It's not hard to keep track of the news on your smartphone, as seemingly every major news organization (in the US at least) has released their own app. People who don't like the idea of bouncing back and forth between apps can use a dedicated RSS reader or any number of curated news offerings ranging from Flipboard to Google's own Currents. But there's one issue that none of these apps address - they deliver full-length articles to people who may not want or have time to read such lengthy content on their phones.
Patience is a virtue, and in this case a virtue that can save you money. You could run out and buy apps and games as the mood strikes you, but then the sales would do you no good. Best to bide your time, then pounce when the moment is right. Like now! Gogogo.
YouTube is awesome, but it's anti-social. You create a video in isolation, upload it to your personal channel, and wait for the inevitable flood of ego-shattering comments. If someone does happen to like your work, they will copy the link and share it on Facebook, Google+, or any other social network where good words are occasionally tolerated, and you may never hear their feedback. MixBit is a more social experience, one where friends can work on videos together from the comfort of their mobile devices.
Snapchat allows users to send and receive media that disappears after a recipient has opened it, laughed, and - if it's really good - taken a screenshot. It's a nice way to communicate and share content without having to deal with storing and organizing everything that you upload, but sometimes you may want to share a photo with all of your friends at once. Snapchat is rolling out a new feature that lets you share such content for up to 24 hours in a timeline that everyone can see.
Even if you're not paying for Rdio's streaming music service, you can now get your groove on with the mobile app. In an effort to attract more users from Spotify and Pandora, Rdio has made its personalized radio streaming service free in the app. The new feature goes live later today with an app update in Google Play.
Rdio has 10 different station types, including those based on artists, genres, songs, and the hyper-personal "You FM." There's no offline caching, and you can't queue up specific songs, but Rdio does have over 20 million tracks to pull into the radio stations.
I've tried more that a few remote access apps on both Android and Windows, and TeamViewer is right up there with the best of them (especially if you work with people who can't get a handle on VLC). Today's Android app update adds some much-needed features to the mobile access app, most notably the ability to silence sound from the remote machine without turning the sound off on your Android device.
Root Explorer is a solid file manager, but - surprise, surprise - it's even better for people who have rooted their phones. Back when Android 4.3 first arrived, many root enabled file managers suddenly had broken root support, but not Root Explorer. And since the functionality is already so solid, the latest update introduces a new feature some of us would consider superfluous. If you like Root Explorer, now you can make it prettier, look more integrated, or be as obnoxious as your eyes can handle without permanently rolling over backwards and staring into the darkness between your ears.
Yahoo seems to be taking a page out of the NFL's playbook: the official Android app just jumped from version 1.1.4 all the way to 3.2. (It's probably been changed to match the iOS version.) But at least there's plenty of new content to justify the jump. In addition to a new Holo-style user interface sporting the revamped Yahoo logo (which still clings annoyingly to that vestigial "!"), the app has a ton of new options for content consumption.
When the Chromecast launched it had only one non-Google content source from Android devices: Netflix. Now that service's primary opponent, Hulu, also has the ability to "cast" video directly to Google's streaming dongle. Of course, like everything else concerning Hulu, you'll have to shell out $8 a month for access to the Hulu Plus service and corresponding Android app to take advantage of it.
To start using this feature, just press the Chromecast button from any window in the Hulu Plus app.
If you were drooling over a few of the themes in our first look at Themer the other day, some of you now have the opportunity to play around with them on your own phones. The official beta has hit the Play Store, but only approved testers will be given codes to activate the app. Sad, but you can still get on the list for access.
Themer is a one-click method for setting up a home screen theme on your Android device.