VLC For Android has been steadily improving over the past months, but today's beta update is a big step forward to the app that even the developers acknowledge as a "major release."
VLC went through a hardcore bootcamp between versions 1.3.2 and 1.5.0, emerging with enhancements all across the board. Internally, the app's code has been rewritten to be faster and to require fewer permissions especially on KitKat devices and above. Externally, the app's design has been given a small facelift to better fit Material's clean and elegant look.
Version 4.9 of the Google app began rolling out late yesterday, but it's not sporting a lot of obvious additions. The only immediately visible changes appear under Settings -> Now cards, where a new toggle has been added to enable or disable lock screen notifications based on cards. Some updated text also appears below the new toggle, if you care about that sort of thing.
The Android L developer preview remained largely static in the time between its launch and Lollipop's official release. That isn't the case with Android M, which Google says will receive monthly over-the-air updates. The first of them is now available for the Nexus 5 and 6.
Several FCC filings for the upcoming Galaxy Note 5 and all-but-confirmed Galaxy S6 Edge Plus were located today, including Verizon and AT&T models of each. The N920V (Verizon Note 5), G928V (Verizon S6E+), N920A (AT&T Note 5), and G928A (AT&T S6E+) all have publicly available test information, furthering rumors that the devices will launch earlier than normal.
Normal, by the way, tends to be October here in America. The Galaxy Note 4's street date last year was October 17th in the US and in many countries around the world. This time, the rumor is that a mid-August launch will follow with retail availability just a week later in many markets, and that is quite a shift.
Readers, we have a confession to make. This update to the Amazon shopping app actually came out on June 30th, over two weeks ago. Sorry about that. We spotted it, both on the Play Store and on APK Mirror, but didn't notice anything particularly new about it because Amazon neglected to upload a change log. They've done so today, and the new version (184.108.40.206 on my Nexus 6) actually adds some important new features to the app.
First of all, you can now use the official Amazon shopping app in Mexico thanks to the Amazon.mx expansion announced last month. If you've received an Amazon gift card (paradoxically available at many retailers which Amazon actively competes with), you can now scan it with your smartphone's camera to add the credit instead of laboriously punching in numbers.
There have been Warhammer 40K games on Android before. They have not been particularly good, mostly because they simply slap the license on top of an existing mobile game style and hope the dedicated fans will spend some money. Not so with Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf. Not only does this game come from HeroCraft, a developer that can generally be relied upon to create decent games, it's a top-down, turn-based strategy title. What an idea!
Space Wolf is closer to a tactical strategy game than a straight-up board game adaptation, but that makes sense in the context of the medium.
In the latest version, Dropbox adds a much-needed favor for collaborative teams and users who rely on effective communication across updated files. But who gives a crap about that, because the app has also added GIF support.
Version 3.0.1 lets you view animated GIFs right in Dropbox without popping out to an external app. That should be useful for... OK, it's not particularly useful for anything, except that one time that you need to instantly distinguish between the original and reverse of that one dog image when you attend a GIF party via your tablet. But now you can totally do that!
Whoa, whoa! Before you load up that car and take off on your next vacation, sit down and take a look at this deal. On Amazon, you can currently get a 24W 4.8A 3-port USB car charger for $5. That's enough outlets for you, your spouse, and junior to all power your gadgets at the same time.
You have to enter the coupon code DDRQLCOL to bring the price down from $11. You have your choice of black and white.
What's that? Ah, you have three kids. That leaves two people without room to plug their gadgets in. For them, there's a 10000mAh power bank that you can get for $15.39.
Seven days ago Google offered a game from Cartoon Network as its free family app of the week. Monsters At My Birthday Cake was a Zelda-inspired adventure game that, while skewing young, some of us could still find amusing for an hour or two.
Well, this week's free app is aimed at the little ones. Google is offering up a copy of Sago Mini Space Explorer, in which your kid gets to guide a dog in a spacesuit around a whimsical depiction of space.
Getting the game isn't as simple as going to Sago Mini Space Explorer's Google Play page, as there it's priced at $2.99.
As announced earlier today, the HBO Now app is live in the Play Store for all devices. Although, when I say "all devices" I don't really mean all of them. Rooted phones and tablets aren't supported, because you're obviously a dirty pirate if you root your phone. Everyone else can get a free 30-day trial of HBO Now, though.