Motorola really happened upon a great strategy with the OG Moto X when it added core features to the Play Store. It allows Motorola to update functionality without waiting for a full OTA, and other OEMs have been following suit. It's going to be much the same with the new Moto X—four new listings have appeared in the Play Store for this device.
We Android users are accustomed to getting games months, even years, after our iOS-running peers. We've grown so used to this that it's hardly worth pointing out half the time. But every now and then a game slips in that really took its time. In a world of jets engines, daWindci has floated towards Android with the speed of a hot air balloon with a Play Store appearance that's a full three years after its 2011 Apple App Store debut.
The Galaxy S5 on Verizon got an update barely one week ago that bumped it up to Android 4.4.4, but another is rolling out today. The new OTA with version number KTU84P.G900VVRU1ANI2 adds a few tweaks to functionality and resolves some bugs. It also gets the GS5 ready for VoLTE calls.
We first reported on Android Silver back in April this year as an attempt by Google to premiumify Android phones with more Google branding and stock software in partnership with OEMs and US carriers. The program was supposed to launch early next year, and according to our source, would even entail custom retail booths in carrier stores, supplied and funded by Google. Google would also provide marketing assistance, customer support, and help carriers with sell-through, providing employees training on selling and teaching customers how to use Silver devices.
Here's a Google app that few people would judge you for not knowing about. There's this thing formerly known as Maps Engine that lets people create custom maps and share them with others. Now it goes by the name of My Maps. And, put bluntly, it's a change that makes sense. This conveys to users what the app actually does. Map Engine? Not so much.
To go with the name change, Google has changed the app's icon as well.
With its first wearable, the Shine, Misfit took a different approach to the whole activity tracking thing. Its spherical device wasn't tied to a bracelet like its competitors', it could be popped inside of a necklace or strapped to a belt as well. And forget days of battery life, this thing could go for months. The product was compelling, but at $129.99, it wasn't cheap, so Misfit is addressing that with its second go at the market, the Flash.
In another gesture that shows Microsoft's increasing willingness to play along with its competitors, the company has launched a OneNote Android Wear app into the Play Store. However, this release oddly requires users to have this separate app installed alongside the standard Android one in order to interact with OneNote on their smartwatches. It's awkward, but hey, it's better than nothing. With this new integration, people are able to dictate words to their wrists and have them appear among their notes.
The stable of apps that support Google's Chromecast device just seems to keep growing. In addition to NPR One and Watch ABC last month, Google just announced a handful of new apps that have been enabled today. The biggest additions for our readers are probably Twitch, the online game stream broadcasting service, and iHeartRadio, the radio streaming service from
ClearChannel iHeartMedia. Both of them should be ready to stream content to your TV now.