[Heads up: to use this application you'll need root permissions on your phone or tablet. If you don't have them, you can stop reading here. Now, we continue with our regularly scheduled blog post.] Yesterday we found out about a new Google Now card that can show you changes in the prices of airfare based on recent searches. At least one developer isn't interested in waiting for Google to rollout new Now cards, and found a way to switch them on manually - even the ones that aren't public just yet.
As a Dropcam user, I often wish I could get a little bit more than an activity notification on my Android Wear watch. I don't want to watch the video feed for 10 solid minutes, but the option to quickly see what my camera is seeing in an instant would be amazing. If you're a tinyCam user, you just got that luxury. I'm jealous.
As of version 5.6, you can now say "OK Google, start tinyCam monitor" to your Android Wear watch and get a quick glimpse of the video feed.
With the obvious exception of watch faces themselves, there aren't many parts of Android Wear that actually benefit from the round screens of the Moto 360 and the upcoming G Watch R - not even Google's official apps. A new and relatively humble tip calculator is the first Wear app I've seen that makes really excellent use of the extra radial space. It's called (appropriately) Wear Tip Calculator.
The app uses a circular design.
Google Now is constantly gaining new abilities that are generally awesome, if a little bit creepy. One such feature, brought to our attention today, is the ability to keep track of flight prices.
This is another automatic feature whereby Google infers your intention and presents useful info on that basis. In this case, if you are eyeing a flight or itinerary through Google Flights (it does not appear that this works with other travel booking sites right now), Google will make a note of that and drop a helpful card into your Google Now screen to let you know when the price of that flight changes.
Google's Play services are gradually working their way out to more countries around the globe, and the latest expansion we've spotted is occurring south of the Equator. Google has enabled Play Music access in the countries of Brazil and Uruguay. This way users can back up their albums to Google's servers and access them from a web browser or mobile device.
All Access has technically come to both countries as well, but in the case of Brazil, there appear to be some substantial caveats.
It's common for companies to eliminate redundancy when an acquisition takes place. So it should come as no surprise that Apple is reportedly in the process of shutting down Beats Music, the streaming service it picked up when it bought the company for $2.6 billion earlier this year. The timeline isn't clear, but the wheels are allegedly already in motion.
The makers of Digitally Imported Radio (DI.FM) have hit the Play Store with another streaming app, and this time they're out to give fans of Latin, Hispanic, and Caribbean music reason to bob their heads, sway their hips, and tap their toes. The app, Fresca Radio, provides 40 stations filled with curated tracks. There's a Cuban Lounge station, one for Latin Metal, and another option dedicated entirely to Reggae.
Music streaming apps aren't such a rarity that they get a shoutout merely for existing.
When Sony announced that the PlayStation 4's Remote Play feature would be available to Android phones and tablets in November, gamers got excited... right up to the point where they found out that the feature would be exclusive to the new Xperia Z3 line. While the Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact look like fine machines, that isn't much consolation if you can't afford them or can't even find them in your country.
Most cloud storage apps have a few things in common these days. One: free online storage measured by the gigabyte. Two: an Android app. Three: a feature that automatically uploads new photos taken on your phone or tablet to the service. Microsoft really wants you to take advantage of that last one, and to encourage users to do so, they're giving them even more of the first one.
According to this blog post, Microsoft is doubling its already generous 15GB storage allowance for free users if they enable the "camera roll" (automatic photo upload) feature.
Google has officially made it possible to run Android apps on Chrome OS devices, though the current implementation of this feature is a little underwhelming. First of all, it's limited to only a handful of apps, and second of all, it requires a Chrome OS laptop or desktop, and can't be run in more widely-used operating systems. Now an ambitious developer has managed to overcome both of those limitations, enabling (in theory) any Android app to run anywhere that Chrome does.