's back, and it comes with greatly needed changes. For starters, you no longer have to purchase a separate version of the app to use it on both the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, a deal that's bigger than you would expect considering that we're talking about two $10 purchases. And since the app is currently available for 50% off, you can get support for both smartphones for just $4.99.
The previous apps from Vision Objects have been a little magical – they had better handwriting recognition than a lot of expensive desktop software suites. MyScript Stylus brings that handwriting recognition to all apps by replacing the keyboard on your phone or tablet.
MyScript Stylus gives you a small writing space where the keyboard usually is. Whatever you scribble in there will be turned into text and dropped into any field on the device in real time.
We've got one last Google update to discuss this evening – YouTube. Bumping up to version 5.1.1, YouTube didn't get an official change log, but there are a few things worth discussing briefly (before Artem does his teardown magic, anyway).
First up, YouTube has a new permission for receiving data from the internet, which it uses to give you new video notifications.
Somewhere amid the rest of Google's appupdates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.
First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.
Yesterday, TuneIn Radio Pro, one of my favorite radio apps, was updated to version 9.0 and brought a bunch of sports-related improvements. However, a pretty significant bug made its way into the app as well - pausing and rewinding live streams, which are two of the most important features of Pro, no longer worked.
Reviewers started making a stink, a bunch of users on Reddit got sad, and TuneIn soon realized what they'd done.
An Android app for Google Shopping Express has landed in the Play Store, and while it's available for anyone to download, it still only works in the San Francisco Bay area. I know, that blows, but if you live in the region and take part in Google's trial same-day shopping program, this new app gives you a quicker means to make purchases when your computer isn't within reach. Google has also extended access out to San Jose, so if you're a newly eligible resident who hasn't already signed up for the service, now may be a good time to do so.