Motorola's Spotlight Player, available only for the Moto X, serves you interactive films stuck somewhere between being as involving as a game and as passive as a movie. Motorola's first "Spotlight Story" came out late last year with the name Windy Day. The film, created by Ratatouille director Jan Pinkava, tasked players with moving their Moto Xs around to find items and trigger parts of the experience. Now another story is available by the name of Buggy Night (this time directed by animator Mark Oftedal), and it works much the same way.
Too many files? No problem – RAR them. You can do that now that there's an official RAR app on Android. This is a fabulously useful app on Windows, where it costs cash money. On Android, it appears to be completely free.
The RAR app for Android lets you create ZIP and RAR archives, but you can unpack RAR, ZIP, TAR, GZ, BZ2, XZ, 7z, ISO, ARJ archives. There are also options to repair damaged archives and it supports encryption for creating and unpacking archives.
Roughly a year has gone by since XBMC 12 hit metaphorical store shelves, and the time has apparently been well-spent. The upcoming version introduces hardware decoding, so your device can actually utilize more of its power to push those pixels. The beta has has been streamlined enough to run on a Raspberry Pi, so you know you can expect a zippier experience on a more powerful gadget.
When using XBMC on a touchscreen, the app will now recognize gesture controls during video playback and swiping controls when navigating around.
Saving power while using your phone then bragging about it on the internet is all the rage these days – it's like hypermiling for smartphones. If you're not into flashing custom kernels to get the job done, there's now Per-App Modes from the developer behind Franco's Kernel.
Per-App Modes lets you automatically set a CPU frequency, temperature threshold, GPU clock, and more that will be activated when you're using specific apps.
When the name of that song playing in the background escapes you, Shazam is the most common way to figure it out. This app has a few hundred million installs on Google Play – no big deal, or anything. A recent update has brought the updated experience that was teased at MWC to the Android app, so get your updates started.
Google has been buffing up the capabilities of the Chromecast as of late by opening up app access with the SDK, and it looks like even first-party apps are getting in on the action. The latest release of the beta version of Chrome for Android adds in Chromecast capability for YouTube videos. Theoretically, it should work for any standard HTML5 video as well. Now you don't need a laptop to cast web videos to your television.
According to Marques Brownlee, voice to text dictation is coming to the desktop version of Google Docs. Check out these screenshots allegedly showing the feature in action, below.
While Android has featured speech to text as part of the standard keyboard for several years now, the option has rather curiously not been a part of the desktop / web version of Google Docs (now Google Drive). Apparently, this is now changing.
You have what amounts to a tiny super computer in your pocket, and what are you doing with it? Hmm? App Habits will track which apps you're using and when so you can get the low down on exactly how you're wasting time with neat graphs. It will also use this data to surface apps you might be interested in based on the time of day.