Writing about the XBMC media center software almost always takes a little explanation. The open-source XBMC was formerly known as the "Xbox Media Center," because its first release way back in 2003 was based on the "Xbox Media Player" and intended to run on modified Xbox game consoles. Because the software no longer officially runs on the Xbox, and has never run on newer consoles like the Xbox 360, and in fact runs on a heck of a lot of hardware that bears no X at all, the creators have renamed the software "Kodi."
In addition to general confusion around the name and nomenclature for the project, the XBMC Foundation had a hard time with trademark and quality control.
To the excitement of many, Google has finally made the Google Now Launcher available for all Android devices running Android 4.1 or later.
The GNL is what Google thinks your Android device should look like, in a basic sense. A dedicated Google Now homescreen pane, a permanent Google Search shortcut at the top of every screen, and a very bare-bones app drawer. It's simple, fast, and Google-y. What's interesting is that, despite some degree of love for the GNL in the wider Android community, it's really not an enthusiast's launcher at all.
Vine isn't a platform known for outstanding videography, on account of being limited to mobile cameras (not to mention the time limit). But starting today, users on Android should notice a definite improvement in the quality of uploaded videos, at least according to the latest app update. Of course, the quality will still be limited by your phone or tablet's camera and the shooting conditions in any particular location. Exactly how video quality is being improved (bitrate bump?
Google+, for all the criticism it has garnered from the "hip" tech crowd, has been an incredibly important product for the search giant since its unveiling back in 2011. Remember when you had to get an invite to join Google+? How far we've come.
But Google+ quickly became more than just Google+. The Hangouts messaging platform and, later, Google+ Photos were key leaps forward for Google in two areas where the company was arguably becoming stagnant.
It's been a number of months since the Google Now Launcher debuted in the Play Store as an exclusive for Nexus and Google Play Experience devices, but today that changes. The newest update has opened up official access to all devices running Android 4.1 or higher.
Nutrisystem's NuMi is an online program that caters itself to a person's lifestyle in order to help them lose weight. The site logs a person's meals, water consumption, activities, and other trackable things. It then uses this information to make meal recommendations, providing thousands of recipes. Now Nutrisystem has consolidated this offering into a mobile form with its newly available Android app.
Most of us approach Amazon as consumers. Whether it's a physical product or some digital goodie, we want to buy everything we can get our hands on. The site loves this about us, so it's made itself so compelling to use that the thought of shopping elsewhere is often proceeded by "Meh, I'll check Amazon first." The thing is, Amazon's selection wouldn't be nearly as comprehensive without the many merchants who also use the site to sell their wares.
You would think the pace of Wear apps would slow down after the initial rush to be the first to do one thing or another, but no. Bigno. The flow of new Wear-enabled apps has yet to abate, so the roundup is back a little early to show you what's cool and new in the Android Wear universe.
There's always a free app of the day in the Amazon Appstore, but sometimes consumers are treated to multiple giveaways on the site at the same time. Today's free app, Sorcery, is joined by Carcassonne, which just happens to be going for the glorious price of $0.00 at the same time.
One issue preventing a bunch of people from viewing Google Maps as the navigation godsend that many others see it as is its limited availability in certain parts of the globe. Well, Google is working to change that. The company has rolled out support for navigation in the countries of El Salvador, Libya, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Tunisia.
Here are screenshots of the feature enabled in Paraguay, where an Android Police reader has noticed it for the first time.