While Android is likely your go-to for mobile technology, the desktop-and-laptop world is still largely dominated by Windows machines. If you fall into that category, you've probably heard about this big update to Windows by now. There's a lot to like about Windows 10, including the price tag if you're running a fairly modern version of the OS. If you're wondering how this update will affect your day to day usage, particularly the Android parts, we've assembled this handy guide for you.
Spoiler alert — it's actually pretty good.
Chrome apps and notifications work great
If you rely on Chrome notifications to keep you informed without having to pick up your Android phone, or you rely on Hangouts and Gmail on Chrome for Windows daily, you'll find little about the experience has changed in Windows 10. Google has been supporting Windows 10 for quite a while now through the Insider Preview, so there's no need to worry about waiting for things to function. You can update today and everything will work as expected, including Chrome Remote Desktop.
The only thing you'll want to do out of the box is avoid activating Cortana if you have no plans on using Microsoft's voice service. The combination of Cortana notifications and Google Now notifications in Chrome can clutter your screen in a hurry, not to mention the additional notification tones. Alternatively, you could give Cortana a shot for yourself and see if your like it more than Google Now, especially once it is officially available on Android.
Better device detection, better sync options
While the All Google All The Time folks are big on the cloud, a good ol' fashioned microUSB cable and an OS that actually knows what you're connecting to it are great. Windows is usually good enough about accessing USB mass storage modes for Android hardware, but Windows 10 takes things a step further.
Device detection and driver installation is greatly improved, and the new Microsoft sync options are a gentle reminder that Microsoft apps are out there if you're not totally invested in Google. Even if you never use Microsoft's sync tools, the improved device detection and driver installation is great for quick video pulls and confirming the hardware you're playing with when busting out the Android SDK to poke around.
The days of Xbox One Smartglass being the same on Android as Windows are likely over
Microsoft did something incredibly cool with its Smartglass system, allowing users to take control of their console through whatever gadget they were using. As a quick remote control it's great, but as a second-screen platform Smartglass and a Nexus 9 make for an incredible combination. The best part was you got the same experience on every platform, and it worked well. Unfortunately, with Windows 10 that is unlikely to remain true for particularly long.
Xbox One Smartglass isn't going away, but Windows 10 is moving to the Xbox One app. It allows users to do a whole lot more, including stream games from your Xbox One to your Windows 10 computer. As incredible as this is, there's no way this functionality is coming to Android. With the Xbox One app taking center stage and fewer companies placing a focus on second screen experiences, you can expect a noticeable feature discrepancy between Android and Windows in the future.
August 4 is President Obama's 54th birthday, and if celebrating presidential birthdays is your cup of tea, Google Play Music has your back. To celebrate the occasion, you can now listen to a custom radio station on Google Play Music made up of some of President Obama's favorite songs.
Link Bubble, the rather unique web browser for Android, has received its largest update yet, as developer Chris Lacy says goodbye to the app. The update brings a number of big changes to the browser, one of them being an all-new Material Design overhaul. In addition, the update brings support for HTML drop down elements, colored toolbars, custom domain redirects, and a bunch more.
Viber's latest update brings along with it increased sharing functions, easier video calling and much more. The update, which is now available, also brings more payment options to the app, making it even easier to purchase credit for using the app.
Some watch faces are built to catch your eye, others to supply all the info you could possibly need at a glance, and yet others are filled with more options than you can shake a stick at. Pujie Black Watch Face tries to go for all three, and manages to do it well. This app is really more like several watch faces in one, with its wide array of options for you to choose from. It's well designed, and made to be customized.
If you've ever craved enough customization options that you could get lost for an hour then the Pujie Black Watch Face for Android Wear is probably right up your alley. With all of it's many customization options, you can tweak just about everything about the face.
The watch face has an understated look, but packs plenty of information. You get an analog, and digital display of the time down to the second. Above the digital time readout is the date. Below it you have three information indicators. Each one gets an icon, and the three displayed by default are the battery lives of both your smartwatch and smartphone, along with a readout of the weather.
While the design of the face is pretty awesome, it's also entirely customizable. Everything from the color of the face, to the style and font of the numbers, to how the date is displayed, to what information is displayed through your indicators. Thankfully your options are broken down into several tabs; Analog Clock, Digital Clock, Calendar, Indicators, Background, Tick Marks and Numbers, and Miscellaneous. Style, Format, and Font are your most common options across all the tabs, but they have exclusive options as well.
You get a preview of all your changes to the face before you export them to your smartwatch, which makes it easy to make sure things look the way you expect them to. When you are finally ready to set a custom face you just need to save it, and then export it. To do this just use the buttons at the top left of the app. On the other hand, if all these options are a bit daunting, then you're still in luck. The Pujie Black Watch Face comes with no less than 14 different preset faces for you to choose from already on your phone, or there is the huge Pujie Wear community over on Google Plus.
