Remember those shortcuts at the top of the Feed in the Google app for things like weather and restaurants? They've been missing from the app for the past week or two. Turns out, their absence isn't an oversight. Google has intentionally removed those shortcuts from the Feed. Read More
UC Browser is massively popular in India, with over 500 million installs on the Play Store. But just two days ago, the app was removed from the store. Now it appears that a setting in the browser itself, rather than rumored data theft or misleading promotions, is the reason it has been removed. Read More
The original Moto 360 was the smartwatch to have - the first with a round display (barring the 'flat tire'), and one of the first powered by Android Wear. Unfortunately, the lack of an always-on display, the ancient TI OMAP 3 processor, and small battery were sources of frustration for early adopters. The second-generation model fixed many of the original's shortcomings, but it did arrive with a hefty price tag of $300. Read More
OK, Amazon, I can sympathize with your plight. As both the legal operator of a massive software distribution service and a TV, movie, and music vendor beholden to various rights holders, you might be tempted to remove anything from your app store that even whiffs of piracy or copyright infringement. Hell, I could help you spot some examples if you want. But that really doesn't excuse booting legitimate, useful apps off of your store without a second thought, as appears to be the case with Kodi Media Center.
AFTV reports that Amazon removed Kodi, a highly technical open-source media manager (formerly called XBMC), from the Amazon Appstore last week. Read More
Feel free to change the channel if you've seen this one before, but the widely used SeriesGuide app has disappeared from Google Play. This piece of phone and tablet-friendly software is great for tracking which episodes and series you've watched and keeping up with new releases. Earlier today the developers sent out a tweet alerting users to the app's removal.
If we had to wager a guess as to why Google pulled SeriesGuide, it's probably from the use of unapproved images on the app's Play Store page. Read More
The typical Update Wednesdays, wherein Google released new versions of its many and varied Android apps, will be a little less busy from now on. Not that Google released many updates for the Android version of Google Finance anyway - according to the Internet Archive, the last time the app was touched was way back in January of 2013. In any case, it's gone now: Finance disappeared from the Play Store without ceremony last night.
Between the lack of updates and a surprising apathy on Google's part, it's unlikely that the Android version of Finance will be missed. Read More
Last year the XBMC project changed its name to Kodi, giving the media manager a much-needed fresh start considering how it has long since expanded past its original Xbox roots. Yatse is a popular remote app for use with the platform that recently got a spiffy material redesign.
Fast forward several months, and Yatse has disappeared from the Play Store (though you can still find the unlocker and several plugins). Read More
Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th.
Google posted the following explanation on its support site and issued the same statement to users via email:
We have some sad news to share: Helpouts will be shutting down on April 20, 2015.
Go to the Play Store on your Android device and look for Tiny Death Star, the Star Wars-themed version of Nimblebit's smash hit casual game Tiny Tower, and you won't find it. If that's surprising, you're not half as shocked as Nimblebit. According to a report from Pocket Gamer, Lucasfilm's new owners at Disney decided to un-publish the game without even telling the developers their plans. Disney also pulled a Star Wars card game, Assault Team, though that me-too CCG title is hard to get upset about.
Strangely, the Google Play Store web page for Tiny Death Star is still up, though it looks like every single device has been marked as incompatible, so you won't be able to find the listing on any Android phone or tablet. Read More
Spotify still doesn't support streaming its music to Chromecast. That's bad. The third-party Spoticast app allows you to stream Spotify audio to Chromecast for free. That's good. Spoticast has been taken off the Play Store, allegedly for violating intellectual property rights and "app impersonation." That's bad. Want some frozen yogurt?
Hey everyone, this morning we received notification that #Spoticast has been removed from the Google play store. So unfortunately it seems #Spoticast has come to an end. I just wanted to say thanks to all those who supported us.
This sort of thing isn't uncommon, but it is a little unexpected in this case - adding functionality to Spotify shouldn't technically violate any of the agreements between the streaming service and the music labels. Read More