We often talk about the power of Android, from custom ROMs to modding and personalization, but it still baffles me when I come across an app that opens a world of possibilities like AutoInput and see that it doesn't even require root for most of its functionality. Built as a Tasker plugin, AutoInput comes to us courtesy of joaomgcd, the same guy who brought us AutoCast and AutoVoice. It allows you to create a series of input actions, including physical button presses and various taps and swipes, to emulate some sort of macro sequence that can be executed inside any app of your choosing.
There's an update to Chrome Beta (v39) rolling out in the Play Store, and it brings at least one notable feature—Reader Mode. You can probably guess what it is from the name. It strips out all the superfluous stuff on a page, leaving you with just the content. If you want it without waiting, we've got a download for you.
Chrome got you down in the dumps? Why not try Firefox? It's like Chrome, but developed by the fine people at Mozilla, who also make... um... okay, the point is Mozilla makes Firefox, and it's a good browser. Now it's even better with v33 rolling out to the stable version with support for casting to Chromecast or Roku, better private data management, and more.
Machinarium has been around for a few years on virtually every platform, but now we're finally getting something new (to Android) from Amanita Design. Botanicula shares a gameplay and art style with Machinarium, but it's a completely new adventure about five tree-dwelling friends who must save the last seed from their home tree, which has become infested with nasty parasites.
In ye olden days of Android, a video-sharing service by the name of Qik attracted millions of users. It grew rapidly enough to catch Skype's eye, and the larger video-based serviced acquired the smaller for a cool $150 million. It eventually shuttered the offering, and now it's bringing it back in the form of a peculiar new video messaging app.
Skype Qik draws inspiration from a number of different apps.
Every now and then an app pops up that looks like it was designed entirely for people like us. And by us, I mean tech reviewers, enthusiasts, and people who just somehow end up with more gadgets to maintain than we know what to do with. In this situation, it can be challenging to keep up with all the electronics and make sure each device is charged enough for use. Potential is a new app (still in beta) that can keep track of everything's battery life from a single location, and with its slick Material-inspired design, it looks good doing it.
Here's the thing about customization on Android, or any other interface for that matter: it's time-consuming. Whenever I try out a new launcher, I end up testing every option and toggle just to see if I like it, which inevitably means bouncing back and forth between the homescreen and the Settings menu for the launcher to see the results. It takes forever, which is why I've generally given up on fun things like themes and icon packs.
Beep. You're so popular, you got another new message. Buzz. I just found some stories for you to read about the latest -gate everyone is talking about. Beep. Your friends think your latest Instagram selfie is dashin', I told you that Valencia filter cleaned out your face nicely. Buzz. Beep. Buzz. If you don't mind this notification overload and want to see more of them, everywhere on your phone, then NotifWidget is for you.
We're in a bit of a lull for Android Wear devices. All three launch watches have been released and the second wave is still on the way. You may be wondering, have the app developers slowed down? Hell no, and how dare you ask such a leading question in your head just how? It's okay, though. We forgive you. As penance, read the following zillion words about all the new apps for Android Wear from the last few weeks.