Pujie Black Watch Face is an absolutely fantastic watch face to use. With all of it's options, you can easily change and tweak things so that this face changes to suit your needs. With custom colors, or a palette you can get to precisely what you want. With access to the additional custom faces on the Pujie Google Plus community, it has hundreds of options for you to take advantage of. So is Pujie Black Watch Face already your favorite, or will you be trying it now? Let us know what you think.
"What might email look like if it was invented today?" is the question Lars Rasmussen asked a room full of developers at the 2009 Google I/O right before taking everyone on a tour of Google Wave. It couldn't be more clear from Vic Gundotra's introduction of the developer preview during the Day 2 keynote this was something Google expected to take off and be a big deal. Unfortunately, that excitement never grew into a successful product.
Google has announced the rollout of Chrome Beta 45 for Android, bringing a handful of new features to the mobile browser, along with a helping of bug fixes. Coming along in version 45 are Chrome Custom Tabs, an updated Bookmarks interface, and more.
Sometimes you just need to play a classic arcade game. And Invaders is now available on Android Wear, and it might just hit the spot. This game runs well on a smartwatch, and it's just as addictive as ever.
Kodak has released an update for its Moments app, which now lets you share, edit, and print photos all from one location. No longer do you need a separate app to print using one of Kodak's Picture Kiosks, instead you can do it from the same place that you just edited that new photo.
It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.
Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!
Spending a few hours hiking, or biking through the woods can be a fun and relaxing way to get a great workout. Getting lost because you're bad with maps is not. For a while now we've seen fitness apps of various kinds make a name for themselves, but Viewranger GPS does it differently. Offering tracking stats on time and distance, fantastic maps, and detailed information on position, this is the app for anyone who enjoys spending a great deal of time outdoors.
Viewranger GPS for Android wear is a fantastic app rife with features that we haven't seen too much of. Most of your options, the settings, and all of your map options are available exclusively on your phone. While you can't edit anything from your smartwatch, you do still have access to plenty of information.
You have four basic screens, each of which you can get to by opening the app and swiping to the left. You can start, pause or stop a trip, which will trigger the app to open your phone and start tracking you. The fourth screen is labeled Details, and if you tap it, you'll get all the details of your current trip and location.
You start off on the Tracking screen. It gives you some elevation information, how far you've traveled during your trip, and how long your trip has taken. The Position screen includes your map coordinates, along with elevation information. The third screen in on the watch is Heading, and from it you can see wind conditions along with a compass. All together they form an invaluable tool for anyone who hates carrying a physical map around with them when they're on the go.
If you decide to give the route from your smartphone, you'll get access to one more feature available on Android Wear. The Navigation option gets it's own screen in details. It gives you a compass arrow that continuously points the way to your next waypoint. It also gives you a running countdown of how far you need to go to get to your next waypoint.
Viewranger GPS is definitely an app that keeps the outdoorsy set in mind. With access to maps, GPS coordinates, along with tracking and position info, it's a great addition to your arsenal. This app is a fantastic way that fitness and technology have continued to merge, letting you slim down when you hike or spend your day in the woods.
Google is expanding access to paid content on Google Play Movies and Newsstand to a handful of new countries today. In all, Movies will be available in three new countries, while Newsstand is hitting four.
Sometimes you don't want a watch face that is overflowing with information, you want something simple and stunning. If that's true for you, take a peek at the Behance Watch Faces. You get 6 fantastic faces with one app, and it's filled with artwork that's sure to make a statement.
Behance is part of the Adobe family, and the Behance Watch Faces for Android Wear make that quite evident. There are six separate faces within the app; AG, Classic, Phrase, Pulse, Timecard and Window. Three of the faces rock Analog stylings, while the other three have a digital display. You can also choose between a 12 or 24 hour format, and choosing whether or not you want the date displayed. All of your options are available exclusively through the settings on your smartwatch.
The real feature with these faces are the backgrounds. Each is pulled from the Behance portfolio's of digital artists, and they are all unique and eye catching. Each one is a little bit different, and they are all worth at least a moment of your time. You can fix your favorite one as a background, or let the background shuffle through several of them. Not all backgrounds are available with every face, but several of them are available across all the faces.
The attention to detail on each face is fantastic as well. The backgrounds and information displayed over them complement each other wonderfully. The information you have displayed meshes with the artwork in such a way that it adds to the overall theme, instead of crowding it. You can tell the emphasis was making sure each face appears as a piece of art, no matter what options you choose to enable or disable.
The Behance Watch Faces are a great addition if you've been looking for something simple and well designed. While there aren't many choices, the trade-off is walking around with the time displayed over digital artwork. If you've been craving a simpler kind of watch face, then you should definitely take a look for yourself.
Google has lowered the minimum purchase price for apps from its Google Play Store in India to Rs. 10, making apps even more affordable to users. As India continues to be a huge area of growth for the company, Google wanted to be sure to new audiences were able to be reached. As Android becomes more popular in the country, the demand for apps continues to grow as well.
Yahoo has officially announced LiveText, its new messaging app that blends text messaging and live-streaming video to create more memorable experiences. The app was originally soft-launched in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Ireland, and is now available in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and France.
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