The music of my parents generation didn't rely on digital bass tracks or Auto-Tuning to craft a hit song. Instead, the artists of the seventies and eighties rocked out using the tools they had – electric guitars, drum sets, sweet vocals, and a whole lot of hair. Two great creators of music from that haira... I mean era, were Meat Loaf and Toto. Today, the very best of albums from both artists are available free on Google Play with each featuring more than a dozen songs. The albums normally would ring up to about twelve bucks apiece, so it's a pretty nice gift from Google.
There are dozens of Reddit clients in the Play Store, which is important seeing as the Reddit website sucks so hard on mobile devices. It doesn't really have a mobile UI at the main URL, it just scales things (awkwardly) to fit the screen width. There's also a little used "compact" site that's terrible in every way. Thankfully, Reddit is testing a beta mobile version of the site, and you can check it out now.
I've seen many Android games that offer gorgeous screenshots in the Play Store that hardly reflect the visuals I encounter after downloading the title to my Nexus 7. That's not the case with EA Sports' newly-released UFC game. The press images were spot on. The fighters in this game are impressive, and fans are in for a visual treat.
When a new version of Android hits, we want to know what's inside of its candy-coated shell. One of the best ways to discover all of the new treats is to read through the developer comments located in the Android Open Source Project. We've downloaded the code and generated a changelog of every single modification made between v5.1.0_r5 (LMY47O) and the newly released v5.1.1_r1 (LMY47V).
There are a total of 34 commits, with the majority falling into either core OS functions, media decoding and handling, or telephony.
One thing is for sure, if you ask developer Chris Lacy for something enough times, he's going to do it. Well, maybe. Case in point, the new version of Action Launcher includes a number of highly requested features. You can grab v3.4 from the Play Store right now to check it out for yourself.
If you're a ROM developer, or just in the mood to poke around the latest Android source code, you'll be excited to know that 5.1.1 has just been uploaded to AOSP. The tag for this release is 5.1.1_r1, and it carries the build number LMY47V. A factory image is already available for the Nexus Player, and the rest of the Nexus family will probably stabilize on this version over the coming weeks.
In its ongoing effort to make classrooms, well, more Googley, Google has a new batch of updates for its Classroom program today.
In a post to its for Education blog, Google has announced a handful of new features for Classroom, the most notable being collaboration. Now, educators can invite other educators to collaborate on a class, so other teachers can give students feedback, create assignments, make announcements, and participate in student discussions.
In fact, Google says, invited teachers can do almost everything the main teacher can do - "everything except delete the class."
Additionally, Google announced the new ability to save announcements and assignments as drafts, which should streamline the workflow of planning classes.
We've seen signs of Android 5.1.1 for the last couple of weeks in both the Android SDK Manager and Developer Portal, and it looks like it's finally ready to go live. The Nexus Player is the first device to be graced by the update, bringing the build number up to LMY47V. So far, there haven't been any reports of OTAs hitting the set-top box, but Google has posted the factory image and binaries.
Google Maps offers some stellar features, but that doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon, particularly in the area of public transit. Moovit is a navigation app that specializes in bus and train routes, and the latest version completely overhauls the interface. In particular it's much easier to assign a destination location from the main screen: instead of manually entering an address via text, just slide the map around until the indicator is where you want to go.