It's been a busy month in the Android app world, particularly if you want useful tools or visual tweaks. There's one big app that we're not featuring in this roundup: the Google Now Launcher, AKA the Google Experience Launcher. We're omitting it from the main list because it's only compatible with Nexus and GPE devices - even the few standard Android devices that have been upgraded to KitKat can't play with it unmodified.
February is the shortest month of the year, and it also happens to contain the biggest Android-related tech conference, Mobile World Congress. Between the two of them, you might think we'd be short of good games this month. On the contrary - February has given us one of the better crops of high-quality and diverse Android games we've seen in quite a while. Here's our pick for the top seven, in no particular order, with some honorable mentions thrown in for good measure.
I love Update Wednesdays, and today we've already seen pretty decent updates to several Google apps. As you've already seen, Google Play Games was updated to v1.5, but the one I'm excited about the most is, without a doubt, Google TTS v3.0, which made a jump today from v2.4.
So, what's so cool about TTS 3.0?
First and foremost, Text-to-Speech 3.0 adds support for high quality voices.
Today the Google Play Games app has made the big jump from version 1.1 to 1.5, and there are quite a few new features tucked away inside that may cause you to hit its icon in your app tray a little bit more often. Let's dive in.
The previous version allowed you to join multiplayer games from within the app, but the latest update introduces the ability to view invitations as well.
The official Motorola Migrate app received a notable update today, adding a few new features to Moto's smartphone transfer tool that should ease the pain of getting a new handset.
In particular, the new version allows more granular control over which content you want to transfer to the new handset, instead of just sending everything over wholesale, at least for Android-to-Android migration. You can toggle contacts, messages, photos, videos, music, and call logs as part of the new version's migration process.
The PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One all allow gamers to record and broadcast gameplay online via Twitch, turning even single-player games into social experiences. Now the technology is coming to Android. Today Twitch has announced the release of its mobile SDK, which game developers can use to provide players with functionality similar to that found on consoles. Mobile gamers will soon be able to share their mobile gaming experience with the rest of the Twitch community.
It has been about a year-and-a-half since game streaming service OnLive abruptly shut down operations and fired its staff. The company was sold off to an investment firm that kept the lights on, but it was unclear until now what was to become of OnLive. Now OnLive has returned with a new approach to selling you games in the cloud and new management that aims to avoid making the same mistakes twice.
Flipboard was already making headlines today after finally adding the option to sign into the Android app with Google+. But it looks like they'll soon have a lot more headlines to choose from, namely the ones that constantly appear on CNN.com. Flipboard announced this morning that the company will be partnering with the venerable TV and web news service, bringing both standard and international news to the platform with featured channels.
There are multiple ways to go after users. One way is to come up with a catchy word (Scroogled), slur a competitor with it (Google), sell some shirts, and hope it sticks. An alternative approach is to introduce functionality that could potentially draw their interest. The latest Bing for Android update does just that. Now Bing supports downloading images found in search results, a feature Google previously introduced into its own search app only to remove it later.