Friday is pretty much the weekend, so how about we all play hooky and spend a bit of time with some new apps and games? We've even got some deals to make the decision to shirk responsibility that much easier. Just give in...
Google Now's website has received a slick new redesign, and it's quite a looker. The landing page is now rich with animations and background video, providing an experience so immersive that if you haven't already tried Google Now, or even if you've just been taking a break, you might want to go fire it back up. The page offers a great primer for anyone who isn't already aware of what Google's portable personal assistant is capable of.
The day you've been waiting for is here, "phablet" fans... assuming you're a prospective or current Sprint customer and you haven't already bought a Galaxy Note 3. The Now Network has launched its carrier-branded version of the HTC One Max (or "One max" if you're a brand manager) and it's currently available on the official online store for $149.99.
That's $149.99, if and only if you meet a few qualifications.
The Nest Learning Thermostat gets a major update to its Android app today, mostly to add support for the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The Protect now ties into the Android app (assuming you have one, of course) with status checks for both sensors and multiple units in your connected home. You can add new thermostats or smoke detectors right from the app.
Beyond that, the app has been given a full visual makeover.
If you're not an IT manager or an employee of a company with a sizeable tech infrastructure, feel free to skip this post. But if either of those descriptions fit you, you may be interested in Amazon's latest foray into B2B services. Amazon WorkSpaces is a remote, virtualized desktop - basically your own personal Windows machine that lives in the cloud - and it's got an Android client just one day after the service was launched.
Earlier today, a post on the Chrome Releases blog announced Chrome 31 is moving from beta to the stable. The update is coming in with a number of exciting features, including: printing from Chrome on devices with KitKat, support for requestAutocomplete to auto-fill payment details with online stores, 'Add to home screen' for web apps, and more.
If you've been following along with the beta channel, you're probably already familiar with a few of these changes.
We were ridiculously excited by the prospect of a physical Google Wallet card when we reported on it just over a year ago, but six months went by without a peep until eventually the project was canned. Thankfully, awesome ideas don't disappear just because one company decides it's not ready to make them happen. Coin, a startup out of San Francisco, has announced a card of its own that promises to deliver much of what we were excited to see Google pull off themselves.
The Adobe Reader Android app has received another update, but you're going to have to hand over some money to take advantage of all of its new features. Adobe has rolled out new "Adobe PDF Pack" and "ExportPDF," which users can purchase from within the app. The former let users convert documents into PDFs, while the latter does just the opposite.
I reviewed the UE BOOM back in July and called it my favorite Bluetooth speaker. Four months and several speaker reviews later, it still holds that title. Today, UE is pushing out a firmware update to the speaker and adding new features to the Android app that makes it even more useful.
The standout feature of this update is an all-new Alarm feature. Basically, it turns your BOOM into an alarm clock, so you can wake to some killer sound.
We heard yesterday that the newest Transformer Pad was slated to get its Android 4.3 update on November 18th, but it looks like the bits are dropping a little early. Android 4.3 for the TF701T has been posted on the Asus support site, and you can download it right now.