The significance of SoundHUD becomes apparent only when you pay ridiculously close attention to Android news. As I'm sure most of you do, this will all fit together nicely. SoundHUD picks up where the now-defunct Noyze left off to make it easier to control the volume on your device. It also adds a simple way to get silent mode (more or less) back on Lollipop.
Android Wear devices come with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and heart rate monitors so that when wearers do active things, the devices can at least attempt to track what's going on. Jump Rope Wear Counter is an Android Wear app that tries to count your jumps while jumping rope, display how many calories you've burned, and sync the information to Google Fit. For the most part, it works.
There isn't really much to Jump Rope Wear Counter, but after trying it out for a bit, I can confirm that it's mostly accurate. Read More
Microsoft Health is that tech giant's preferred way for people to track information pertaining to their fitness and, well, health. The app serves as the companion to a $200 arm band that is worth a look thanks to its support for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone alike.
Following through on an earlier promise, the Android app plays along with MapMyFitness, one of the more popular workout apps to be found in the Play Store. Read More
After several weeks of rumors, Google has announced their partnership with Softcard. The purpose of this venture is to combine forces with Google Wallet, which has been around since 2011 but never enjoyed wide usage. With Apple Pay having recently entered the fray, Google apparently felt the time is now to get their service back on the map. Buying their competitor Softcard's technology, though, is just the beginning.
In addition to gaining Softcard's back end, Google Wallet will soon be preloaded on all phones sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the United States. Read More
Google has officially opened up the toy chest and taken out YouTube Kids, its gift to parents all over the US. The app searches YouTube for the content that's appropriate for the little ones and dishes it out to them in an easily navigable interface that places less of an emphasis on search, keywords, and spelling.
The search giant has reportedly worked on YouTube Kids for quite a while, and by late last week, today's launch date had already leaked out. Read More
Just about a week after the public release of the Xposed Framework for Lollipop devices, we are now privy to one of the best and most popular modules, GravityBox. And, like the framework, the developer of GravityBox is calling this version an alpha release. Still, those of you with Nexus devices are going to be very excited about this one.
For the unfamiliar, GravityBox is an Xposed module that offers a wide variety of tweaks for AOSP-ish ROMs. The idea is to make custom ROMs, like CyanogenMod, unnecessary. Even better, the user can have more control over the modifications. You might like one feature of OmniRom but not another. Read More
To be honest, I never really expected to have anything to say about a teardown of the Drive companion apps, but here we are. Google uses Docs, Sheets, and Slides to give Android a mostly seamless editing experience for each of Drive's primary document types. They've gone through a steady set of improvements since launching in April and June of last year, either keeping pace or progressively catching up with the features offered by their web counterparts. While the latest updates brought some fairly minor tweaks, they've also got a few clues hidden inside. We can see the long-awaited Chromecast support for Slides, a printing-related security toggle, and a clue about an upcoming Easter egg. Read More
Wallet has to be pretty frustrating for Google. They beat Apple to the punch by quite a long time, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus basically introduced the lay public to mobile payments. How did this happen? Insert the tired cliches about Apple's control over hardware and software here. More interesting is what Google will do, considering how much they still have to gain by getting more adoption of their Apple Pay competitor.
A report by The Wall Street Journal indicates that Google is not going to stand pat while this burgeoning market passes them by. While it seems much is still in the air, Google is apparently planning several interesting things to remake Wallet, which they will re-introduce at this coming May's I/O conference. Read More
Bubblesoft, the developers of the popular BubbleUPnP app, have published a server equivalent for Android. Previously, you could run a BubbleUPnP Server on Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, or a NAS. Then you could use the player app on Android to access or share your local media. Now your Android devices can also be used as a server, but with several important caveats. At least if you know where to find the app.
As you might expect, it's pretty minimalistic and not made for hand-holding. And, even to the extent you might know what you're doing, you do not want to be using your daily driver devices as BubbleUPnP servers. Read More