There's a new version of YouTube out, and as usual, hidden inside its chocolaty center are hints at upcoming features and capabilities. We've seen information about a lot of this stuff before, some of which has even been confirmed by Google itself. Aside from the user interface changes we mentioned in the announcement post, there are framework elements for the upcoming YouTube subscription service, "Uninterrupted Playback," an offline video mode, and background music listening.
A few months ago we told you about a nifty music streaming app called SoundSeeder, which lets you stream audio directly from one Android device to another over WiFi. At the time I mentioned that it was a cool idea, but the fact that it didn't allow users to stream Google Music songs over the connection was a bit of a let down. Developer JekApps took my complaint under advisement, and let us know that there's a new version that enables Google Play Music streaming after all.
For a lot of users, Titanium Backup is one of the first Android apps they install on a new device or ROM. So it's no surprise that a few of them were dismayed when they tried to do so on the Nexus 5 (or one of a growing number of updated Android 4.4 devices) with the fancy new Android Runtime enabled, and found that Titanium would crash. The developer has updated the app to 188.8.131.52 in short order, and it should now run in both ART and Dalvik.
Google has been building up to something big with YouTube, as indicated by our recent APK teardowns. It looks like yet another version of the YouTube app is rolling out to devices all over the world, and we've got the file for you to check out. It's not a huge update at first glance, but maybe there's something beneath the surface.
The first really obvious visual change is a slight reorganization of the slide-out navigation menu.
If you're a regular user of the iHeartRadio service, there's a big update waiting for you in the Play Store. The most useful addition in the new version of the Android app is undoubtedly the expanded control options: you can now pause, play, or advance your streaming music on the lockscreen or the new notification. The notification is even expandable - are you watching this, Pandora?
The user interface gets a fancy new slide-out menu, accessible from the main player and home screens.
As a tech addict who lives in a remote area, Amazon Prime is a godsend for me: getting stuff delivered to my door quickly when it would otherwise necessitate a three hour round trip is well worth the nominal fee. Amazon hopes you'll agree, and to that end they've now included the ability to sign up for an Amazon Prime free trial right in the official Amazon app.
If you qualify for Prime (and just about everybody does), you can sign up for a 30-day trial within the app itself.
Third-party music players are a little less important ever since Google cleaned up Play Music, but there's still something to be said for the venerable old doubleTwist. This app has gone through several UI iterations and adjusted its feature set to better serve Android users as time went on. With the newest update, the app improves support for tablets with a UI overhaul, among other improvements.
The Chromecast is only $35, but CheapCast is as cheap as it gets – free. Just install it on your Android device and it shows up on your network like a Chromecast. This is handy in a number of situations, but the app has been lacking some features since it launched. The new version that just showed up in Google Play should address some of that.
If you have a lot of events and/or deadlines to keep up with, then Google Calendar is a good way to know what's coming up and know where you stand in terms of time. One of the biggest benefits of Android (in my opinion, anyway) is widgets, so a Google Calendar widget is a quick and easy to see your schedule at a glace. The thing is, the stock Calendar widget is pretty...