Action Launcher v3 came out a few months ago with a ton of refinements and a slimmed down feature set. I thought it was quite a nice app, but the lack of certain extras irked some users. Developer Chris Lacy has been hard at work pushing updates to the launcher since then, and today is a big one. Action Launcher v3.2 adds so much stuff I'm going to use our snazzy new multi-column layout for the changelog.
The Xfinity TV Go is Comcast's way of letting customers take some of the channels they're already paying for and stream them to an Android device. For something that doesn't cost extra—thankfully, considering the high price of cable—it's a nice perk. Comcast has recently brought the list of supported channels up to over 70 with the addition of AMC, BBC America, FOX Deportes, MOVIEPLEX, Showtime, Univision Deportes, and The Weather Channel. The full list is available to browse through online.
From time to time, Google engages in A/B testing with its live products. Flipping switches from somewhere deep in its Mountain View HQ, Google will turn on new design tweaks or feature changes for small groups of users, and measure their impact on engagement. This is generally a helpful process for validating design decisions, and occasionally we catch them in the act and get a peek at what might be around the corner.
Today, reports started popping up that Google might be testing some UI tweaks with its Google+ app for Android. Before you get excited, these tweaks don't include a hamburger menu.
One of Pushbullet's coolest tricks is the SMS reply functionality accessible on your computer. Just hit the reply button on your PC or Mac when a synced notification pops up, and you can type a reply. There's a new update today that extends this feature to the top messaging apps on Android, but there are a few small caveats.
One of the lesser-known portions of the custom game software on NVIDIA's SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet is GRID, an OnLive-style streaming PC gaming system. It allows owners to play a selection of full-feature PC games streamed from NVIDIA's own virtualized systems at a data center, no personal gaming PC required. The service is still in beta, but has been growing steadily since its introduction a little over two years ago. By the beginning of March, 40 PC games will be available for free to SHIELD owners.
The next PC game added to the service, live this morning, is Saints Row 4.
Material warriors, this is the watch face you've been waiting for. It's a watch face forged from the finest material pixels and animations, presumably with the blessing of Lord DuARTe himself. What time is it? Material-o'clock, now and forever.
Reports about the plans for the next major release of VLC Media Player indicate that support for Chromecast output is on the roadmap. This is scheduled for the v3.0 release of the popular desktop client, but it is unclear in which version to expect it to appear on Android - the beta in the Play Store is at 1.0.0.
While there are a bevy of changes expected in the project's jump from 2.2 (which itself is not yet released) to 3.0, of most interest to Android users and Google fans is the Chromecast capability.
Also of interest is the following snippet from the 2.2.x to 3.0 changelog:
Large rework of the Android video outputs: there is now Surface (2.1, 2.2) NativeWindow (2.3+, supports hw rotation, subpicture blending, opaque)
Support rotation in Android NativeWindow output and hardware decoders
This at least shows that the development at hand is about more than just their trio of desktop clients.
Microsoft's recently released Outlook Preview for Android has generally been well-received by end users, but it had this little problem. One of the main reasons to like it was its native support of Microsoft Exchange accounts. Unfortunately, it did not support the device administrator features we are accustomed to seeing when using Exchange or Office 365 accounts. An update rolling out today helps to bring its security back in line, though.
So what was missing? Well, the administrator of the account can require that your device be locked with a PIN. This is often the case with corporate accounts, since a company doesn't want your carelessness to cause the loss of company secrets or things like that.
The Pebble continues to chug along even with Android Wear garnering most of the limelight among the Android faithful. Today's Pebble update adds a few new features, some borrowed from Wear, and some that improve on it. You'll need the recently released v2.9 firmware and the just released app (v2.3), but it's quick to update.