As usual, the Google Play Store was a whirlwind of activity with some big apps being updated and some more being released. To start, Koushik Dutta released AllCast to the Play Store as a beta and you can see how you can get it by [Price: Free]. Some savvy tech heads found some [Price: Free] which could mean support is coming soon. Google updated a number of their apps, including [Price: Free], [Price: Free], [Price: Free], and Play Movies. Google is also planning released a NORAD-like Santa Tracker app to go with its Santa Tracker website. Next up, let’s take a look at some awesome Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week!
Action Launcher was recently updated to version 2.0 and with it came some pretty dramatic and awesome changes. Namely, it’s now free so there is literally no reason for you not to check it out. Also included are Android 4.4 theme elements and Quickpage, which is a full home screen that you can swipe out from the right edge of the screen. Do yourself a favor and give it a shot.
Cal by Any.do is probably the most beautiful calendar app we’ve ever seen and it has a lot of features to boot. So far it’s received some pretty good reviews from users and we do plan on reviewing this app very soon to see if the hype is deserved. If you don’t want to wait for that, it is free so there’s no harm in trying it out right now.
Dead Trigger 2 hasn’t been out long but MADFINGER Games has been actively working to make it even better. In a recent update, zombies and missions have been rebalanced for better game play, more missions have been added, and an upcoming update will add some Christmas stuff so if you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to pick up Dead Trigger 2.
Field Trip is done by the same people who did Ingress, so you already know it’s a good app. It was recently updated and included are new features and a re-designed user interface. Among the new features are simplified settings, swiping cards, accessing items on the bottom bar, and new publisher previews. If you need an app to keep you company on trips, this is the app to try.
Last on our list this week is a brand new atmospheric side scroller called Badlands and we literally can’t say enough good things about this game. It has 80 single player and 21 multiplayer levels that are challenging, competitive, and gorgeous. It has unique game play that results in a very enjoyable experience. Also, it’s free to play and the developer is already promising more levels. You can’t lose.
Google Edition phones appear to be a popular topic lately. We saw Google announced the Samsung GALAXY S 4 Google Edition throughout I/O. That of course was followed by an announcement of the Google Edition HTC One. These devices feature the identical hardware specs, however they will be running a vanilla Android installation and therefor be eligible for faster updates. More recently though, it looks like the folks at OPPO have begun teasing a Google Edition handset in their own. The OPPO device is the Find 5 and it looks like this has began with a user. The details, or should we say plea were posted on the OPPO forums and when an legit announcement has yet to be offered, there has been some chatter direct from OPPO. What we have is coming through their Facebook web page which is asking if you may want to see a Google Edition Find 5 become reality. Time will tell is this becomes reality, but it looks like the fast answer to that question is a majority yes. The OPPO Facebook posting has attracted a little more than a 1,000 likes and a little more than 150 comments.
Of course, some of these comments are users asking for a Google Edition Find 7 — as opposed to the Find 5. particular handset aside, it looks like OPPO followers are at least involved in a Google Edition and who knows, perhaps OPPO can attract enough attention to push out a Google Edition Find 5 and Find 7. All that being said, the important part here is that this is absolutely not an announcement, just a thought and thought of what may happen in the future. Otherwise, as the OPPO Find 5 is only available in Europe at the moment — a recap on those specs can be in order for those in other markets. The Find 5 is sporting a 5-inch display with a choice of 1920 x 1080, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of inner storage, 2500 mAh battery, 1. 9 megapixel front-facing camera and a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera. One exciting half here may be the price, remember this is just speculation, nonetheless we suspect it will arrive with a decrease cost point than what we now have visible with the GALAXY S 4 and HTC One Google Edition handsets.
This week, we very nearly overdosed on Moto X leaks, a solid rumor about the Nexus 5 made the rounds, two core Google apps have been updated, the present Android safety scare fizzled out, the LG G2 was in the spotlight, and T-Mo released its replace club. The Moto X hype train chugs along
Even in case you wanted to, you probably couldn’t avoid reading about the Moto X this week. It started in pressure with reports about the phone’s clean Pixel camera, which we think is marketing speak for a RGBW sensor . The novel kind of sensor ought to enable the Moto X to take vast pix even in low-light conditions. Then, a range of leaked pix emerged, culminating in a veritable photo shoot of Eric Schmidt just casually using his white Moto X like he was in a mystery Google lab and not at a public event with photographers all around. Our Nate Swanner reported on info he got from people who as a matter of fact used the Moto X; his conclusion: the user experience is great, and that matters more than having the latest specifications.
