Since the recent update to MX Player, many users are running into a new problem: there's no sound in certain videos. It turns out the latest release of the popular video player removed support for two audio codecs: AC3 and MLP. Unfortunately, it seems this is a result of licensing issues, meaning MX Player will no longer ship with built-in support to play these audio formats. However, there is a simple workaround that will get things working again with relatively little hassle.
Restoring functionality is pretty simple, it only involves downloading a custom-built codec and pointing MX Player to the right file. Read More
Plume is one of the more long-standing "power user" options for Twitter on Android, thanks to a ton of built-in features, a customizable scrolling widget, and solid notification support. It's also one of the better apps in terms of visuals, even before the latest update. But the new beta available on Plume's Google+ community brings the app into the Android 5.0 era with some noticeable changes to the app's visual layout.
New above, old below.
The flat colors and high-contrast visual elements are immediately apparent, as is the floating "compose" button at the bottom of the main Twitter window. Read More
Root Checker is a simple little tool that does what it says on the box: it checks whether your phone or tablet (or game console, or set-top-box, or e-reader, or robotic toaster) has root permissions. Those that use it probably only do so for a few seconds once or twice a month. That being the case, it's not a big deal if the app doesn't look good. But that doesn't mean that it can't, right?
The latest version of Root Checker, or at least a version that's rolling out to some users on the Play Store, gives the app a visual makeover. Read More
Root Explorer is one of those apps that has been on each and every one of my Android devices for years, and part of the reason why is that developer Speed Software has kept it relevant with near-constant useful updates. The latest, version 3.3, takes advantage of the revised SD card management on Android 5.0. Those with Lollipop devices can once again write to an external SD card even without root.
Yes, Root Explorer works without root permissions - if you haven't rooted your device (or you can't), it's basically just a well-rounded file manager that can't modify the /system partition or other protected areas of Android's file system. Read More
The best thing you can do for Black Friday is nothing: those discounts aren't worth the indignity of getting clobbered by an octogenarian's purse while she hunts for a Frozen doll. But if you swing by this promotional page for Amazon's Appstore, you can pick up no less than 40 free apps and games, worth a combined $130 at full price. Amazon does these promotions on a regular basis. There's no reason not to get them all, but if you'd rather not clutter up your Amazon account, here are some notable picks:
Some of the apps are duplicates, like the Kindle Fire-only Angry Birds (the one above is fine for non-Fire devices). Read More
Hey, Call of Duty fans: do you want to experience the fast-paced military shooter action, breathless multiplayer competition, and facepalm-worthy single-player campaigns of your favorite console franchise on your mobile device? Well too bad, here's Clash of Clans with some guns and tanks.
Call of Duty: Heroes is the standard base-building, tower defense/offense game that you've seen about a hundred times before, but this time it's got a thin veneer of the CoD franchise sprayed on top. The "Heroes" bit comes from the fact that some of the leading characters of the previous games in the franchise will show up to help boost your forces. Read More
Lollipop users, you can now download the popular SuperSU tool from the Play Store. Not that you couldn't before, but version 2.35 is particularly notable: it works with a lot more of the usual root apps, after both SuperSU and the apps that use it were having trouble on Android 5.0. You can flash 2.35 via the usual ZIP in TWRP (and probably other custom recoveries), with updates coming via the Play Store after that.
Developer Chainfire has been working on getting SuperSU to play nice with root apps since the developer preview, but each new release up to the retail launch of Android 5.0 has presented new problems, especially with the new SELinux security policies. Read More
The stores are about to be packed, and those flash online sales are not much better. Apps sales, on the other hand, are not limited in quantity. There's always enough to go around. But the longer you wait, the less time you can spend playing games—get going. We'll keep loading this post up with deals as we come across them.
Duolingo treats learning a new language like a game, and it has attracted users thanks to its simple way of breaking courses into something you actually want to dive into during your free time. The latest version sprinkles in elements of Material Design, making the already visually pleasing app feel even more at home on devices running Android 5.0.
This release won't have you mistaking it for a Google app, as the shrunken menu button is slightly off, and the side panel slides in awkwardly under tabs that look stuck in transition between Holo and Material. The drop-down menu's corners are rounded off, which, even if this weren't standard fare for modern Android apps, would suit Duolingo well thanks to its overall bubbly and adorable nature. Read More
Chrome users love to try out new features in the beta version of the Android browser, and fans of Opera's long-running software have been able to do the same since March. Now you can try out the new goodies in the pipeline early for the Opera Mini browser as well: the company just published a beta app on the Play Store. And what's more, the very first release of the beta version is making it count with a fresh new user interface.
Opera Mini on the left, Opera Mini Beta on the right.
The new version of Opera Mini looks considerably more modern, even if it isn't adhering to broad Holo or Material Design standards. Read More