So you have a Google TV, but you want to use it for something other than watching TV. We understand - we are an Android blog dedicated to telling you how to do just about anything but place a call using your smartphone, after all. So I present to you the Enblink, a Chromecast-sized dongle that also plugs into your TV, giving it wireless control over your home's lighting and other existing devices.
A couple of weeks ago, Play Store users started receiving frustrating errors when downloading or updating apps. The bug flashed a dialog reading "Package file is invalid" after refusing to download an app. It seemed to affect people and apps randomly. Google marked the issue as "resolved" on the Play support page on August 13th, but it has been moved back into the Known Issues list.
A casual search on the social networks reveals that more than a few users are still experiencing the issue, though it doesn't seem to be as widespread as before.
Update: The Verge has a response straight from the horse's mouth. It doesn't completely dismiss the idea of local content playback, but it doesn't exactly justify Google's disabling of the feature, either. Basically it's a "hurry up and wait" situation - we won't know exactly how Google intends to go forward until the developer preview for the SDK ends.
Just when you thought we were done with the already rather extensive Google Search teardown, another wild teardown appears. Yup, still the same good old Search 2.7, but this time, we found a hidden feature that you will really want, even more than custom hotwords. At least I think you will.
Turns out, there's a secret flag within Search that lets you use the hotword, set by default to 'Google,' anywhere in search results instead of just the home Activity.
A couple of days ago, Google dropped a pretty sweet but surprising late-night update to Google Search with version 2.7.9. You can read about the announced features and download the APK here, if you haven't yet. After the dust settled, I jumped right into the multitude of under-the-hood changes and was able to uncover quite a few things not included in the changelog - both ones that are coming in the future and ones that are already here.
If you missed out on Woot.com's Sony Internet Player deal last week, Best Buy's Deal of the Day has something that will make you smile. The NSZ-GS7 is again on sale for 50% off, bringing the price down to a more affordable $99.99. And unlike the Woot.com deal, this one comes with free shipping. Just take action before today is over - you wouldn't want to miss out on this deal a second time.
The Chrome team is pushing out an update to all the good little Chromecasts of the world. This one doesn't come with any changes to the UI or new features, but it does promise to improve the stability for Google Play Movies playback, and should make Chromecast devices discoverable on more networks. You won't need to do anything to get this installed on your end, the OTA will automatically download and install when it's your turn.
Given the major Keep update to v2 today, I got excited when I saw that Hangouts was updated as well a short time after. Unfortunately, it seems like it's a very minor bump: from 22.214.171.1243199 to 126.96.36.1998356.
A quick teardown revealed updated translations and some minor under-the-hood code changes that aren't anything to write home about. The changelog hasn't been updated either and still lists the added emoji support and other stuff from the previous v1.1 update.
The Field Trip app on Android is a fun little diversion. It pops up location-based cards that tell you about interesting things nearby. It could be a landmark, a historical event, or a place to grab a bite. But the app requires you to whip out your phone to see the notification. Field Trip has just been announced for Google Glass, and it looks like the perfect platform for it – this is what augmented reality is supposed to be.
The Chromecast add-ons just keep coming, don't they? The latest tool to take advantage of Google's dirt-cheap media streamer is called Fling, from Plano, Texas developer Leon Nicholls. Unlike most of the tools from Koushik Dutta and others, this one expands Chromecast's desktop streaming powers. The Fling Java tool streams local video and audio files directly to Chromecast, and uses the popular VLC media player to transcode the ones that Chromecast doesn't support.