A Google Play Music update v5.2 just popped up in the Play Store, though it's being slowly rolled out, as is the case with many big Google apps nowadays. The previous version is 5.1, and indeed I'm seeing quite a few changes inside that would warrant a point release.
Update 9/10/13 4:00pm PT: the official changelog has been posted:
* All Access Genre Radio is here! Go to Radio or Explore, pick your favorite genre and enjoy unlimited radio based on the music you love.
* New download queue that allows pausing, resuming and cancelling
A detailed teardown may be coming in the future, but in the meantime, there is one big change that was immediately apparent: Google Play Music now supports Genre Radio in addition to the regular artist/song radio.
The Roku app is great for controlling a Roku set-top box, but that's what you have a remote for, right? The app previously included audio and picture streaming from Android devices, but now it goes one step further. The new update allows Android devices to stream video directly to the player over WiFi.
The 'Play on Roku' tab in the interface has a new entry for videos, which should pull up all the compatible videos on your device organized by folder. Keep in mind the videos have to be in a format your Android device can decode. Just pick the video you want and hit play.
You probably know Hexage. This developer has been a part of the Android gaming landscape since the beginning with titles like Radiant, EVAC, and Robotek. Hexage's newest title is the 2D action RPG Reaper, and it looks amazing.
This game takes the essence of an RPG and distills it to work effortlessly on a mobile device. There aren't a plethora of buttons all over the screen, just left and right controls and a gesture area for attacks and jumps. You travel around the map, taking on quests and fighting baddies, all the time collecting gold to buy more gear.
As with some of Hexage's recent titles, there are in-app purchases, but they probably don't work like you expect.
Commercial breaks have never been enjoyable, but after growing accustomed to Netflix's commercial-free experience and the brief pauses between Hulu videos, sitting through five minutes worth of ads while watching cable is more jarring than ever. It's possible to channel surf long enough to find something else to watch during that time, but you know the drill - either every show that's interesting happens to go to a commercial break at the same time, or you get too engrossed in something new to remember to turn back. Thankfully, there's now an app for Android that can address the latter problem. The aptly-named Commercial Break for Android sends you a notification every time a commercial you wish to skip comes to an end.
Ouya announced in July that it would match funds for Ouya titles that were funded through Kickstarter. That's a pretty good deal, so a number of game developers took a swing at it. There were reports as the first two campaigns neared their goals that something was amiss. There were a number of very large donations, and some felt that screamed "scam." One project has been suspended, and the details are starting to come out.
Kickstarter has not yet made a statement regarding the suspension of Elementary, My Dear Holmes! shortly after it reached its goal. The developer has spoken out, though.
Most Android keyboards have gotten pretty good at figuring out what word you're trying to type. Anyone that lives with SwiftKey day-to-day can certainly attest to that. But is the suggestion bar really putting that data to use? The folks behind Dynamic Keyboard have a different approach. This keyboard, set to launch on September 14th, alters the size of keys it believes you are more likely to tap.
There's yet another streaming music option on Android, and it comes courtesy of Microsoft. An Xbox Music app is set to debut today in Google Play. It will provide access to unlimited streaming to Xbox Music Pass subscribers, but the initial release is a little light on features.
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 high-end tower defense title, a throwback to old handheld LCD games, and a sickeningly cute puzzler. Without further ado:
Do you want your tower defense to have a little more story than the genre standard?
At last week's IFA Conference in Berlin, Germany, Samsung showed off a tablet-optimized version of the official Twitter app while talking up all the features the the 2014 Edition Note 10.1 has to offer. Of course, at the time we weren't sure if this was just a mockup or screenshot mishap on Samsung's part (it does look exactly like the iPad's version of the app, after all), but it now appears that it's indeed the real deal. German Android site AndroidNext has gotten its hands on a leaked copy of the apk, which seems to be fully-functioning.
A couple of caveats to be aware of if you plan on installing this, however:
It installs over the existing Twitter app, so you may need to clear data to get it working properly.