App Ops showed up in Android 4.3 and made it possible to revoke permissions on a per-app basis. It wasn't exposed in the main system settings, but it was easy to access. Then Android 4.4 made it quite a bit harder to get to, and now it appears to be completely missing in 4.4.2. What gives? Well, Android engineer Dianne Hackborn has indicated App Ops was never meant to be a user-facing feature in the first place.
Google's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time.
Six to Start's latest app is another pedometer for people who need more motivation to get off the couch. Similar to the team's previous game, Zombies, Run!, The Walk is an immersive experience that pits players in the midst of a suspenseful storyline - but rather than tap and swipe at the screen to make progress, you must get on your feet and move. It hopes to change your next walk around town into an adventure you will never forget.
Spotify is great. Despite that fact that many of us abandoned it for Google Music All Access when that was announced, Spotify is still one of the best streaming music services available today. And it just got a lot better (and cheaper).
At a press conference today, Spotify founder Daniel Ek announced that service would basically start offering free streaming to mobile phones and tablets. The model will be different for each device category, but the general gist is the same – stream music, and pay nothing for it.
Androidify was a neat distraction when it came out a few years back, but it quickly fell by the wayside. Forgotten, it waited in the Play Store for its chance to shine again, and here we are. Google has updated Androidify with a new UI and some spiffy holiday duds.
Rovio's newest game is about what the Finnish developer knows best – birds. Though, they seem decidedly less angry this time in their little downhill race carts. Like it or not, this game is going to be huge.
Angry Birds Go is Rovio's first major free-to-play game on Android, so expect to be hit up for cash on occasion (maybe a lot of it). This is a casual racing game built around a variety of quirky downhill tracks.
Google Play Books update 3.1.17 is slowly rolling out, and I'm glad to report that it finally brings a feature a lot of you have been dying to see - book uploading directly from your devices. As always, we have the APK which you can install if you don't see the update just yet right below.
As I already mentioned, you no longer need to go to Google's website to upload your own books - 3.1.17 allows you to upload PDFs and EPUBs directly.
Google Translate is a pretty great tool, but it's only useful if it actually works where you need it. Today it works in even more places, as Google has updated both the web service and the Android app with nine new languages, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Here's the full list:
Hausa (Harshen Hausa) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo) - Nigeria
Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
Somali (Af-Soomaali) - Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa
Zulu (isiZulu) spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries
Mongolian (Монгол хэл) - Mongolia
Nepali (नेपाली) - Nepal and India
Punjabi language (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (Gurmukhi script) - India and Pakistan
Maori (Te Reo Māori) - New Zealand
All together, the updated languages cover more than 225 million native speakers around the world.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a gorgeous platformer/shooter, a tactical RPG, a strange telephone-themed adventure game, another Tin Man game book, and a game about burning things.
After having been beta-tested for the last couple months, the new Twitter v5.0 app for Android has finally been released to all users, with a very mixed critical reception.
If you've been participating in the Twitter alpha or beta programs on Android, this is really nothing new - the latest update adds new features like photos in DMs and the ability to filter your notification timeline, but otherwise, this is the same app you've been using for a while.