That cool little HDMI stick that Google released more than a year ago got more useful and more awesome when the Cast API became available for developers. And while there are now hundreds of apps with Chromecast support on the Play Store, Google keeps a small curated list of some of them, kind of like a featured selection. Every now and then new entrants are let into this special club, and the latest addition is a trio of interesting apps: musiXmatch, Lyve, and Fitnet.
Beamdog has already made admirable Android ports of the original Baldur's Gate RPG and its side-sequel Icewind Dale. Now you can get Baldur's Gate II, the continuation of the original that was first published way back in 2000 by none other than Bioware. Like the previous D&D RPGs, Baldur's Gate II costs ten dollars on the Play Store, which gets you the original game and all its expansion scenarios. The game is not restricted to tablets, though it will certainly be better played on one.
The core of BGII is Shadow Amn, which directly follows the story events of the original game.
Update: The wide rollout appears to be a go. Hearthstone is live for us here in the US, and we're hearing from readers in other countries that it's now available as well.
Blizzard's notoriously addictive and enjoyable ETCG Hearthstone is now available for Android tablets - if you live in the right region. Blizzard has started a geo-restricted rollout of the immensely popular title in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Google pushed a new version of its Text-to-Speech app a few days ago, and it actually removed a feature. Updates usually add new things, so what's the deal? You can no longer download the high-quality voice models on your device. However, Google has updated the changelog to explain that you don't need them anymore. The regular voice is even better now.
Google has pushed out a number of tweaks to its suite of mobile office apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Even Drive, the place where edited documents are stored, hasn't gone untouched. Some of these features are nice to see, so let's dive in.
Update: Docs, Sheets, and Slides all have full hamburger menu icons now.
In Docs, an option to select line spacing has appeared in the "Paragraph" section of the app.
Do you remember the end of 2012? Android still ran Jelly Bean (no make that Jelly Bean, or was it Jelly Bean?). A 5.5-inch screen was as big as phone's got, and the mere promise of the Pebble had people virtually throwing money at their screens. Then in December, Instagram introduced a couple of new filters into its mobile app.
Two years later, devices are getting updated to Lollipop, a 5.5-inch screen is dangerously close to being considered average, the Pebble is looking a little dated next to the new kid on the block, and Instagram has finally introduced five more filters.
Most apps should work just fine on new versions of Android. That is, if you have a forgiving definition of the words "most" and "just fine." Sky PLC's Sky Go streaming app for the United Kingdom and Ireland was one of a few that ceased to function on devices that came with Lollipop or received a subsequent software update. The latest version of Sky Go works with Android 5.0, at least according to the "What's New" text for version 4.1.2.
SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet owners, mosey on over to the Play Store for your latest app update. NVIDIA has pushed a 4.0 upgrade for its SHIELD Hub app (previously called Tegra Zone), which ties into most of the unique gaming-related software on the devices. The new version has a Material Design upgrade to make it play nice with the Lollipop build on the Tablet itself, though it uses NVIDIA's usual green-on-grey color scheme, so you'll have to look closely for the changes to the animation and layout.