The digital magazine known far and wide as Flipboard has just pushed an update on its official Google Play Beta channel, and it's a big one. The Cover Stories UI is getting a makeover, and the way you access and find content is getting crammed in some drawers somewhere.
Today's phones are big. They're practically trying to be HDTVs, which makes it hard to get them into your pants, and even harder to get them out. So Sony is releasing a teeny tiny phone for your phone that can answer calls with a microphone and a speaker. Insert Xzibit joke here. The BRH10 was shown off at Mobile World Congress back in February, and it's on pre-order at a few places, but you can't buy it yet.
Google knows when you've been looking up a particular device or product through its search engine, because that's targeted advertising gold. Now there's a new card in Google Now that helps you turn fantasy into reality by telling you where you can get that thing you've been searching for in real life.
The number of weeks between us and this year's World Cup are wilting away, which makes now the time to get prepared. Snag some tickets to Brazil if you can, or, more practically, go snatch up the new Android App ESPN has just released for keeping tags on all of the goings-on. This way you don't even have to watch the games to know who's kicking whose butts, and how hard.
Bookmarks - we all use them. Sometimes. Maybe. Maybe not since like 2011 in my case (I really, really don't like bookmarks). But bookmarks have remained a relatively unchanged experience on desktop browsers even since the Netscape days - you CTRL+D, the page goes into a list, maybe that list has folders, and that's that.
This stale experience has helped give rise to read-it-later apps, content aggregators, and even social networks (Pinterest, for example).
Taking swipe payments with a mobile device is really handy, but if your connection drops out, it can quickly become a disaster. You probably won't get a lot of sales jotting down card numbers on a scrap of paper, but Square has a solution. The new version of Square Register for Android adds offline mode so you can still swipe cards without a connection.
XBMC started life as a hack for the original Xbox game console, but it has since evolved into a much-beloved open source home theater system on a number of platforms. After months of release candidates and betas, XBMC 13.0 (codename Gotham) is ready to download on Android (and other stuff).
The new version brings a number of improvements, only some of which pertain directly to Android. The most relevant to our interests is the inclusion of hardware media decoding on ARM and x86 Android devices.
Google is sneaking one more update in this week, and it's an odd one. After pushing out the new Docs and Sheets apps, Google is now updating the main Drive app and actually removing some functionality. You will now be prompted to install Docs or Sheets if you want to edit, but it's not as bad as it sounds at first.