We've been digging into some of the apps that come with the latest update for the ADT-1 Android TV device. Interestingly enough, some of these apps work just fine when side-loaded onto standard phones or tablets - it looks like they contain all the standard resources and layouts for both versions of Android. You can check out the changes for Google Play Movies & TV below - there are some notable ones for Chromecast users.
Google's walk/run tracker app, My Tracks, doesn't get updated terribly often, but when it does, there is usually something worth reporting. This most recent update is no exception, as it now offers Android Wear support and some changes to the way sharing works.
Unfortunately, Android Wear support does not mean that you can use the app on the watch alone, independent of the phone. Since Android Wear devices don't yet support GPS, it's basically impossible to have a functioning version of this app on a watch alone.
Microsoft has launched its Bing Rewards app into the Play Store, and if you're expecting an experience akin to Google Opinion Rewards, don't. This offering is even easier, assuming you can handle using Bing as a search engine. This may be painless for some folks, but Microsoft apparently wants users enough to pay them. People can win points just by searching for things and eventually redeem them for gift cards and other prizes.
For a while now, we've been aware of an unreleased keyboard theme, shown off in screenshots of Google Chrome on the Play Store. Today, the Android 5.0 Lollipop developer preview brought us Google Keyboard 4.0 that carries both the Material Light and Dark themes. There's really not much to say about the themes that can't be communicated in images - they are similar to the keyboard included in the original dev preview, but now there's a light theme.
We've been waiting on a big update to Google's search app, having seen screenshots here and there that hinted at an updated design. With today's new Lollipop developer preview, the Google app's 4.0 incarnation was made available. We've got a download at the bottom of the post, but be sure to read the instructions first as getting this up and running on pre-L devices requires some extra fiddling. Also, you'll need to be rooted.
You would think that with the popularity of Google's search engine, Gmail, Maps, Docs, and all of the company's other web apps, it would know everything about us by now. Millions of us have Android devices in our pockets capable of transmitting our location to Google servers every second of the day. But there's one thing Google hasn't been able to pin down just yet--our opinions. It wants to know these enough to pay us (kind of) for the information.
People use Twitter to share just about everything: mundane thoughts, witty commentary, pictures of food, and their favorite sounds. That last bit is the only part of this list that requires a user to jump away from the app. Now the company is addressing that. Twitter has rolled out Audio Cards, a way for users to stream music and other sounds directly within the Android app.
The experience is not all that dissimilar to how Twitter handles images.
After Star Wars, Marvel, and The Walking Dead, it seems like just about any property is fair game for Zen Studios' expanding pinball franchise. The latest addition is South Park, Comedy Central's foul-mouthed animated show now in its 18th season. As usual with Zen Pinball expansions, you can get the two new 3D tables as either a stand-alone paid app or as in-app purchase expansions to the original game. The separate app is $4, or each table is $2, so it works out the same.