Sony, LG, and Razer all announced fitness bands at this year's CES, but we shouldn't let this distract us from the options already on the market. The Jawbone Up app has been available on Google Play for quite some time, and now the company is bringing support for its new Up24 band to Android via an app update.
UP24 support was previously an iOS-only affair. Now Android users can also buy the band and use it to track movement, sleep, and challenges all with an interface that's bright and vibrant.
We've got more choices than ever when it comes to launchers, including Google's own search-infused option. The top third-party launchers have been mostly the same for the last year or two, but Inspire Launcher is a head-turning new option. It's based on the stock Android 4.4 launcher, but it has a GNL vibe with bright colors and some neat features.
The icon for Inspire Launcher offers a little preview of what the app is like – it's colorful, flat, and kind of funky.
WhatsApp, the incredibly popular messaging service recently acquired by Facebook for 19 Instagrams dropped an update for Android users today, bringing the app up to version 2.11.186. The update brings to the Play Store features beta users have enjoyed since version 2.11.181 earlier this month.
Users who grab the update will enjoy new privacy settings for "last seen," profile photo, and status (allowing users to limit who can see each), a camera shortcut (a 1x1 widget for quick photo capture), and several other UI improvements.
Readers may remember Archos' suite of connected home "objects" announced last December and officially detailed at CES. The suite includes a motion-sensitive camera, lights, a weather station, and a Smart Tracker.
The objects aren't actually available for sale just yet, but the manufacturer has added a couple of new apps to the Play Store to eventually assist in managing the network of smart objects - one that will allow you to connect to the devices from any Android device, and one specifically meant for the 7" Smart Home Tablet.
Adobe has crammed more features into Photoshop on the desktop than most people will ever use, but you can make use of at least one of the features you're (probably) overlooking with Pixl Preview. This app plugs into Photoshop's remote connection system to act as a second-screen preview of your designs.
Pixl Preview doesn't require any additional software on the desktop side – just open the remote connection menu in Photoshop CS5 or higher and set it up.
The Amazon Appstore doesn't have the available selection that Google Play has, but it's hard to complain when it's willing to give away a different free app each day. Actually, no it isn't, not when the time comes to update said app and the process won't initiate because it's over 50MB and you're on a mobile data connection. Any higher than that, since version 2.3 hit (though the limitation was even lower before then), has been a job for WiFi.
You've probably used a CyberLink product at some point in your life. Its PowerDVD software has long been one of the most common ways to get a DVD up and running on Windows, and, as counterintuitive as it sounds, an app of the same name made its way over to Android years ago. The company also produces a photo editor known as PhotoDirector, and now it's releasing an Android version designed specifically for tablets.
Most strategy games have you working as some kind of commander-god, floating over the battlefield and handing out orders to nameless minions while building up your stronghold. In the PC strategy game Mount & Blade, you move and command your party, capture bases, and expand your territory... but you're also a fully-controllable warrior, dishing out punishing blows against your opponents right next to your carefully raised army. Mount & Blade: Warband, the second game in the PC series, is now available for the NVIDIA SHIELD and other Tegra 4 devices.
The Talon Twitter client has glided up to version 2.0, and it has quite a lively changelog trapped within its claws. The list is too long to fully dive into (no seriously, look at this thing), but here are a few of the highlights. The app now has a floating compose button, which you can see tucked in the bottom right corner of the first screenshot below. In the compose window that pops up, users have the new ability to post from different accounts.
DIY home surveillance has become infinitely easier over the past several years, with options like Dropcam leading the way. The product offers a nearly-instant setup, 24 hour monitoring, and optional CVR cloud storage of recorded videos. While all this is great, there was certainly room for improvement in the camera's companion app, which recently received a major update to version 2.6 that brings some much-needed features, making it substantially more useful than before.