The G2 looks sexy with buttons on the back
We’ve heard that the successor to the Optimus G will be sporting a special design, but this week we finally got a clear peek at the G2 . The most extraordinary feature of the LG G2 is the absence of buttons on the front and sides of the device. LG opted to place the quantity rocker and the strength button on the back of the phone, below the camera module. On the front, the G2 is almost all-screen, with a really thin bezel and just LG’s logo to break the monotony. The G2 is just as gorgeous in the hardware department – among the first gadgets powered by the crazy fast Snapdragon 800 processor, LG’s new smartphone could also be the first to come with 3GB of RAM. A relatively large battery and an OIS camera entire the portrait of a very exciting device. Nexus 5 rumored to be the sibling of the G2
It’s still early in the game, but it surely looks that the next Nexus smartphone will be an LG job, just like the Nexus 4. At least that’s what a contemporary report from the Korean media claims. LG is allegedly developing the G2 and the Nexus 5 in parallel , and both smartphones will share among the specifications. The rumor says we should anticipate the next Nexus in October, with Android 5 pegged to make its front at the same point. note that here is just speculation for now, but a number of other rumors appear to support it. Google Maps update rolls out. Hangouts receives a voice
Two essential Google apps were up to date in the final week. The Google Maps app received the large update that was first teased at Google I/O, which brings a exclusively redesigned user interface and a host of new features. there was a bit of a rumpus over the conspicuous absence of offline maps functionality, but, as it turned out, the feature was only an “OK maps” away . Voice calling is back in Hangouts , after a few weeks of absence. whilst Google updated Talk to Hangouts many were shocked to uncover that telephone calling was removed from Gmail and the Chrome app. Well, put down your pitchforks, it’s back. The large security bug that wasn’t
The Android blogosphere is periodically swept by security scares, and the latest vulnerability supposedly makes 99% of Android devices susceptible to hacking .
A lot of people might be going crazy over Google [#protected_0#], but many more would still prefer more conventional appliances for their entertainment needs. For those kind of people, Hisense offers two new alternatives in the form of a Smart TV and a set top box, both of which give users access to Google’s ecosystem via Google Services for Smart TVs, the fancy new name for Google TV.
The Hisense H6 Smart TV is actually a full-fledged Android device running Android 4.2.2. It is powered by a Marvell ARMADA 1500 Plus HD Media processor, from the very same people that make the chip inside the Chromecast. It boasts of a 120 Hz refresh rate, 1 GB of RAM and a internal storage of 8 GB. With the Hisense H6 Smart TV debuts a new EasyView user interface that will make navigation easy and intuitive using the accompanying remote control. Buyers will have an option of either 40-inch, 50-inch, or 55-inch models.
Those who do not want to part ways with their existing TVs can instead opt for the new Pulse PRO set top box. The company doesn’t disclose if this device runs Android as well but it does include support for the same Google Services, including Chrome, YouTube, and Google Voice Search. In addition, it also supports Netflix, Vudu HD Movies, Amazon Instant Video, and PrimeTime. The Pulse PRO runs on a MARVEL BG2-CT board and has 1 GB of RAM and a storage capacity of 4 GB. It has support for various connectivity ports and features such as HDMI, Infrared, DLNA, WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, and USB.
Both the Hisense H6 Smart TV and Pulse PRO run the company’s custom Social TV app and cloud services, Both are also compatible with the H6 remote, sold separately in the case of the Pulse PRO, that features a 30-key interface, air mouse, and built-in microphone.
