Sony's Socialife is an attractive app, but it has thus far only found its way into the hands of a limited number of users. This isn't an indictment of its quality. Rather, it speaks to the app's previous exclusivity. The news reader and social network aggregator has only been available for Xperia phones, tablets, and Sony VAIO PCs. Now it's open to any Android device running Jelly Bean or higher. Here it is running on a Nexus 5.
When the name of that song playing in the background escapes you, Shazam is the most common way to figure it out. This app has a few hundred million installs on Google Play – no big deal, or anything. A recent update has brought the updated experience that was teased at MWC to the Android app, so get your updates started.
Google has been buffing up the capabilities of the Chromecast as of late by opening up app access with the SDK, and it looks like even first-party apps are getting in on the action. The latest release of the beta version of Chrome for Android adds in Chromecast capability for YouTube videos. Theoretically, it should work for any standard HTML5 video as well. Now you don't need a laptop to cast web videos to your television.
According to Marques Brownlee, voice to text dictation is coming to the desktop version of Google Docs. Check out these screenshots allegedly showing the feature in action, below.
While Android has featured speech to text as part of the standard keyboard for several years now, the option has rather curiously not been a part of the desktop / web version of Google Docs (now Google Drive). Apparently, this is now changing.
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Puzzle Defense: Dragons
Today's roundup is presented by Puzzle Defense: Dragons from Herocraft.
You have what amounts to a tiny super computer in your pocket, and what are you doing with it? Hmm? App Habits will track which apps you're using and when so you can get the low down on exactly how you're wasting time with neat graphs. It will also use this data to surface apps you might be interested in based on the time of day.
The Google+ Android app jumped to a new version last week, and shortly after, its Play Store page updated with a change log topped by one problematic item:
Here's the thing, moderators couldn't yet. We hit up the app, searched the site, and even asked around. The feature simply wasn't live. Now it is. Moderators can pin posts to the top of a community stream regardless of if they're using the app or the website.
No one app is going to make an Android device immediately safe from any and all threats, but some can make it easier to remain ever vigilant. viaProtect may one day be such a app. This piece of software gives you a basic idea where the apps installed on your phone or tablet are sending your information. It doesn't go into specifics, but it will at least show you how much of your traffic is encrypted and some other security-related information.
Routers are complex and intimidating, but this Kickstarter project hopes to address both of these issues. The Soap smart router is an Android-based router with a touch display. Through a simple interface, owners can implement parental controls, set time limits, see what activity is taking place on a network, block ads, create black/lists, monitor network analytics, and look out for potential threads. The idea is that this will be a router that you don't need to be a techie to know how to use, and its promise has attracted enough funds to surpasses its $80k funding goal with 19 days to go.
Today Microsoft has released the Office 365 software development kit for Android. With it, the company wants to invite developers to access Office data inside their apps. The SDK provides APIs granting permission to call upon SharePoint lists and files, along with Exchange calendars, contacts, and mail. The preview is available for download straight from GitHub.
The SDK requires Android 4.0.3 or higher to run, and Microsoft has shared an introductory blog post to get you started.