Active folks who fire up the latest version of the Fitbit app will see a new section tucked away in the sidebar: Challenges. Contained within is a way to take the fitness-minded company's Android experience and make it more social. Users now have the ability to challenge up to 10 people and compete with them in any of three contests.
Fitbit wearers can compete to see who can complete the most steps in a single day, over the weekend, or throughout an entire work week.
When the Glympse app first came to Android, the idea of instantly sharing your exact location with someone was still novel. The function has lost much of its magic since, but it remains as useful as ever. Now the company is improving the service not by adding more features, but by gutting them out. The new Android-only Glympse Express app strips everything from the main app except for the essentials, the features you actually care about.
The basic version of Autodesk's SketchBook app has been in the Play Store for a long time, but now the professional version has come to Android. Autodesk SketchBook has more advanced tools, a ton of brushes, layer support, and a lot of it can be accessed for free. Of course, the best stuff is behind a paywall, but it's not too expensive.
During its Double Exposure event yesterday, HTC announced that it was bringing Zoe out of beta and expanding it to all Android devices running Android 4.3 or higher. It also intends to bring the service to the iPhone later this fall. The company clearly has large plans for something that began as a camera perk exclusively available on a small number of its devices. Zoe has become a social network, and HTC wants as many people to use it as possible.
Perhaps you've seen Artem's makeshift Google+ polls where you plus a comment to cast your vote. That's all well and good, but it's not very elegant. The newly announced poll support in Google+ will be much better. You might have to wait a few days for it, though.
Recently, we took a look at Ultra Violet, a new Hangouts app for Chrome that - at the time - was still in testing. It promised floating chats similar to Facebook's Chatheads feature, but for your desktop. Today, that app is finally a reality and available for download.
The premise is simple - as the video below demonstrates, a Hangouts bubble floats on the side of your desktop, opened from Google's Chrome app launcher, and subsequent conversations float above that.
The "floating notification" style of app seems to be popular with a small but enthusiastic subset of users. Now those users have at least one more alternative, this time encompassing a wide range of texting and chatting apps. Meet Snowball, designed by a team that's being directly funded by a prospective investment from Google Ventures, among others. The idea behind the app is to create a unified messaging inbox that floats above the rest of Android.
Out of the box, so to speak, Google+ users must manually refresh the site to see new posts. This may not be a problem for the average Joe, but there is no shortage of people who want the latest posts injected straight into their feed with no effort from their part. Some may even want to have a spare tablet that they use to monitor the network 24/7. If you're such a person, you've come to the right place.
Before we start: Square's Order service is still only for eateries in San Francisco and New York City, because those are the only two places where people use smartphones. If you fall paradoxically outside of the service area (like all but one of Android Police's staff), you can stop reading now. For everyone else, check out the sizeable upgrade to Square Order, now rolling out in the Play Store. The app, which allows you to order and pay for food at restaurant tables, gets a fresh new look and some other goodies.
There are no fewer than one zillion ways to share photos. There are social channels like Facebook and Google+, NFC, Email, and more. Xim from Microsoft Research makes it easy to share photos without actually sharing them at all. Just pick the photos you want to share, and invite people to view them on their device. They don't even need to have Xim installed and the files don't go anywhere.