Would you look at that: the country's two biggest cellular carriers released an update to their respective Android customer apps on the same day. Between the two of them, Verizon's app definitely gets the more interesting additions: My Verizon now lets you pay your bill by scanning it via the camera. Well, the update text says it does - I can't actually find an option to scan my bill anywhere in the (frustratingly disorganized) app.
The stock Google Calendar app gets the job done, sure, but don't you ever want something a little more powerful? Today Calendar is out of beta today, so maybe it's your next stop. This app is based on the AOSP calendar, but developer Jack Underwood made a lot of tweaks in the name of improving the look and features.
Music discovery app Shazam has always been a bit stylish by Android standards, but today's update adds both some more modern visual polish and notable usability upgrades. In particular, the auto-scrolling lyric function has been improved in version 2.6: it now supports a more natural portrait layout and much more readable text, doing away with the funky word art. Auto-scroll isn't universal, but when it works it's pretty neat. That should be a boon to your impromptu karaoke sessions.
Until Android Wear comes to consumers, Pebble is going to continue to have the most robust app ecosystem of any wearable device. Music Boss is a particularly impressive app for the Pebble. It connects to your phone to control music playback with the Pebble's built-in buttons. The most recent update streamlines the process a bit by properly detecting what's going on with the phone.
So, Aereo's streaming TV service is pretty cool. It re-broadcasts standard over-the-air television signals to your mobile device, assuming you live in one of the coverage areas. If you want to enjoy your incredibly convenient TV Xzibit-style, and put your TV in your TV (set), you'll soon be able to. According to a new press release, the Aereo app will add support for Google Chromecast on May 29th. Hooray!
Of course, that assumes that Aereo's $8-a-month subscription service is still around at that point.
According to Chainfire, the night mode and color adjustment features from Chainfire3D and the original CF.lumen Gingerbread apps are frequently requested. So frequent, in fact, that they're back for KitKat+ devices as CF.lumen on the Play Store.
If you've ever used f.lux for your PC, you know basically what to expect here - color temperature adjustments based on the time of day, bringing tones more in line with your eyes' expectations when the sun goes down.
Time keeps marching forward, and Google keeps improving the mobile version of its Chrome browser. Those who want to see the new goodies before everyone else can check out the official Chrome for Android Beta, which updates to version 35 today. The official changelog mentions some interesting additions, including at least one that was there already: support for Chromecast on HTML5 videos.
Videos on your device have gotten better too, with better HTML5 controls and subtitle support (for those clips that include them).
Amazon already owns the most popular brand for ebooks, having debuted the Kindle ages ago and attracted consumers and publishers alike before other big players managed to establish a foothold in the industry. Now the company's going after comics. It could continue to expand its library of Kindle editions, but the speedier approach would be the buy the best competitor out there. So that's what Amazon is doing. The company has just announced plans to acquire comiXology, the makers of a popular digital comics platform, not to mention a couple of great Android comic book reading apps.
Late last year, Gmail started showing images by default in a way that Google says doesn't compromise general security. Now Yahoo has released an update for its Android mail app that does precisely the opposite. Now those pesky images are blocked by default (or is the story here... that they weren't already?).
The option to toggle this is tucked away in the app settings, so there's nothing stopping users from going back to living wild and free.