Google's messaging situation has been a mess. When Hangouts first appeared, it replaced Google+ Messenger and Google Talk, bringing the company's list of similarly-named Android apps from four down to three. Once Hangouts gained SMS support and replaced Messenger, that dropped the number down to two. Voice is all that remains, and if a report by 9to5 Google is to be believed, we only have a handful of months to wait for it to kick the bucket, with a possible Google I/O announcement seeming increasingly likely.
Using Dayframe to turn an Android tablet into a digital photo frame may not sound like the most affordable option out there, but at this point in time, more than a few of us have a couple old Honeycomb-era Android tablets lying around that aren't good for too much else. Following the introduction of Chromecast support in version 2.0 last month, it's pretty simple to turn your TV into one as well.
Sony's released another Xperia-exclusive app into the Play Store, and while this piece of software does extend what your phone's camera is capable of, it isn't quite the Zperia Z1's Timeshift Burst feature that the company posted to Google Play a few months back. This one's just for laughs. Voice Balloon Photo is a dedicated camera app, but rather than improving the quality of your shots, it adds character by capturing the voices around you and turning them into speech bubbles in real-time.
Yet another Motorola app has been added to the Play Store, but it's not as glamorous this time. MotoCare will now be kept up to date on all supported devices, and it's getting a new (slightly more descriptive) name – Motorola Help.
This app contains basic how-tos, tips, and support information. There is an option to call Motorola support directly, or start a chat session. That's more than you get with most OEMs.
Those of you who've ben lamenting the GoodNews reader, especially its tight integration with podcasts, now have a new alternative to consider. The developer of the aforesaid app has finally published a replacement that doesn't depend on Google Reader, and the wait has not been for naught: uPod crams in just about every feature a podcast fan could want. A free trial version of uPod and a $4.49 license are now available in the Play Store.
Since what seems like forever, SwiftKey has been able to use SMS, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feeds, and Yahoo to "learn" your typing style and better predict your next words. All of these options work well, and now the SK team has added a couple more choices in the latest beta: Evernote and Google+.
Evernote personalization was added "in response to the great feedback" for SwiftKey Note on iOS, the team's first offering to iOS users; Google+ personalization was added because, well, people like to use G+, basically.
Ever since Google rolled out public beta applications through the Play Store, some of the biggest names in the game have jumped on board to essentially crowdsource bug discovery in upcoming releases. Among those that are now offering users access to early versions of its software is Facebook, which released a beta version of its primary application earlier this year. The company has now done the same with its Messenger application.
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