Premium features will require a new in-app purchase, but they're well worth it
Chris Lacy's Action Launcher has been one of our favorite alternative launchers of late, thanks to its speed, design and innovative options for widgets and folders. Today marks the release of Action Launcher 3, a top-to-bottom redesign of the app that moves the codebase to Android 5.0 Lollipop adds some new visual features and streamlines some old favorites.
Action Launcher 3 also blurs the lines a little bit between being an update and a completely new app, as Lacy is giving those who purchased the Pro version of Action Launcher 2 a path to keep their paid app without having to make a separate purchase. It's all a little clunky, a little confusing, and a little controversial.
While you're waiting on the update to go live in Google Play (which should be any time now), we'll explain what's up.
The team at Zen Studios will be adding yet another Marvel super-hero table to their pinball game. This time it's based on Venom, one of Spider-Man's major villains. It's now available as an in-app download for Zen Pinball HD for Android in the Google Play Store for $1.99.
If you don't have Hulu installed on your Android device now, you may want to give it a go, because they're offering Android-exclusive mobile access to their catalog to celebrate the holiday season. Some of these programs include The Tonight Show, Gotham, South Park, and a personal favorite, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Indiegogo has released an official app for Android, allowing users to peruse the latest crowdfunding projects available. Whether you want to pitch in for a promising new connected home accessory, a new documentary, or any other kind of creative enterprise, you'll be able to from here. Recommendations are personalized to your account based on previously backed ventures and what you've been following lately.
The dark-yet-compelling strategy game First Strike has been updated to version 1.2, adding quite a few features. You'll find new defensive capabilities, new weapons, and bunch of interface tweaks in the path to global domination through nuclear warfare.
Microsoft has today announced the acquisition of Stuttgart, Germany-based company HockeyApp, which provides Android developers with detailed app crash reports, along with a way to distribute beta versions of those apps. The specific financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in the announcement.
Google announced that YouTube would be getting an offline playback mode in India during the launch of the Android One initiative in the country earlier this year, and the feature is now rolling out to users. The ability to save videos for offline viewing is not limited to Android One handsets, and is available to all users in the country.
As previously announced, Minecraft developer Mojang have released only their second internally developed game, Scrolls, for Android tablets. The game is available to download from the Google Play Store.
Microsoft has today launched newly rebranded mobile apps for Android and iOS. The company overhauled the MSN portal a few months ago, refreshing apps available on its Windows Phone platform. Rebranded apps include MSN News, Weather, Sports, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink and Money, most of which are available to download for Android hardware.
Google is doling out more Material Design love to a few more apps this week. Notably, the Chromecast and YouTube apps are updated with Google's new design language, with Chromecast expanding its screen casting capabilities to more devices. The third app, Google Wallet, is getting a more modest update by making it easier for customers to store and use both gift cards and loyalty cards.
Straw, a fun polling app that lets you quickly survey your friends and family via messaging and social media, is picking up an update today with some bug fixes and notifications. Straw has gotten a few updates since launching in the Play Store, and today the big improvement is the addition of notifications for when a poll closes — no more refreshing the app to see how much time is left.
Sprint will pre-load the Uber app on most of its new Android smartphones in a new partnership, and Sprint is also offering $20 towards a user's first Uber ride during the month of December for its customers.
WinZip has updated its Android app to version 3.0, which adds support for the Dropbox cloud service to the file compression utility. These features are added if users purchase the $1.99 in-app upgrade to WinZip Premium
Following the recent announcement of FotoSwipe here on AndroidCentral, the developers behind the Android/iOS cross-platform photo sharing service followed up with us today to say THANK YOU. A small tribe of our forum community members were actively involved in beta testing the app — we love to see developers active in our forums — so we were happy to write up the official release of the app.
FotoSwipe let us know that in the short time since it was released, these efforts have helped them pass the milestone of one million photos being shared. There are now over 175,000 users (about a 50/50 split between iOS and Android) using FotoSwipe in 175 countries and the user base is growing fast. Since the initial release, the developers have been quick to listen to user feedback and have already released an update to FotoSwipe. The basic swipe gesture has been greatly improved, and the UI has been revamped as well. With a 4.3-star rating on Google Play and over 3,600 reviews, FotoSwipe is off to a solid start. More features are on the roadmap as well, including faster sharing speeds when on Wifi to Wifi connections and support to share videos by swiping.
The fold-your-own Google Cardboard virtual reality headset has hit the half-a-million units shipped mark. And to mark the occasion, there's now an official Cardboard SDK for both Android and Unity. The SDK is designed to make it easier to build apps for Cardboard, taking care of the heaving lifting for things like head-tracking, lens distortion, and side-by-side rendering.
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