On this edition of the Friday Debate, we discuss a topic that generated hot disputes within the Android network within the beyond week: Google’s power play on Android. Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica recently published a thought-provoking piece where he outlines the way Google moved extra and more of the features that were once phase of AOSP into its own proprietary applications, thus increasing its control on the Android ecosystem and making it more difficult for different firms to fork it. Some say that’s a perfectly justified move, others decry it as a betrayal of the ideals of open source software. The larger question pertains to the effect of the stream on consumers – sure, Google offers an excellent person revel in by its apps, but opposition is healthy and finally a various ecosystem may prove more benefic for users than a centralized one. So, is Google’s increasing control over Android ultimately tremendous for consumers? Is the move from open source to proprietary aggravating you? How must other organizations react?
Join us within the discussion, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments!
Offering Android as a free and open platform was really advantageous to Google as much as it was to consumers looking for alternative products to Apple’s. Google has obviously done smartly out of it, and it’s difficult to deny that its huge stack of assets makes it virtually unattainable for anybody else to re-invent Android in yet another image.
If you’re wearing your skeptical cap, this should be viewed as an attempt to muscle out rivals and tighten its grip on Android. But I’m not convinced that here is Google’s intention, yet. The organization clearly has a vision for Android, and that necessitates the production of some proprietary software and services. It’s impossible for Google to open up all of its software to the open-source crowd, as this would deprive it of the fruits of that investment. As much or as little as the humans at Google may believe in open-source, profits from closed software pays for investments in new projects to drive Android forwards. Equally, there’s nothing, bar costs, stopping third get together developers from competing with the sizable majority of Google’s products, and many companies do. Google is absolutely the benchmark to beat, but it’s not enforcing a monopoly. the company is in simple terms ploughing the most resources into the project, which was always going to make it a tad lopsided. However, consumers, developers, and Google need to all be weary of the risks posed by a monopoly, customarily that of stagnating innovation. The greatest argument in favour of open-source projects isn’t that they’re “free” or that they fulfil a programmer’s Marxist fantasy, but that they’re customarily cutting edge and sustained by the ease of access granted to developers. But by the related token, we must remember that smaller contributors and shoppers shouldn’t be able to dictate how the resources of others are allocated, as this too stifles innovation. With all that being said, if Android becomes an overly difficulty market to compete in, developers will, and should, appear elsewhere, and every body will lose out. We’ve all seen what occurs when companies turn out to be blinded by their own vision, I’m seeking at you Blackberry, so it’s in Google’s finest interest to keep the playing field somewhat level. Overall, I think that Android, and consumers, are better off as a result of Google’s efforts, but I’m undecided regardless of whether or not its dominant position will be detrimental to the platform in the long run.
At the time of the announcement, Chrome VP Brian Rakowski commented on how the long-term goal was to bring Chrome apps everywhere — mobile included. While Google has been relatively quiet about when we might see Chrome apps come to the mobile world, the Next Web has learned that the toolkit designed for creating Chrome apps for Android and iOS is already pretty far along.
Right now the project is listed in a GitHub repository called “Mobile Chrome Apps”, led by Google software developer Michal Mocny. The project isn’t yet ready for primetime, but Joe Marini (Lead Dev Relations for Chrome apps) states that they hopes to have “something in beta form in January”.
Eventually the goal will be to polish up the toolkit enough that these Chrome mobile apps can then be published to Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Once they are ready, Android 4.x or better will be required in order to use the Chrome apps.
Although we’ve known for a while now that Google plans to bring Chrome-powered apps to all mobile and desktop platforms, it’s still nice to see further proof that the project is coming along nicely.
Google has yet to comment any further on their plans for Chrome apps for Android and iOS, but a source close to the company says that developers can try out the tools from the GitHub now, even if Google isn’t quite ready to officially announce anything.
What do you think of the idea of Chrome apps for Android? Excited by the prospect, or not?
The Google Now easter eggs just hold coming. This time, Google takes a SciFi frame of mind to their enjoyable and games.
