Google is rolling out an update to Android Wear that brings the first of two waves of promised features. So far it is arriving on LG watches, but Motorola just chimed in with specifics for the Moto 360. It's mostly the same as what other wearables will get, but with a few key exceptions.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Expense IQ - Expense Manager
This week's roundup is brought to you by Expense IQ - Expense Manager from Handy Apps. Read More
Android 4.4W.2 is slowly rolling out to various Wear devices this week, and my G Watch R review unit just received it earlier this afternoon. A couple of commenters have pointed out a new feature in W2 that we hadn't yet noticed - you can now hide notifications, as opposed to dismissing them, directly from the watchface. Read More
We've already seen about a half-dozen Google apps leaked in a Nexus 6 system dump, but we haven't taken a look at Google Drive yet. The app does have some material design in store though - as with the others - it's still in testing, so anything could change. That said, it's worth taking a look. Google Drive has implemented many of the new material design paradigms that make the app cleaner, leaner, and easier to use. Read More
Among the many features Google talked about when the Android L preview rolled out was an improved version of Android Beam, and it's here in the new Android 5.0 dev preview. NFC sharing has existed since Android 4.0 in some form or another, but now it's finally something you can use without second-guessing yourself. Just pick a file and start beaming.
Every smartphone out there might not be able to use a microSD card, but it can take advantage of a full-sized flash drive. Hey, hear me out here. I'm well aware that Android phones don't come with big USB ports, but SanDisk has produced a flash drive that your phone or tablet can access wirelessly. While they're not a perfect solution to the problem of limited storage, they're one of the best options out there. Read More
Nova Launcher continues to let you emulate the Google Now Launcher while enjoying a plethora of customizations options. The newest version brings Lollipop animations and icons, along with a few tweaks to the existing functionality.
The G Watch R is the first truly circular smartwatch, and it's also the first to ship with quite so many watchface options - 18 in all. Here's every one, in both active (as in, the display is turned on and ready for interaction) and always-on (passive sleep) modes.
Left: Castle white, right: Red Read More
When it comes to pushing pixels and providing deeply immersive experiences, consoles have a leg up over Android devices. But this doesn't mean that phones or tablets don't have a role to play in couch-based gaming. Xbox One SmartGlass users can turn to the Android app as a way to manage their Xbox account and interact with others without having to back out of their game.
An update has rolled out to the SmartGlass app, which is still in beta, that gives users a place to highlight their best game clips, show off their achievements, or share their location. Read More
I know there are more than a few American readers who took a chance on this post, clicking on the headline even though they know the presence of Huawei's name likely means that everything they're about to read won't apply to them. The Ascend Mate 2 is one device that runs counter to this expectation. Huawei sells the phone directly to consumers online, including folks who live in the US. Read More