In the Android community, there are a ton of freelancers working together to get stuff done. Whether it's a graphic design artist contributing to apps or websites, video editors helping with game trailers, developers hoping to create the next big thing, or writers churning out content for blogs (yours truly), the mobile space is filled with independent types coming together to accomplish great things. In our space, and in the broader world at large, freelancers need to sign agreements and write up documents that help guarantee payment and assign ownership of work.
Google+ got a somewhat unexpected bump to version 4.6 today, an update that brought with it plenty of Material touches. Since we first reported on Material Design (at the time known as Quantum Paper), we've expected that Google's own apps would be undergoing their own gradual transformations in updates leading up to the launch of Android L. The Google+ app got its first round of material changes earlier this summer, but today's update starts its journey through the last mile.
Most of Google's apps offer ways for us to enhance the quality of our own lives, whether it's through improved communication, managing documents, or just browsing the web through Chrome. One Today, an Android app the company launched over a year ago, turns this around by empowering us to actively help others instead. The core idea here is to donate a dollar a day to a different charity (today's is an adopt an afternoon lesson program through Develop Africa), but there's no reason to stop there.
Update 10/2/14: The initial beta APK (1.0-124) started showing an expiration message and stopped working, but a newer beta APK (1.0-172) has popped up. We've validated its legitimacy, and it indeed no longer shows the expiration message. Download it here (thanks, Branko Kostic!).
Last month Nokia announced that it would release a version of its highly-regarded HERE mapping and navigation app for Android, but only to licensed partners, starting with Samsung.
You probably know Squarespace as a paid what-you-see-is-what-you-get website creator, which is the main focus of the product. But the company has been working on a few mobile apps as of late, and today two of them are available on Android. Well, they were available before, but now you can use them without having to go through the somewhat convoluted Google+ beta community system. Meet Squarespace Blog and Squarespace Note.
One of the earliest uses of mobile apps was to identify music on the go. I remember using Shazam on a flip phone many moons ago. The apps are more robust these days, but you still have to open them in time to catch the song. BASE Music Sensor says it can do better. It sits in the background and listens for music passively without wrecking your battery. Or so the developers claim.
It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since Google rebranded Play Magazines to Newsstand, essentially combining Magazines and Currents into one app. While we've seen updates come and go to Newsstand over the months, today's update marks the biggest one yet: a complete makeover.
According to the Android Blog, Newsstand is now using Material Design, which incorporates "larger images, more contextual headers, and smoother transitions" into the overall feel of the app.
You can now use at least some Android apps as stand-alone Chrome extensions on your laptop or desktop, with a little bit of hacking. The handy Chrome APK Packager made that process much easier... at least until Google booted it off of the Play Store, presumably for a copyright violation. The creator of the tool, who goes by "bpear96" on XDA, said that he would have to change the name in order to keep the app on Google's playground.
Logitech's got a new Android app on the Play Store, and it doesn't have anything to do with Bluetooth mobile accessories. This one's for the gamers: Arx Control is a WiFi system monitor for gaming PCs and a customization extension for Logitech's line of PC gaming accessories. It's a free download, at least if you've got a Logitech G-series device... or you lie and go to the download page for the free Logitech Gaming Software program for Windows.