Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes. Read More
Adobe's current Android strategy seems to be publishing as many small, single-purpose tools as possible to augment the workflow of artists and designers using its main Creative Cloud programs on a desktop computer. Capture CC is a tool for adding things like custom colors, brushes, shapes, and other Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign assets via a mobile camera. The Android app launched in October of 2015, and apparently Adobe didn't think anyone with an Android tablet really needed that functionality until now. Read More
I'm going to be perfectly honest: I avoid Skype like the plague, because its Windows client is legendarily awful. I actually install it and immediately uninstall it every time I need to talk to someone who only uses Skype. Perhaps the Skype Windows developer team should accept a little help from the mobile side, because the latest release looks really good, especially on tablets. The Skype blog announced a revamped tablet user interface in version 7.0 of the Android app. Read More
When I got my first Android tablet sometime around 2012 or 2013, I turned to Tablified Market to find good tablet apps. At the time, the Play Store didn't have any way of filtering tablet-optimized apps (and it still sucks at that) and Tablified was doing a great job of curating them into categories and easy to browse lists. But despite its good content, the Tablified app was merely an HTML wrapper for the website. It was slow to load and just dreadful in terms of responsiveness (here's what it looked like). With time, I started using it less and less until the app stopped being developed around April 2014 and I let it go. Read More
Google's remote application for controlling Android TV with your smartphone is... OK. It's adequate. It beats inputting passwords letter-by-letter with a physical remote, and that's about all you can say in praise of the app. While it lets you perform a voice search, it won't launch TV apps without going back to the home screen, and its trackpad isn't a cursor (as some apps might benefit from), it's just a gesture pad. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, specifically on Android tablets. Here's what version 1.0 looked like on a tablet:
Ugh. Version 1.1, just released on the Play Store, fixes this rather embarrassing formatting and adds a little polish as well. Read More
Trendy and thrifty travelers have taken a real shine to sub-letting app Airbnb, and those of them with tablets have a good reason to celebrate today. Version 5.0 of the Android app introduces a new user interface specifically for tablets, and it's available in the Play Store now. The 5.0 update doesn't seem to be going out in batches, but if you're having trouble getting it, the APK is available for download on APK Mirror.
New above, old below.
The new interface makes better use of the large space than the old app, which basically just blew up the phone UI for tablets. Read More
Growing up in a traditional Lebanese home taught me the value of a great home cooked meal but limited my food experience to the local Mediterranean cuisine. It wasn't until my late teens that I started putting aside my preconceptions about flavors and experimenting with recipes. Nowadays, whenever I feel the need to do some creative cooking, I head into the kitchen with my Nexus 7 in tow. It houses twelve excellent recipe apps optimized for tablets, with some of them specifically designed to be used during the cooking process.
Food Network In the Kitchen
Whether you're looking to start your culinary exploration or to enhance your skills, you should first check the Food Network. Read More
Amazon's big Fire TV announcement yesterday left us a bit perturbed that there's still no way to get Amazon Instant Video on standard Android devices, but the retailer is continuing to support the more conventional side of its business. Take the Amazon For Tablets app for example: the latest update adds some handy features, most notably support for the Amazon Fresh grocery service. But since Amazon Fresh is still only active in parts of California and Seattle, that won't effect a large percentage of users.
All users have access to a more immediate feature: a tap-and-drag gesture that pins items to the bottom of your screen for easy switching and comparison. Read More
The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.
Check out these screenshots. Here's a DROID MAXX browsing the Play Store's home page, and a quick look at one of the featured apps, Cluster.
Now the same view on a Nexus 7 2013. Read More