The Google app was treated to an update late yesterday, bringing the version number up to 5.4. This bump seems to be mostly dedicated to bug fixes, but a couple of changes deserve to be mentioned. A previously screwy animation has been restored to its original beauty, and we now have a more convenient way to set Home and Work locations. Evidence also turned up that suggests the Google app will play host to its own mini-app for Android Wear.
Fixed Card Swipe Animation
Left: previous version. Right: latest version.
Last month's v5.3 update introduced a very unsightly bug into the Google Now stream.
People who take online privacy seriously eventually get to the point where they want to experiment with a VPN. Usually this costs money, which puts some people off particularly because the process involves handing over an email address and credit card information. This means that even if you're better protected from prying eyes than you would be if you were VPN-less, the company that supplies the service may still be able to connect the dots.
That's what makes Betternet interesting. Unlike most other options, this service is entirely free to use. That has implications both for your privacy (though you still have to watch out for DNS leaks) and your wallet.
Windows has no idea what to do with that mountain of APK files you've probably downloaded from APK Mirror, which can make managing said mountain of files annoying. Apkshellext2 is a Windows shell extension that might make your life much easier, as it has mine. Just a few clicks and Windows Explorer will get much smarter.
AIDE, the Android integrated development environment, has reached version 3.2. That means it's getting Marshmallow support. It's picked up the option to refresh Maven libraries. It has updated Android NDK support and Google libraries. And it's packed with other goodies that don't really mean all that much to non-developery types.
But even if you are a developer and you find yourself excited by what you just read, hold on to your butts, because here's where things really get good. Intel is sponsoring a number of premium keys. These would normally cost you $10.
To claim your own sponsored license, exit AIDE, restart the app, and select the 'Code for Experts' option.
Lately it seems that "retro" games have become synonymous with faux NES-era pixelated graphics. And while some pixel art is impressive, it's often just a means of seeming somewhat trendy without having to put in the extra effort and expense of making high-resolution 2D graphics work well. Not so with the latest SHIELD exclusive: Pix the Cat manages to blend truly nostalgic gameplay with absolutely gorgeous 2D visuals for an altogether unique experience. Unfortunately you'll need either a SHIELD Android TV or SHIELD Tablet (and a hefty $10) to play it.
The gameplay of Pix is somewhere between Snake and Pac-Man.
I have been trying to write about Medium's 2.0 update for a few hours, but I got lost using the app, enjoying it, and I even decided to sign up and write one of my first non-Android stories in years. That's how you know the app is not just good, it's great. I have always thought about joining Medium, but I never felt compelled to. I guess this update was the final push I needed, and I decided to pull the trigger and dive deep in the service.
But let's get back to Medium's update. You may recall that the app was released mere months ago, but it has seen a steady stream of improvements since then.
Do you ever feel like your phone's keyboard is dumb? SwiftKey has announced a new experimental keyboard that leverages the power of an artificial neural network that hopefully won't make the same old mistakes that other keyboards do. You can give it a shot right now by downloading the SwiftKey Neural Alpha from the Play Store.
If you own a smartphone and live outside the US, chances are you're one of almost a billion monthly WhatsApp users. WhatsApp may not be the most feature-rich messaging platform, but what it lacks in functionality, it makes up for in rock-solid reliability (hi, Hangouts) and virtually unparalleled market penetration (hi, Telegram). That's why WhatsApp is the de facto messaging app for so many people around the world, even if it still requires things like chat backups — something more characteristic of MSN Messenger than a modern messaging service. Fortunately, starting today (and after many months of adding and removing the feature), WhatsApp will offer to automatically back up and upload your chat history to Google Drive.
Here's a little secret about people who run YouTube channels: a lot of them are obsessed with analytics. There's just something about having numbers that compels them to track, analyze, and obsess over every detail. This is the one thing they definitely have in common with website operators and certain types of sports fans. If you happen to be among this crowd, you're probably going to love the latest update to YouTube Creator Studio. It is now absolutely packed with new analytics about your channels, individual videos, audience, earnings, and more. Along the way, it also saw a little bit of restyling to clean up the interface and make it just a little more consistent and easier to read.