Update Wednesday hit like a ton of bricks, this week. It didn't help that it also happened to land on tax day in the United States. Not only were there new versions for about a dozen apps from Google, but a couple of new ones joined the mix. Yet again, Drive and its associated document editing apps are gracing the Teardown stage with even more new improvements on the horizon.
I know it seems that we have a new WhatsApp post every couple of days on Android Police lately, but it ain't our fault. The app's developers, specifically the Android team, appear to be drinking the good kind of kool-aid and kicking one new version after the other with not only bug fixes, but also lots of new goodies. So first there was the Web "client", then the saga of the voice calling feature rollout, followed by the Material design update, and now Google Drive is being implemented as a backup option inside the app.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got an endless runner with shooter elements, a unique adventure game, another unique adventure game (but an old one this time), and Square's latest IAP-filled role-player.
The latest update for Google+ brings changes you probably won't notice unless you head to a community, in which case you will really notice. The main focus of the v5.3 version is a revamped UI for communities, which certainly makes things really pop.
Owners of the PS3 or Xbox 360 might remember a certain daredevil named Joe Danger from a few years back. In the indie title of the same name, Mr. Danger rode his motorcycle across various courses, avoiding obstacles and collecting coins. Now you can play the game on Android, and it's the same version that was available on the consoles a few years back.
Google Play services made a rather lofty jump from 7.0 to 7.3 a few days ago. While there don't appear to be any big API changes for developers, a couple of pretty obnoxious issues were cleared up for regular users. It looks like the Home address in Trusted Places is not only working again, but there may be an improved UI that makes it even easier to set up safe zones (if you didn't already have it).
Mobile electronics have to have compromises. You can't shove a 55-inch screen onto a phone no matter how hard you try, end eventually even the biggest battery will run out. It's all about balancing the desirable with the practical. A similar principle extends to the more niche world of mobile-focused gaming controllers: while we'd all like a console experience in a portable package, even the most generous pockets will be strained if you try to shove a Dual Shock into them.
Microsoft announced Skype Room Systems last month, and now it has released a companion app for Android. This software is aimed at business-running types looking to use Skype to create virtual meeting spaces.
The system is built around Windows 10, but the Android app does let you control and monitor some functions. These include seeing when you're waiting in the lobby, tweaking your volume settings, turning off your camera, and hanging up on a call.
Spring, the fashion shopping application that launched on iOS several months ago, is now available on Android devices as well. The service isn't focused on social sharing, instead billing itself as an e-commerce and aiming first and foremost to make it easier to shop 700+ men's and women's fashion brands. It has exclusives, sales (sometimes), an easy check-out experience, and it handles customer service for orders instead of directing you to the brands.
Back in 2011 when Amazon released its App Store, we cited the ability to try apps out in your browser before downloading as one of its top features. Later, you could also do that on phones and tablets. Well, things have changed. First, after an announcement made today, you will no longer be able to do this with apps from Amazon's store. Second, you probably won't miss it too much.