Congratulations are in order for Skype. The well-established app known for providing free voice and video calls, along with instant messaging, has surpassed 500 million installs on Google Play.
Skype (or should we say, Microsoft) is only the fourth company to meet this threshold. Google obviously has the most, with more than a dozen apps boasting over 500 million installs. Facebook gets the number two position thanks to its popular social network, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
Sony's Folding@Home app turns your Android device into a weapon in the war against diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's by contributing your spare computing power to research. It entered the Play Store in early January as a beta exclusively available to certain Xperia phones. Now Sony is expanding the experience to other hardware, including devices running Android Lollipop.
Here you can see Folding@Home running on my HTC One M7, a non-Sony device with the latest version of Android.
Motorola ships a mostly stock-looking build of Android on its devices, but it does pack in a few exclusive software tweaks. Exhibit A: Moto devices can load up the camera with a flick-to-launch gesture. Motorola ships its own app to make this possible, which until now came with the stock KitKat icon. Today Motorola has updated the app with a unique look of its own.
The Motorola Camera's new icon is still clearly inspired by Google Camera's, borrowing from its flatter design and multicolored lens.
So you want to spin some virtual turntables, but you don't have five bucks for djay 2? No problem, there's a free version of the app now courtesy of Algoriddim. You won't get all the goodies available in the full version, but it's a good way to try the app out and see if you're any good at it.
Ever wish your Android Wear device did more things? If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, you can make almost anything happen with AutoWear. It's the latest Tasker plug-in from joaomgcd, maker of popular Tasker projects like AutoRemote and AutoVoice. I hope he makes an Android Auto plugin called AutoAuto.
Have you ever used Google+ on a mobile browser? It has never been very fun. Trying to share something or make sense of a link was no better. However, after over a year without noticeable improvements for mobile browsers, it has finally gotten a revamp. In fact, it's arguably a better experience than the current Google+ app for Android.
In the early days of Android, developers had to be serious nerds to pay the platform any real attention. After all, the real money was on iOS. Google has been working to make Android more hospitable to developers, and in that spirit, there's a change coming to the Google Play app—ads. Just like in regular Google Searches, you will soon see sponsored results at the top of the list.