Version 1.4 of the Android Wear app started rolling out late Friday. The theme of this update, at least for what's currently live, is a set of changes to the Settings screen. There are a couple of new options, but they come at the expense of the battery stats screen. A look under the hood also shows that a few other features are either live or in the works for the next Wear OS update.
The Galaxy View is Samsung's biggest tablet, and the company is positioning it as a sort of all-purpose, general-use device for an entire household rather than a conventional mobile device. To that end they've released another exclusive app for the 18.4-inch tablet, Family Square. According to the description in the Play Store, it's meant to be a digital bulletin board, allowing multiple users to post photos to the app which are then displayed on the screen.
The setup is... unique. Instead of simply pulling photos from Facebook or Google+ accounts, Family Square needs to connect to individual phones, presumably over the local Wi-Fi network.
As an Android user, you are forgiven for not knowing who or what Fly Labs is. The company's video editing suite of applications is only available on iOS so your exposure to its products may have been non-existent. But you're about to hear more about Fly Labs or at least its products' features since it has just been acquired by Google.
The company announced the acquisition on its site and Google Photos' product lead David Lieb reiterated the news, dubbing Fly Labs as the "creators of the world's best video editing apps." I don't know about the world's best, but Fly Labs has some very interesting products under its name. Clips puts fragments of videos together, reorders them, and tags music or voice recordings on top of them. Tempo edits slow-motion, fast-forwarded clips, and time-lapse videos. Fly uses gestures to edit videos, apply cuts and transitions, integrate picture-in-picture, or split the screen.
Calendar apps are a dime a dozen on the Play Store, but few of them have the polish, power, and intuitive interface of Today Calendar. Now the app can add one more bullet point to its list of handy options that make it easier and faster to schedule appointments and tasks: natural language processing.
What that means is that you no longer have to fuss with manually picking dates, times, and durations. You simply type them as you're making a new entry and Today will interpret the specific details and schedule accordingly. Words like today, tomorrow, Friday,in 3 days, specific dates, holiday names, and times like 2pm, for 3 hours, from 1pm until 5pm, are processed by the app without the need to go into date and time selection.
If you use DoubleClick for Publishers to sell and serve ads, you'll be happy to know that Google finally released an app for the platform to monitor your performance on the go.
The app appears to pretty much be strictly for viewing performance in a dashboard card-style layout, not actually taking any actions in DoubleClick itself. You'll be able to see your network performance, including things like impressions, clicks, your click ratios, CPM, and individual ad performance.
Until today, just five countries had access to Google Play TV shows: Australia, Canada, the US, UK, and Japan. Now, Germany and France have joined the rather [frustratingly] exclusive Play TV club, and that's not all. Germany and Spain are also getting access to redeemable Google Play credit promo codes starting today, both having already been in the list of countries with Google Play gift cards.
While Play Movies is available in dozens of countries, licensing television shows can be much more difficult. With many different distribution deals often occurring even within different regions of a given country, let alone for different seasons of a show, the number of deals that have to be made can be quite ridiculous.
Crossy Road is often presented as a prime example of what's wrong with casual games, because it's a free-to-play game that's based on a classic (Frogger) and lacks any kind of sophistication. But Crossy Road does a lot of things right, too: it has an interesting if not unique visual style, it's accessible to any kind of gamer, and best of all, its free-to-play model is entirely reasonable, asking for only one dollar at a time and never forcing players to buy currency or tokens for random rewards. It's a good little game, is what I'm saying here.
Two of the three-man team from Crossy Road have released a new game in the same casual vein, Shooty Skies.
There's an update to the SwiftKey Keyboard rolling out today, and it's the big 6.0 rev that has been in beta for some time now. You'll notice some substantial changes to the settings UI, but the keyboard itself is getting some cool new features too. It's still rolling out in the Play Store, but we've got you covered with an APK.
More and more often, smartphones are becoming the "safe place" for many users to store private data — photos, conversations, passwords, bank account information…you name it, it's probably on the phone. The problem is that oftentimes this data isn't necessarily secured by said users. Things like private photos are easy to find by jumping into the gallery app. Conversations aren't hidden anywhere in the system — the SMS app reveals all without any sort of barrier. And that all goes without mentioning the private things that could be held within social networks, email, or other apps that may not necessarily be protected behind a password.
A late-night update to the Play Store slipped out just before midnight. A close examination doesn't turn up any big visual changes or new features, but this version is begging for a teardown. I'm not going to beat around the bush, if you've read the title, you know why you're here. Yes, it's true, family sharing and gifting are on the way. No doubt about it. There's even a neat way to add credit cards if they have NFC. There's no point in teasing it out, just get to reading. If you want to jump straight to downloading the latest version, there's a link at the bottom of the post.