One of the worst things about managing music playlists is adding new songs when we hear them. Sure, once we've identified them, we can always track the song down by name, but that can turn into a lot of manual labor. If we've learned anything from the popularity of music subscription services, it's that we want things to be quick, simple, and convenient. Rdio and Shazam agree, and they are doing something about it.
Just about a year ago we reported that the popular multi-platform retro gaming emulator RetroArch had been published to the Play Store. Apparently Google took exception to this, as they've done with a seemingly random assortment of game emulators - some have been viciously torn out of the Play Store, some have been left alone, and Google isn't talking about why it picks one over the other. In any case, RetroArch is back, at least for the moment.
In an odd bit of M&A news, the developers at Bitspin announced that the small company will be joining forces with Google. Whether Google has purchased the company outright or merely hired its Zurich-based development team isn't clear, but in either case, the big G will be benefitting from their impressive user interface experience soon. Google has not commented on the situation, and there is no dollar amount posted on the Bitspin website.
If you were jealous of iOS users who were able to wake up every morning to the sound of their favorite Pandora stations, then today may just be your lucky day. Today, Pandora announced a new update to its Android app that includes the alarm clock feature which debuted on iOS last month. In addition to waking you up at a set time with the station of your choosing, it also includes a snooze ability and a customizable snooze timer which can be set to 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute intervals.
There are a lot of apps like SwipePad, and no matter how many we cover, I keep coming back to the original. Loopr is the first app in a while that's tempted me away, thanks to both an impressive visual presentation and some thoughtful features. At its heart Loopr is a a quick app launcher/switcher with the usual side-swiping mechanism, this time launched as a semicircle of icons similar to Circle Launcher Widget.
The internet got all sad and nostalgic in November when AOL announced with little fanfare that Winamp was shutting down. The music player and streaming service had been whipping llamas for 15 years, and it seemed like a depressing and inauspicious end. AOL smartly held off on the shutdown when there appeared to be interest in buying Winamp, and that's just what happened. Winamp is being sold to Belgian online radio purveyor Radionomy.
Bump was and early innovator in the area of file and contact sharing on mobile devices. Interest has waned a bit in recent years, but then Google bought the company back in September. Work seemed to stop on Bump's apps shortly thereafter, and now we're getting the official word – Bump and Flock are no more. Both apps will stop working and be removed from Google Play (and the App Store) on January 31st, 2014.
Android 4.4 finally added native screen recording, but it's only accessible via an ADB command on unrooted devices. There are a few apps that extend that functionality with root access, but Rec. might be the best of the bunch right now. This app includes bitrate adjustment, record times up to 1 hour, ending recordings manually, and more.