Lets be honest: Android's default volume panel is pretty boring. It does its job, but it's super basic, and many of the options to enhance its functionality are root-only, which excludes a large number of Android users. Enter Noyze Volume Panel, a customizable replacement that doesn't require root access (or any other modifications) and works well.
Once installed, Noyze requires activation in Accessibility settings, but after that it's basically on autopilot. The basic version of the app includes a couple of simple themes, like a minimal status bar slider and extended controls, but for those looking for a bit more use out of the app there's also a pro version for $1.58 USD. Read More
Text-to-speech is one of those little pieces of an operating system that not many people use, but which is indispensable for those who do. Now if your first language is Japanese, you've got the option to play out text on your phone with Google's first-party Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine. The relevant app is on the Play Store and was updated today, so you might not have immediate access to it thanks to Google's rollout system.
To be clear, this is text-to-speech, not speech-to-text - Google's voice input already works in Japanese for the keyboard (voice typing) and Google Now commands. Check the Language Input section of the main settings menu for that. Read More
You lucky jerks in those limited areas with Google Fiber access have all the fun. Not only do you have relatively inexpensive and lightning-fast home Internet, you get TV service with support from Google. The latest update to the Google Fiber IPTV app for Android adds even more goodies, most notably the ability to pause and play television with the standard lockscreen controls or with an integrated Android Wear app. Make sure and show it off to your peasant friends who live in Cabletown.
We'd show you the cool new stuff in the updated app (version 39), but none of us actually have Google Fiber, and the slow rollout makes it hard to get ahold of the APK anyway. Read More
At least some of you are probably playing with a new Moto 360 right now, feverishly comparing battery results against reviews and spreadsheets. (Don't worry, our exhaustive review is coming soon.) If you're looking for something a little off the beaten path from the watch faces included by Motorola, developer Maize (it means corn!) has a unique option that works particularly well on round displays.
Spotlight zooms in on a standard radial watch face, showing the minutes past the hour and about ten minutes to either side. The zoomed-in view will follow the single hand around the face - it's inspired by this GIF. Read More
Alarm.com is one of those ubiquitous home security companies that sells home safety packages, and like a lot of their competitors, they had an Android app simply as a check mark for comparison shoppers. Before today, the previous version of the security system's mobile component looked like it hadn't been touched since 2010. Yesterday's update fixed that primary problem with an extensive user interface refresh, granting easy access to all the security and automation features installed in a home.
New above, old below.
Yes, it's Holo, and yes, it works on tablets. A slide-out menu lets you access every subsystem independently: security, still images and video, automated locks and garage doors, plus the lights and thermostat. Read More
There are plenty of dictionary apps out there, but Ultralingua is for serious wordsmiths. It contains several dozen complete dictionaries with definitions, conjugations, slang, and even translation into multiple languages.
Microsoft's latest app is the type of enterprise-targeted product that's been traditionally associated with the company. Dynamics NAV has the kind of name that makes general consumers shrug. In short, it's enterprise resource planning software that businesses use to manage finances, operations, and other work-y stuff. I have no use for this app, and neither will most of the people reading this post, but I know there are more than a few suit and tie-wearing Android Police readers out there.
The Android app connects to whichever Dynamics NAV server your company is running, and it provides mobile access for people who need to pull up this information from something more portable than a laptop. Read More
You might remember back in August an update to Google Play Music added public playlist search, which is neat. However, Google then pulled the feature. Presumably it wasn't ready for release at that time, but now it's back in the newest build, and you can download it below.
Back at the Google I/O keynote this summer, we saw a very interesting demonstration - as Sundar Pichai explained, Google wants to make the experience between Android devices and Chromebooks seamless by allowing Android apps to run natively on Chrome (using App Runtime for Chrome, currently in beta). Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard were demonstrated on stage, and today Google has announced the first batch of Android apps that will run on Chrome right now. Among them are Duolingo, Evernote, Sight Words, and Vine. Flipboard is still notably absent.
For now, Google is working "with a select group of Android developers to add more of your favorite apps," meaning there won't exactly be a flood of native Android experiences coming to Chrome OS users. Read More