Ok - here's the deal. A Google Search update happened, which means it's teardown time. Normally I post about unreleased, work-in-progress stuff, but Google Now is so context dependent, that it's pretty much impossible for me to tell if something is implemented or not. The one thing I've learned from my months of using Now is that Google Now is in charge, and you're just along for the ride. So, for today's post, we're just going to shoot for "new things that didn't make it onto the 'What's New' list." If you can get them to show up, awesome. Send me a screenshot and I'll update.
If you've been lusting after Samsung's S-Memo functionality (found on numerous Samsung devices like the Note II, LG has something similar too), but for any piece of Android hardware, a new app called Ink Over Apps is definitely worth looking into. Its functionality is pretty limited at this point, but what it does, it does well. And what it does is let you draw on your screen and then save a screenshot of what you've drawn.
Ink Over Apps lives in the notification bar, and lets you draw over a live image of your screen using a floating toolbar (as opposed to taking a screenshot and then drawing on it), which makes it quite unique.
SoundCloud may not be the most famous app around, but when it comes to sharing a simple audio clip or a song, it's hard to beat. Now, the company's mobile app is getting an overhaul and with it comes a shiny new interface that doesn't suck. The UI upgrade makes use of the action bar, side navigation panel, notification controls and all the other fancy new features that we've grown used to since Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.
The update also brings improvements to the search features that should help you track down public audio (like our podcast!) more easily.
There are no shortage of image editors on Android. Even Adobe, which makes the class-leading Photoshop, has a version of its editor on the platform. Today, though, Google gets one of its very own: Snapseed. You may recall this particular piece of software when it was demoed by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES this year. At the time, it was only available on the iPad where it had won App of the Year in 2011. Shortly thereafter, Google bought the company. Now, the Android version is finally being released.
This video is a bit older and shows off the iOS version, but you get the idea.
Back in late October, SwiftKey announced a new feature called Flow for its hyper-intelligent keyboard. SwiftKey Flow takes everything you (and I) love about SK, and combines it with gesture typing, like that of Swype, or the Android 4.2 stock keyboard. Then, just a few days ago, they debuted the newest feature that would be available in Flow - called Flow Through Space - which allows users to swipe through full sentences without having to lift their finger from the keyboard by sliding down to the spacebar after each word. Not only is that intuitive and brilliant, but I've been using Flow for the last few days, and it works pretty flawlessly.
Have you heard of QThru? If not, welcome to the club - before tonight, I didn't even know it existed. Basically, it's a cool take on self-checkouts at brick-and-mortar stores. The idea is simple: carry your phone around, scanning barcodes of the stuff you intend on buying. Once you're finished, head over to the QThru kiosk and use it to scan the QR on your phone, essentially closing the transaction. All of your credit card info is stored within the QThru app on your device, so once you've scanned the QR, you're done. A worker at participating retailers would likely be hanging around to compare the cart's contents to the receipt, just to make sure you're not up to no good.
Is rooting phones a hassle for you? Do you want to root somebody else's phone (whether they're willing or not), but don't want to deal with that whole pesky "getting permission" part? (Or dealing with teaching them how to go about doing it?)
A new app over at XDA by wchill may have you covered. I say "may" because it's still in a very early beta stage, but the response so far from the community has been pretty positive.
Root Transmission requires three things: 1.) a rooted Android device with USB hosting capability, 2.) a USB OTG cable, 3.) a one-click rooting script for the device you're trying to root.
I know, I know - there are tons of VNC viewer apps on the Play Store. Some of the good ones are even free. But if you use RealVNC, and you (or your workplace) demand an encrypted connection for remote access, this is the only app we're aware of that will allow you to connect from your Android device. RealVNC is highly popular, so we thought we'd point out this deal, which saves you five bucks over the ten it would otherwise run you.
It's also a pretty great VNC viewer all-around, and has managed to rack up a 4.6 star rating with over 1200 reviews on the Play Store - no small feat for any app.
If you're looking for yet another song-matching app (really, a SoundHound / Shazam alternative), Rhapsody's got something you might be interested in - a new app called Songmatch.
Songmatch, thankfully, does not require a Rhapsody subscription, and is completely free. You can match songs against Rhapsody's library of 16 million tracks, get artist info, track listings, and more.
That may sound pretty basic at first glance, but it gets better if you're a Rhapsody subscriber. You can immediately launch playback of the song or the album it's on when a match is found, and Rhapsody creates a special Songmatch playlist in your account where every track you match is then saved.
Of all the services that I use on a daily basis, Dropbox is probably the one that I absolutely can't live without. I store nearly everything in it, use it to quickly (and automatically, thanks to FolderSync) transfer screenshots to my PCs, and easily share files with other AP team members, friends, and family. However, the fact that files and folders couldn't previously be moved from within the Android app has always been pretty annoying.
Today, the Dropbox team has updated the app to finally include the feature. Now you can easily move folders and files around within your Dropbox without ever having to turn to the computer.