A small update has been pushed out for Google Search today. Besides the obligatory bug fixes (fix all the bugs!) we should expect to see two new features — train and bus reminders from your Gmail reservations, and changes to flight cards that bring information about alternatives when there is a delay. The app is updating in typical trollout fashion, but it's worth checking to see if you hit the new-app lottery.
Fresh from the dev who made opening links a little less painful with Link Bubble and home screens even more productive with Action Launcher, developer Chris Lacy has just unleashed TapPath — giving us even more power over the links we tap.
Here's the gist: Once TapPath is active, you have three ways of routing links. Tap once to open in, say, Chrome. (Which happens to be set as the single-tap default). Tap twice on a link to open in another app. (I've got mine set to Hangouts for easier sharing.) And tap three times to open the selector and route the link to any of your available apps.
It takes just a little getting used to — you might need to adjust the tap delay in the (nicely Material Design) settings — but TapPath quickly emerges as a fast and easy way to share links just about anywhere. It's absolutely worth the 99 cents and a few minutes of your time.
The latest update to Google+ caught a few people by surprise today when it enabled a small Chromecast button in the interface, letting you toss your Google+ stream up to your TV. Though the Google Play changelog doesn't indicate the change, we're seeing a Chromecast button on our own devices and many other people are too.
Launchers are the way Android users customize their smartphone and tablet experience. There's superficial stuff, like changing screen transitions, icons, and fonts, but the best Android launchers out there enable users to tweak the device's behaviour to suit their daily usage, so long as you're willing to put the time into defining those customizations.
If you're looking for a change of pace from the out-of-box experience, we've dug up the very best Android launchers out there. Take a look, and let us know what you think!
Activision has announced that the next version of their hugely popular Skylanders game will be launching on Android, iPad, and consoles together on October 4. Progress made on the tablet version will carry over to the console version as well, if you're playing on multiple platforms. There will be a Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter pack available that includes a stand for your Android tablet, Bluetooth controller, two characters, two traps, and a display stand, though there's no word on how much that will cost.
The enterprise-themed cloud storage service Box has announced an update for its Android app that adds support for its recently launched Box Notes feature, which lets users create, view, and edit notes to documents stored on the service. The update should start to roll out on the Google Play Store today.
A great photo editing app awaits you at the top of a steep learning curve
There are an uncountable number of photo editing apps available today, each with their own experience, editing tools and social engagement mechanisms. There are the big names like Instagram, Snapseed and Photoshop — but another app with a passionate following for a long time on iOS called VSCO Cam (derived from the name "Visual Supply Co") is also now thrown into the mix on Android.
In a world where Instagram has lost a bit of its "cool" factor among the more artistic and photography-focused users out there, VSCO Cam is a really great option. Though with a potentially over-simplified and tough-to-grasp interface, getting acquainted with this app definitely takes some time. Read along for our full review of VSCO Cam on Android.
Corel kicked off a new version of their desktop art app, Painter 2015, and along with it they've included an Android companion app. The main focus is on a wide range of brush types, though Painter Mobile also has layer support, symmetry tools, and all of the usual functions you'd expect.
According to, well, a lot of you fine folks out there, the new, redesigned Google Play Store is making its way to more devices today. (It started its trollout a couple weeks ago, pushing to just a small percentage of devices.)
If you've yet to experience it, things are pretty different. You've got some proper Material Design love. Promo graphics now dominate the app listings, with a play button overlay if the app has a promo video associated with it. (And a note to devs: those promo images become mandatory at the end of the month.) And we've actually seen a few other changes just in the past few weeks we've been running this version, with the number of downloads gaining a badge, and a few other little tweaks.
All in all, good changes. My only real complaint is that when a changelog runs more than a couple lines and you tap the "Read more" button, you then have to scroll through the whole app description to get back to the changelog. But that's a minor thing.
Look for the new Play Store to push to you any time now.
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