Netflix version 3.8 for Android is now available, and it has some considerable improvements over the previous edition. The one you'll probably notice first is that the search function has been revamped: instead of a standard vertical list of movies, television shows, and actors/directors/what have you, you'll now see a grid of results. This mirrors Netflix on the web, though it might be a little slower, since the preview images tend to be a little pokey when they're loading up.
Remember RedBox Instant, the Netflix competitor from Those Guys Who Are Still Renting DVDs and Verizon? No? Well you're not alone, and a lack of brand awareness seems to have led to the streaming video platform's relatively quick downfall. A short message on the RedBox Instant page notified users that the service will be shut down on Tuesday, October 7th, just before midnight Pacific. That's only one year and ten months after its debut in preview form.
Go to the Play Store on your Android device and look for Tiny Death Star, the Star Wars-themed version of Nimblebit's smash hit casual game Tiny Tower, and you won't find it. If that's surprising, you're not half as shocked as Nimblebit. According to a report from Pocket Gamer, Lucasfilm's new owners at Disney decided to un-publish the game without even telling the developers their plans. Disney also pulled a Star Wars card game, Assault Team, though that me-too CCG title is hard to get upset about.
In the Android community, there are a ton of freelancers working together to get stuff done. Whether it's a graphic design artist contributing to apps or websites, video editors helping with game trailers, developers hoping to create the next big thing, or writers churning out content for blogs (yours truly), the mobile space is filled with independent types coming together to accomplish great things. In our space, and in the broader world at large, freelancers need to sign agreements and write up documents that help guarantee payment and assign ownership of work.
Google+ got a somewhat unexpected bump to version 4.6 today, an update that brought with it plenty of Material touches. Since we first reported on Material Design (at the time known as Quantum Paper), we've expected that Google's own apps would be undergoing their own gradual transformations in updates leading up to the launch of Android L. The Google+ app got its first round of material changes earlier this summer, but today's update starts its journey through the last mile.
Most of Google's apps offer ways for us to enhance the quality of our own lives, whether it's through improved communication, managing documents, or just browsing the web through Chrome. One Today, an Android app the company launched over a year ago, turns this around by empowering us to actively help others instead. The core idea here is to donate a dollar a day to a different charity (today's is an adopt an afternoon lesson program through Develop Africa), but there's no reason to stop there.
Warren County, Mississippi, May 19th, 1863. Battalions of Union soldiers march through the marshy ground of the delta, the wet slop already clinging to their boots. The morning chill is already passing, promising to leave a parting gift of southern humidity as the summer sun climbs over the grassland to the east. The soldiers, low on spirit but not resolve, check their rifles and equipment as they advance to the siege lines of Vicksburg.
Update 10/2/14: The initial beta APK (1.0-124) started showing an expiration message and stopped working, but a newer beta APK (1.0-172) has popped up. We've validated its legitimacy, and it indeed no longer shows the expiration message. Download it here (thanks, Branko Kostic!).
Last month Nokia announced that it would release a version of its highly-regarded HERE mapping and navigation app for Android, but only to licensed partners, starting with Samsung.
You probably know Squarespace as a paid what-you-see-is-what-you-get website creator, which is the main focus of the product. But the company has been working on a few mobile apps as of late, and today two of them are available on Android. Well, they were available before, but now you can use them without having to go through the somewhat convoluted Google+ beta community system. Meet Squarespace Blog and Squarespace Note.
One of the earliest uses of mobile apps was to identify music on the go. I remember using Shazam on a flip phone many moons ago. The apps are more robust these days, but you still have to open them in time to catch the song. BASE Music Sensor says it can do better. It sits in the background and listens for music passively without wrecking your battery. Or so the developers claim.