Around the offices of Android Police, we go through a lot of apps. We're talking hundreds or even thousands every week, to bring you the best in our app and game roundups or (if they're good enough) individual posts. Before every major holiday, we are inundated with more themed applications than we know what to do with. And to be honest, most of them are terrible. But we've found four Valentine's apps that are bearable, even interesting.
If you're a Swype Beta user, the popular finger-dragging keyboard has received a significant update, to version 1.4.5 today. This new release basically just makes things better: smart editor has been improved, the keyboard launches more quickly in web browsers, advanced language models have been been enhanced, and a handful of smaller fixes and tweaks are in tow.
Swype Beta v188.8.131.5237
- Implemented a number of Smart Editor improvements and resolved some compatibility issues
- Improved keyboard launch responsiveness in web browsers
- Advanced Language Models improved for English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Korean
- Improved logic surrounding Language Downloads
- S-Note: Resolved some instances where text would be duplicated
- Plus many more bug fixes and overall enhancements!
Google just pushed an update to its Search app (which, as you know, includes Google Now). Among the new additions are the Google Now widget that we've all been hearing so much about, movie ratings, the ability to pull up movie passes purchased from Fandango, and real estate listings from Zillow when Google thinks you're in the market for a home. Now that's fancy.
Additionally, the update also adds a music button when a song is playing in voice mode, though that feature is currently limited to the U.S.
As if there weren't enough contenders out there for music subscription service, Slacker Radio has updated its business model. You can still get the standard ad-supported radio station features that were always available. However the company has added a Spotify-like buffet option for $10/month. Pony up the dough and you can remove all ads and listen to as many tracks as you want.
The combination is pretty powerful, as one of the biggest complaints over Spotify is its discovery problems.
It's hard for a Twitter client to make a name for itself with the market so saturated with competitors, but maybe Neatly has a shot. This Twitter client isn't just delivering your Tweets; it lets you sort, filter, and highlight tweets in your timeline so you see more relevant information. This app has arrived on basically every other platform (even Symbian and BlackBerry 10), but the developers have now offered up a beta Android version for you to try in advance of the actual release.
There's little doubt that Pokémon is the very best at separating parents from money. Like no franchise ever was. Getting Nintendo to relinquish control of content, though, is a real test. It doesn't generally stream its show for free without good cause. Today, however, it's available across the land. The animated series can now be streamed to Android handsets far and wide.
Admittedly Pokémon licensing is something I don't understand, but it's pretty powerful that this app has free episodes inside.
Foursquare received a significant update today, adding new features like nearby friends and places on the home screen map, and a "Best Nearby" button that allows you to see highly rated locations in your general vicinity. Here's the full changelog:
We’ve made some big changes, making it easier to quickly find the best stuff nearby:
✓ Explore is at the top of the home screen so you can quickly find whatever you’re craving.
It's surprisingly hard to make a mobile game, or at least, a mobile game that's worth playing. Mobile developers are still in their infancy, at least compared with their console and PC counterparts. So when someone manages to release a fun, polished game that works well on smartphones and avoids some of the more glaring pitfalls of the platform, we sit up and take notice. Such is the case with Roller Rally: Snake Pass, an Android port of a popular iOS title from MilkyTea.
Swiftkey's new Flow beta has been a crowd-favorite since its release. The company behind one of the best Android keyboard replacement apps has pushed a new update that brings a variety of bugfixes—including a bunch of crashes—and improvements such as a nicer-looking installer, a new Turkish layout, and better punctuation prediction for non-English languages.
Changes in this version:
* Fixed crash on changing keyboards
* Fixed force close on clicking update language
* Fixed other crashes
* Resolved majority of non-English punctuation problems
* New look installer to match SwiftKey Flow colors and include an introduction to SwiftKey Flow
* Added Turkish layout
* Chrome Beta should now behave like Chrome
* Snap and tap (correction of words) now compatible with Vietnamese
* Memory usage of settings app reduced
* Improved handling of non-zero length selection in Chrome and Samsung mail client
* Fixed jumping cursor in ExDialler and Samsung calculator
* Microphone key disabled in fields that don’t support voice input
* Fix for keyboard disappearing when phone build installed on tablet sized devices
* Disabled predictions in Kingsoft Office and UC browser to make SK usable in them
* Double space for period turned off by default to prevent accidental period insertion when flowing
* Replaced ‘learnt’ with ‘learned’ in personalization page (US English)
* Turned off slide down from candidate bar to close keyboard when flow is on (to be consistent with the description in the Settings menu)
* Crashes when looking at the heatmap if you visit immediately after using the alternative symbols layout
* Comma key on Arabic keyboard inserts western comma
* Predictions sometimes blank when switching between languages
* Flowing words sometimes results in surprising capitalizations
* “No SD card” ribbon looks bad on low end devices
Check out the source link for more info.
Can we be honest with ourselves? Plex kinda sucks. Hard to blame it, most third-party media centers on Android do at the moment. As a lengthy blog post by the developer points out, part of that has been due to Android's inflexibility and lack of a coherent UI in its history. That's changed over the last couple years and now Plex has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a lot more beautiful and a lot more functional.