Most of the AOSP-based custom launchers operate in roughly the same way, but Action Launcher has always been different. Right from the beginning it offered cool ways to manage your apps and widgets, and it only got better over time. That app was based on the Jelly Bean-era Android launcher, and it was time for an update, according to developer Chris Lacy. Action Launcher 3 is a complete rewrite of Action Launcher that brings with it new features, but also drops a few (at least for now).
Amazon's main shopping app has between 50 and 100 million downloads, but it's not showing up in the Play Store anymore. The listing remains if you have the direct link, but you won't see it in search results. Oddly, there's a new Amazon app called Amazon Shopping. It's the same exact app but guess what it doesn't have—the Appstore. It looks like Google may have laid down the law. [See updates at the bottom]
Left: old with Appstore, Right: new with no Appstore
Microsoft has been surprisingly generous when it comes to apps for Android, a platform it's technically still competing against. (Sort of.) Today the company launched an entire suite of Android apps to support its MSN/Bing web platform. All six of them tie directly into existing services: MSN Food & Drink, MSN Health & Fitness, MSN Money, MSN News, MSN Sports, and MSN Weather. They're all free to download in the Play Store right now.
DISH broadcasts TV channels to well over ten million customers, and as it turns out, a good number of them have installed the company's Android app. The software, known as DISH Anywhere, has now reached over five million installs in the Play Store. While this doesn't mean that many people are using the app (since re-installs count separately), the real number probably isn't too far off.
The latest version of DISH Anywhere contains a new sports section that keeps up with various leagues.
Update: India isn't the only country invited to the party. In a blog post, Google has announced that offline viewing is now available in Indonesia and the Philippines as well.
While hyping up the Android One initiative a couple months ago, Google revealed that it would bring the ability to save YouTube clips for offline viewing to India. The feature is now going live. Users throughout the country are noticing the option to save clips for later use.
HTC Gallery, the stock photo app for the OEM's devices, received a fairly significant update today. It now supports tagging photos, has a "Face Fusion" photo editing tool, a new timeline layout for browsing photos, and has laid the groundwork for cloud integration. And while you can only download on HTC devices from the Play Store, our APK download should work on most devices that are running KitKat or newer.
The weather hasn't been particularly welcoming for the last few weeks, and it sounds like it's going to get worse. Even if the rain is falling, it doesn't mean there's an excuse to become a couch potato; the latest update to Google Fit can keep everybody in shape with a boatload of new activities to cover both indoor and outdoor workouts. There is also a big improvement to data collection with Android Wear that may significantly increase the accuracy of the step counter.
There was a time, a few months ago, when I would check Kickstarter and Indiegogo every couple of days for new projects. I was fascinated by the ingenuity of entrepreneurs and creators and I wanted to keep an eye on all the new ideas that were just ripe for production. I haven't lost that interest, but after investing in dozens of crowd-funded projects — most of which resulted in really great products that I use and love, thankfully — I'm a bit less obsessed and more selective in my choices.
At long last, Chromecast has a functional guest mode. While it presumably has something to do with the update to the Chromecast app that rolled out earlier Wednesday, the change did not appear immediately afterwards. Google apparently flipped a switch on the server side, and suddenly anyone with an up-to-date app can cast to a TV without being on the same Wi-Fi network. We've been waiting for this feature to roll out since it was announced way back in June at Google I/O.
It's Update Wednesday again, and Google is firing on all cylinders. We've seen updates for both Android Wear and the companion app, Chromecast, Cardboard (who saw that coming?), and many more. Google Wallet also found its way onto the list with a few changes to its organization and styling. It started rolling out today, but we've got the latest version ready to download right now.
A post on Google+ earlier today calls out the most significant change for this version, which brings together gift cards, loyalty programs, and offers into a single link on the navigation drawer.