Most Android apps from large corporations don't really consider the design guidelines worth following - hell, a lot of them are carbon copies of the counterpart iPhone app. (From three years ago.) The app from movie theater chain Regal Cinemas is refreshingly different: even before the latest update it followed Holo guidelines pretty well throughout the interface. The latest update, published in the Play Store yesterday, brings it up to Material Design.
After popping up in a leak several weeks back, Facebook's Android dialer app has been released in the Play Store. Rather than going with the generic and confusing "Phone," the app is called Hello. You can place calls, see who's calling, and block incoming callers.
Swiftkey prides itself on making your mobile typing experience easier and faster than stock keyboards, but these days the competition has really upped its game. Predictions and swiping aren't enough to qualify as unique anymore. But a new unannounced feature from SwiftKey might be just the edge they need to stay competitive.
With the version 5.3 beta launching on Android later this week, SwiftKey is addressing one of the most irritating aspects of typing on a mobile device—entering passwords, and not just in websites.
It doesn't get as much attention as the competition, but SkyDrive OneDrive is a capable alternative to Drive or Dropbox. The Android app has been lagging behind on features a little, but today's update improves things. The new features help you stay in the app more instead of jumping to the browser to get links or manage content.
You gotta love what you do, and the developers of Pocket Casts clearly do. Whereas most changelogs are merely a way to keep users abreast of changes to the app, Shifty Jelly sees them as a way to give you a chuckle while you wait for the update to download. Pocket Casts has just hit v5.1, and that means new features and a new changelog.
Google let the cat out of the bag yesterday with a blog post detailing just what we should expect in the next major version to Android Wear. An upcoming software update will be adding Wi-Fi support, always-on apps, and a few other interesting options. While we wait for new firmwares to hit our wrist-bound hardware, the Android Wear app just received its own update to prepare for the new features. This isn't just a small maintenance release to add configuration screens, there are some major visual and organizational improvements, and a few new features.
While Microsoft's wide release of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for tablet users was more than welcome, there were more than a few strings attached. Most notably, it was incompatible with Android 5.0+, making the newest devices unable to use them. The other major hangup was the lack of support for x86 processors, which basically means all Intel SoCs, a popular choice in the midrange tablet market. Microsoft is now working on a semi-private beta that adds support for both of those groups.
I've seen many Android games that offer gorgeous screenshots in the Play Store that hardly reflect the visuals I encounter after downloading the title to my Nexus 7. That's not the case with EA Sports' newly-released UFC game. The press images were spot on. The fighters in this game are impressive, and fans are in for a visual treat.
One thing is for sure, if you ask developer Chris Lacy for something enough times, he's going to do it. Well, maybe. Case in point, the new version of Action Launcher includes a number of highly requested features. You can grab v3.4 from the Play Store right now to check it out for yourself.
You can't do as much with a smartwatch as you can with a phone, but these little wrist computers are surprisingly capable. You just need the right apps. Well, and watch faces too. Google highlights a few Wear apps from time to time, but we're always watching in order to spot the best things for your watch, and here they are.