Rdio's Android app got a teensy, tiny update today, adding gapless playback to all devices running Android 4.1. According to the "What's New" section of the Play Store page, the feature was added in by popular demand. For the uninitiated, gapless playback is exactly what it sounds like: a seamless transition from one track to the next. It's a big deal for some users, and much harder to do on a streaming music service than on local playback.
In addition to substantial updates to the Android Device Manager and Chrome Beta yesterday, Google Maps is getting an adjustment as well. The new version (8.1) revives the Terrain Mode view, which lets you easily see the various elevation changes in surrounding hills, mountains, and valleys. (Terrain Mode was removed in Maps 7, for some reason.) There are also a few user interface changes to the various navigation screens. It's a small update compared with the the full 8.0 bump from earlier this month, but there are still some useful additions.
When an iOS app comes to Android, all too often it's merely a half-hearted copy, taking no notice of the user interface standards or the expanded capability of the platform. I'm happy to report that this is not the case with Sunrise Calendar, which has managed to gain quite a following across the way for its impressive layout and sunny visual design. It's available now for all Android devices running 4.0 or higher, though there's no tablet interface at the moment.
Wow, it's been over three years since we wrote about the official app for Digitally Imported Radio, or as it's known in your URL bar, DI.FM. (Fare thee well, "Android Market.") This app lets you access 65 finely-tuned streaming music stations focusing on electronic music and similar genres. The update to version 1.5 lets you sign in with either Google+ or Facebook. You can still log in with an existing DI account, or create a new one sans social network.
Android Device Manager is already a great way to ensure you can locate, lock, or wipe your phone if you lose it. You can remotely access it from your tablet or any full computer, but what if you're out and about and don't have any spare technology handy, and no way to connect it? Google has delivered a solution in the form of the latest Android Device Manager update. Now any Android device with ADM can allow guests to log in, with full access to remote location, ringing, locking, and wiping.
Update Wednesday continues with yet another new apk. This time we're being treated to a regular version bump for Chrome Beta. The changelog isn't as dramatic as we've seen in previous updates to the browser, but it's hard to turn down improvements and bug fixes. The focus seems to be a little more on fine-tuning the experience as we should see smarter suggestions for text entry and improved text rendering on non-mobile optimized web sites.
Several days ago, it was brought to our attention that Google's Search app finally allowed completely touchless reminders, whereby a user could set a reminder from start to finish without touching the device. Previously, reminders required a touch confirmation at the end of the process. Now, the "voice of Google" simply asks if the user would like the reminder to be set. Saying "yes" will complete the interaction.
It seems this isn't the only server-side switch Google is pulling, though.
On the same day that Apple buys Beats Music, users are being rewarded with two niceties. The free trial period welcoming testers of the music streaming service has extended from one week to two, giving potential customers a full fourteen days to decide if the service is apt for them. Even sweeter, the annual price has dropped down from $119.88 a year to the more attractive $99.99.
- We're stoked to announce that our no strings attached trial has been extended to 14 days to ensure everyone gets ample time to explore the full Beats Music experience.