For any readers visiting this post on or after April 2, check the post date before continuing :)
In 2013, Google announced the death of its RSS reading platform Google Reader. At the time, Google cited declining usage as the official reason for Reader's closure, wrapping it up along with things like Cloud Connect, Voice for Blackberry, and Building Maker as part of a second round of "spring cleaning."
It comes as a huge surprise then to see the app back in the Play Store almost two years later with a new icon and brand new interface, jumping from version 1.1.8 up to 2.0. Read More
Update: As commenters have pointed out, the undo close tab option has been available before now - it's just the look that has changed. I've updated the screenshots to reflect this.
The beta edition of Chrome for Android is getting a small update before the changes go into the primary release. The biggest new addition in version 39.0.2171.37 is an "undo closed tab" option. When you swipe away a tab on the "all tabs" page, a contextual menu will appear at the bottom allowing you to instantly bring it back. This is standard behavior for desktop browsers - on Chrome for Windows, the Ctrl-Shift-T command does the same thing. Read More
August is over, and as a resident of the southern United States, I say good riddance - we're now beginning the slow slide into the more bearable part of the year. But Android apps know no season, and while the crop of new apps from August was a little light, there are a few that you should definitely check out. Below are the Android Police writers' picks for the best new apps from the last month, plus a few honorable mentions.
Google News & Weather
Android Police coverage: Google's News & Weather App, AKA The 'Genie Widget' Gets A Massive 2.0 Update And A Full Play Store Release [APK Download]
Google's News & Weather app, known informally as "the Genie widget," isn't technically new. Read More
Let's be honest, busy people don't have time to trudge through long books made of mostly filler. Unfortunately, publishers know they can't put a high price on a 40-page book. In the end, authors are stuck building a lavish sea of meaningless words around the simple concepts they want to convey. That's where Blinkist comes in. It's a service that boils popular non-fiction books down to their most formative and salient points. Think of it like Cliffs Notes, but even shorter and not funded entirely by high school students. Blinkist has been around for about a year with a website and iOS app, but now its making a debut on Android. Read More
The Adobe Reader app has received another update that brings in a couple of new features for Android users who turn to it for their PDF-handling needs. The little piece of software can already handle reading files just fine, but for people who would rather hold a physical copy of a text in their hands, the latest version should better help with that. KitKat printing support is now bundled in, so users can print to any printers that they have saved to their devices.
In addition, Adobe Reader can now display just the cover page of documents open in two-page view. Before it showed the cover as a page and displayed it alongside the next one, shattering the illusion that readers were interacting with a book. Read More
Physical books just aren't what they used to be. They're big, clunky, and far too heavy. Okay, they're precisely what they always were, but times have changed. Publishers have upped their game, shrinking complex books down into portable digital formats and adding in interactive elements to make them more engaging. One such publisher, Inkling, has now ported its catalog of books to Android. These are usable exclusively through its dedicated app, which is now available through the Play Store in beta form.
Inkling's books are of the instructional variety, useful in discovering how to cook delicate cuisine, get the most out of a DSLR camera, or deal with a young child. Read More
Digg Reader is a news service that wrangles the best stories from all over the web and delivers them to you in an attractive and sensible way. Using some social networking magic in addition to actual living humans, Digg decides what the most relevant and talked about stories of the day are. Today, they've released the Digg Reader app onto the play store and, my oh my, is it pretty.
All the makings of a great news app are there. It's got the slide-out menu on the left and all the relevant buttons on the top right. This is a fantastic example of a news app. Read More
Nearly all the attention for reader-tablet hybrids goes to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but today the Toronto-based Kobo is making a compelling case for their share of the market. The company announced three new tablets: the Arc 7, Arc 7HD, and Arc 10HD, set for release on October 16th. The three models are roughly analogous to the latest Kindle Fire, Fire HD, and Fire HD 8.9, but they've got two distinct advantages: they run Android 4.2.2, and they've got access to the Google Play Store.
The Kobo Arc 7 (above) is the baby of the family, but it isn't a bad piece of hardware for the price. Read More
It was just six weeks ago that we featured Rockmelt, an Android app with a bit of an identity crisis. It didn't know whether it wanted to be an RSS reader or a browser (but it did know it wanted to look like Pinterest). Well, the eponymous company that makes Rockmelt is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Yahoo. And they've killed the Android app deader than a dove at an NRA convention.
Rockmelt announced via its company blog that the Internet discovery service would be shutting down on August 31st as Yahoo integrates it into the larger corporation. Read More
Amazon's Kindle app has just received a significant update, bringing the reader up to version 4 and introducing a refreshed UI, among other things.
Just when I'd decided to try switching to Play Books (despite giving up things like quick two-finger brightness adjustment), Amazon has introduced a redesigned library that's much more lively than a simple grid of book covers. The new library interface has your books plus a nice "carousel" up top for recent items. The navigation panel has also been expanded for quick access to documents and Newsstand items, along with items that used to hide under the overflow button. Read More