App developers of the world, take note: this is how you do a Material Design update. After quietly hammering away this major update in a private beta, the Pocket Casts team has made it public on their stable channel. Already one of the most popular and well-regarded podcast clients on Android, Pocket Casts has paired their new design with a variety of new features and refinements that make the update more than merely cosmetic.
DirecTV's job used to be making sure that when you turn on your TV, there's something there to watch. Then these fancy mobile devices came around, and now the company is tasked with putting shows on those as well. Kids don't stare at big screens anymore, I'm told. Everything looks best crammed somewhere between 4.5 to 10.1 inches.
The latest version of the DirecTV Android apps offer up 15 new HBO and Cinemax channels, which you can stream live to your phone or tablet.
Android 5.1 made some major changes to the way recent apps are handled in Android. You can include Chrome tabs in the recent app list, and apps that are called up from another activity get their own card to keep things more consistent. However, Google also decided to never clear the list of recent app cards. It just goes on and on and on... it's kind of annoying. "Recently" from Chainfire fixes that, but you need root.
When it comes to alternative launchers based on the standard Android homescreen design, I think it's safe to say at this point that Nova Launcher is the best available. But developer TeslaCoil isn't resting on its laurels: the app is constantly being updated, tweaked, and improved. Today the biggest update to Nova Launcher in years is going out on its Google Play Store beta channel... and yes, it has Material Design.
There are already a number of ways to test the capability of your Android device's hardware, but one more isn't going to hurt. Rightware has released Basemark ES 3.1 for Android in both free and paid versions. Do you need a paid graphics benchmark? Probably not, but maybe someone does.
Oh Pandora, how I wish I could quit you. I pay the folks at Google Music for their services, and I know they work hard. They even include music controls in the notification bar and the lockscreen, which you seem to take absolute joy in withholding from me. But on a roadtrip or an exercise session, I always come back to you - years of curated music stations are hard to let go.
It's been about a year since Android Wear was announced, and here we are with a few watches and a ton of apps and faces. I hear there's some other company that announced a smartwatch recently. I think they usually sell fruit or something. Whatever, we're here to talk about all the cool new stuff you can do with your Android Wear watch. So here are the best new apps and watch faces that have come to Wear in the last few weeks.