If you get into Google Now and ask it “When am I?”, the result may surprise you. Google Now actually has this contextual information factor down. rather than get confused and simply offer web results, Google Now’s calming voice tells you “The present, of course. TARDIS functionality is still undergoing development. Sorry. ” Dr. Who fans will, of course, get the joke. What we here at Android Community in finding are clues. Deep rooted clues, offering a glimpse at Google’s future, and perhaps ours, too. To start, we’re now convinced that the rumored “space elevator” is absolutely a time machine. We also be told from these clues, which lay out like breadcrumbs to the truth, that Googlers working at Google X labs generally watch Dr Who and are attempting to emulate what they see. Sergey Brin, thankfully, is still Tony Stark — that’s irrefutable.
Really, it’s just a a laugh little trick Google built in to entertain us, if simply for a minute. It’s also good to look Siri isn’t the sole one with snappy comebacks these days. We in reality like that on top of the voice readout, we get results for anything having to do with “time”, like Time magazine, or Google+ postings mentioning time. Even in jest, Google Now is still really functional. VIA: Phandroid
The Google Now easter eggs just avert coming. This time, Google takes a SciFi technique to their enjoyable and games. in case you get into Google Now and ask it “When am I?”, the result could surprise you. Google Now really has this contextual facts thing down. relatively than get confused and simply offer internet results, Google Now’s calming voice tells you “The present, of course.
TARDIS functionality is still undergoing development. Sorry. ” Dr.
Who fans will, of course, get the joke. What we here at Android neighborhood find are clues. Deep rooted clues, offering a glimpse at Google’s future, and perhaps ours, too. To start, we’re now confident that the rumored “space elevator” is genuinely a time machine. We also research from these clues, which lay out like breadcrumbs to the truth, that Googlers working at Google X labs largely watch Dr Who and try to emulate what they see. Sergey Brin, thankfully, is still Tony Stark — that’s irrefutable.
Really, it’s just a amusing little trick Google built in to entertain us, if only for a minute. It’s also good to look Siri isn’t the only one with snappy comebacks these days. We really like that on leading of the voice readout, we get results for anything having to do with “time”, like Time magazine, or Google+ postings mentioning time. Even in jest, Google Now is still really functional. VIA: Phandroid
A new Google Play Store app aims to improve the Android 4.4 KitKat “Google Experience Launcher” by packing in additional features and making it available free of charge to devices running Android 4.3 or later. However, the app doesn’t include Search features such as the quick access to Google Now or the “Ok, Google” voice search.
In case you forgot, the Android 4.4 launcher offers a completely new experience, as all the features are packed around Google’s Search app. That’s why the feature is officially available only on the Nexus 5, as Google is not willing to bring it to other devices just yet, not even its older Nexus handset and tablets that are supported by the KitKat update.
That’s certainly understandable, as releasing such a launcher that’s baked around Google’s search features may enrage some of Google’s partners that make their money off Android smartphones and tablets that ship with a certain custom launcher on board. Using KitKat’s launcher instead of an OEM’s customized user interface is probably not something Google wants to offer users, at least not officially.
As for the KitKat Launcher+, the app has been compiled straight from the AOSP launcher and will offer Android fans that own non-Nexus devices a close-to-stock KitKat visual experience even on devices running the latest version of Jelly Bean. Here are some of the features included in the KitKat Launcher+ so far:
Hide the Google Search Bar
Change grid size
Enable a set amount of screens (do not automatically remove empty screens)
Got an eye for design? Google wants it to shine through in the latest version of Android.
4 KitKat, Google’s barely two week outdated update is supplying even more ways for developers to make apps their own.
Design is becoming an increasingly crucial topic among those in the cellular community; a communication that has grown louder since the passing of Steve Jobs.
Walter Isaacson’s biography discovered just how demanding Jobs was when it got here to design and Apple’s products have undoubtedly reflected that over the years. no matter how you lean on the “iPhone vs. Android” debate, there isn’t any doubting the solid construction and beauty of Apple’s hardware. when carrying that design sense over to application isn’t necessarily winning over as many users as the hardware that supports it, consumers are becoming increasingly more conscious of how the technology they carry “looks”. On the other side, Android was the first to take a step into modern software design with version 3. 0 Honeycomb. This minimal design with “Tron” blue accents took queues more from its virtual origins than the physical world users had long been accustomed to. Google has continued to refine the Android Design Guidelines , and the Holo design language is something that even the most casual enthusiast is now aware of.