Action Launcher is one of the more interesting home screen replacements out there, and it's getting better with a big update to version 1.9 today. There are a few new features, but the app has also gotten a plethora of bug fixes and optimizations that should make it faster and more stable.
Gameloft has released eight games in the Asphalt series in just under nine years. If practice makes perfect, then Asphalt 8 should be nothing less than the greatest racing game ever made. It doesn't quite live up to that lofty goal, but as a top-tier Android game and an impressive arcade-style racer in its own right, it's worth your attention even if you're only casually interested in racing games.
Between the Hot Wheels physics, licensed cars, online play, and gorgeous presentation, Asphalt 8 is worth a lot more than its $1 asking price.
Snapchat is now the latest prominent app to start using the Play Store beta testing mechanism to get new features in front of users sooner, something we've also seen from Facebook. If you haven't already heard of Snapchat, think of it as a service that could have saved Anthony Weiner a great deal of headache. Users use it to send photos, videos, and text messages that automatically delete from the recipient's device and the server after a set amount of time.
There are any number of photo editors on Android already, but Repix brings something slightly different to the table. This app isn't about getting the colors just right or removing red eye – it turns your boring regular pictures into snazzy art. What? You don't like snazzy things?
There are 16 filters, 17 frames, and over 30 brushes available in Repix. There's not a lot of messing around with settings here – you just pick a tool and have at it.
A couple of weeks ago, Play Store users started receiving frustrating errors when downloading or updating apps. The bug flashed a dialog reading "Package file is invalid" after refusing to download an app. It seemed to affect people and apps randomly. Google marked the issue as "resolved" on the Play support page on August 13th, but it has been moved back into the Known Issues list.
A casual search on the social networks reveals that more than a few users are still experiencing the issue, though it doesn't seem to be as widespread as before.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
As announced on Google+ earlier this morning by the Android Developers page, app devs can now distribute their [free] wares to users in Iran. Paid apps and all apps with in-app billing will have to wait, possibly indefinitely. The complex and restrictive embargoes the US has placed on doing business in the country, particularly when it comes to accepting Iranian currency or working with Iranian financial institutions, probably are something of a hurdle in that regard.
How many times has this happened to you: you're out for a day of shopping/running errands and get home only to find out about a handful of good deals that you drove right past throughout the day? That seems to happen to my wife and me nearly every time we go somewhere; fortunately, there's a new app that aims to keep that from happening again. It's called Clipless, and it essentially runs in the background, just waiting to alert you of a nearby deal.
Just when you thought we were done with the already rather extensive Google Search teardown, another wild teardown appears. Yup, still the same good old Search 2.7, but this time, we found a hidden feature that you will really want, even more than custom hotwords. At least I think you will.
Turns out, there's a secret flag within Search that lets you use the hotword, set by default to 'Google,' anywhere in search results instead of just the home Activity.