Until today, just five countries had access to Google Play TV shows: Australia, Canada, the US, UK, and Japan. Now, Germany and France have joined the rather [frustratingly] exclusive Play TV club, and that's not all. Germany and Spain are also getting access to redeemable Google Play credit promo codes starting today, both having already been in the list of countries with Google Play gift cards.
While Play Movies is available in dozens of countries, licensing television shows can be much more difficult. With many different distribution deals often occurring even within different regions of a given country, let alone for different seasons of a show, the number of deals that have to be made can be quite ridiculous.
Crossy Road is often presented as a prime example of what's wrong with casual games, because it's a free-to-play game that's based on a classic (Frogger) and lacks any kind of sophistication. But Crossy Road does a lot of things right, too: it has an interesting if not unique visual style, it's accessible to any kind of gamer, and best of all, its free-to-play model is entirely reasonable, asking for only one dollar at a time and never forcing players to buy currency or tokens for random rewards. It's a good little game, is what I'm saying here.
Two of the three-man team from Crossy Road have released a new game in the same casual vein, Shooty Skies.
There's an update to the SwiftKey Keyboard rolling out today, and it's the big 6.0 rev that has been in beta for some time now. You'll notice some substantial changes to the settings UI, but the keyboard itself is getting some cool new features too. It's still rolling out in the Play Store, but we've got you covered with an APK.
More and more often, smartphones are becoming the "safe place" for many users to store private data — photos, conversations, passwords, bank account information…you name it, it's probably on the phone. The problem is that oftentimes this data isn't necessarily secured by said users. Things like private photos are easy to find by jumping into the gallery app. Conversations aren't hidden anywhere in the system — the SMS app reveals all without any sort of barrier. And that all goes without mentioning the private things that could be held within social networks, email, or other apps that may not necessarily be protected behind a password.
A late-night update to the Play Store slipped out just before midnight. A close examination doesn't turn up any big visual changes or new features, but this version is begging for a teardown. I'm not going to beat around the bush, if you've read the title, you know why you're here. Yes, it's true, family sharing and gifting are on the way. No doubt about it. There's even a neat way to add credit cards if they have NFC. There's no point in teasing it out, just get to reading. If you want to jump straight to downloading the latest version, there's a link at the bottom of the post.
YouTube started offering 360-degree videos earlier this year, but now the app has been updated with full support for Cardboard-compatible VR viewers. Didn't that already happen? Yes, it did. Apparently it's better now? In addition, you can watch any video in Cardboard, even if it wasn't filmed for full VR.
There's an app on your phone with maps of what's going on at ground level, but what about in the air? If you're going to fly a drone around, as people are increasingly doing, it might be nice to know how close you are to obstacles and where you're not supposed to fly. That's what Hivemapper does, and it's available on Android now.
India is big. Really big, and really complicated. I don't think it's possible for an American white guy like me to wrap his head around a place where every region has languages, dialects, and cultures that are found nowhere else on the planet, yet are still ostensibly united into a single country. That being the case, having a single keyboard to support India as a whole, where many of its residents rely on their regional language and actually speak English better than (or instead of) Hindi, seems a little odd.
The Google Wallet app just received a version bump, bringing it up to v11.0-R234-v13. (Seriously, what is up with this version number?) Like some of the other updates this week, there aren't any big changes, but the changes that are there will tighten up some of the oversights and issues that were left in the wake of Google splitting Wallet into two separate apps. The new version has a handful of minor visual tweaks and bug fixes, but more importantly it adds support for multiple bank accounts and a new button to quickly lock the app for security.
Multiple Bank Accounts
The Wallet app has always supported multiple credit and debit cards, but it strangely limited users to just one single bank account.
The Android Auto companion app is generally one of those things you're probably only going to work with a couple of times before you're done setting things up, then it'll stay tucked away, never to be seen again. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't look good and be as useful as possible. An update to the Android Auto app began rolling out today and it's a near total refresh of the user interface. Granted, there's not a lot to change, but it now looks much more like the companion app for Android Wear.