Guys, it's happening (....gif). The rumored YouTube music service that we've been hearing about for months is finally a reality. It's called YouTube Music Key, and it looks pretty great.
So here's the gist: it'll cost $7.99 a month (initially, at least - the price will eventually jump to $9.99), and includes full albums, background playback, offline viewing, and no ads. No ads. It's worth eight bucks a month just to get rid of the ads. That price also gets you a subscription to Google Play Music All Access, just like we suspected it would.
The question, however, is whether or not current All Access subscribers will automatically get Music Key as well.
A new Google app that allows you to text your friends? Wait, is this replacing Hangouts? Wait, why? Yes, no, and because, to answer those queries, respectively. Google Messenger is now out on the Play Store, having been officially confirmed to exist by Google last month.
This new app is the stock SMS/MMS handler in Android 5.0, but also can be downloaded to other devices with SMS/MMS capabilities, provided they run Android 4.1 or higher.
So, what's special about Messenger? Honestly, as texting apps go, not a lot. You can share pictures and videos from the chat dialog, search your contacts and conversations, block SMSs if you need to, send audio messages, color messaging threads, and send emoji, of course.
It's update Wednesday, and you know what that means. Well, yeah... updates. I guess it's sort of in the name. But at any rate, lately that specifically means material themes are coming to all your favorite Google apps. Today the new version of Google Keyboard is available to all in the Play Store. Or rather, it will be soon. You don't have to wait for it to reach your account, though. We've got the APK below.
Those of you with phones not made by HTC can feel free to continue on to the next post. I'm sorry to have wasted your time... I assume if you are still reading at this point, you own an HTC device. Good, those other phones suck, right? Let's say nasty things about people who own those phones behind their backs. Before that, there's an update to BlinkFeed in the Play Store.
SoundHound is one of the apps you can use to recognize those songs you hear playing in the background, whether it's in a commercial or in a department store. Now its developers are bumping things up to version 6.3 and giving everything a spiffy new look.
The interface above will probably look similar across platforms.
Overall, everything is still dark and looks generally SoundHound-y, but stuff has moved around a bit to make music more discoverable. That's what the changelog says, anyway. You can access the search and navigation buttons from anywhere just by swiping from the right. When you're on the home screen, you can view your recent searches and see what's currently popular.
Technology is rad, isn't it? I mean, here we are with smartwatches on our wrists with pretty respectable LCD and AMOLED screens. We were using phones a few years ago that didn't have many more pixels than our watches have. Might as well put those pixels to use showing something pretty, like images from 500px. You can do that with Mural Watchface.
The Android Wear companion app on Android has been a bit of an eyesore since the platform launched last summer. It looked like something born of a torrid love affair between Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich and was lacking in options. A new leak from Phandroid shows off the updated Wear app with a new design and features, and it looks much improved.
HTC's camera has become the company's latest piece of stock software to enter the Play Store. Here the app will sit on virtual shelves until the time comes for the company to push out future updates to its existing devices in a way that will no longer require a full-on firmware update.
HTC Camera provides a compelling software experience with many options tucked away underneath the surface, but it's held back on flagships by rear-facing hardware with relatively low megapixel counts. There's nothing this piece of software can do to fix the purple haze issue that One M7 owners like myself have been afflicted by (for that, you need to ship your phone to HTC for repair).
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Hostelworld.com - Hostels
This week's roundup is brought to you by Hostelworld.com - Hostels. International travelers know that lodging can often put a huge dent in a travel budget, and usually for the least interesting part of the trip.
Assassin's Creed Unity is the first entry in the series that won't be available for last-gen consoles, having been developed to take advantage of the extra power introduced by the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. This time the franchise heads to Paris and takes place during the French Revolution. While the core gameplay should look familiar to fans, the latest release introduces cooperative multiplayer that should extend the longevity of the experience.
But first, you're going to want to grab the Android companion app. It's not much use without the full game, but the included 3D map of Paris can make navigating the city an easier task.