Google teased an upcoming release of the Play Store with Material Design element at I/O last month, and we actually got a pretty good look at the new version ourselves last week. Starting today, that new version, 4.9.13, is rolling out, and we've got the APK for you, as always. Take a look at this quick visual overview of the changes (we've got more images down below as well), and be sure to read Liam's post on the update for all the details.
Android Wear is a cool platform that Google designed to have a more limited feature set. After all, it's running on a tiny screen strapped to your wrist. We need to remember, though, that it's still Android and that means people are allowed to run pretty much any insane pile of code on it. Case in point – File Manager for Android Wear. The name tells you what it is, and I'm telling you you should not spend $3.99 on a file manager for your smart watch.
Those of you who don't have kids may feel free to hit the back button right about now. Don't worry, I won't mind. Not every post is going to catch your interest, and unless you have little tykes (or big tykes) running around the house, this isn't going to be one of them. Go ahead. We'll wait.
Great, now that there's no one left reading this except parents, I'm suddenly very aware of how I, too, don't have children.
There are many browsers available for Android, several of which serving as mobile counterparts to their desktop alternatives. Opera comes to mind here, as does Firefox. The latter browser has received an update to version 31 and received a number of new features in the process. The top item on the ol' changelog is the ability to reorder homescreen panels (or pages, as I think of them). If you happen to view your reading list more often than bookmarks, for example, then you can now re-arrange the two so that your preferred page comes first.
There are a lot of sales going on today – a suspicious number actually. There's not a holiday I forgot this week? No? Maybe Google is about to have some sort of summer promotion, or a few developers' sale dates might have coincidentally lined up. Whatever is going on, you can reap the benefits and save some cash.
Apparently, segmenting your customized software into easily-updatable Play Store apps is a popular trend. HTC is the latest to get on board, presumably because the person who makes the keyboard work is tired of waiting on the whole Sense team to put an over-the-air firmware update together. HTC published extra language packs back in April, and now Sense users can get timely updates for the keyboard as well.
You know the drill: this will only work on compatible HTC hardware, so don't even try it on other phones or tablets.
English is one of the most prominent languages spoken in India, but that doesn't mean everyone speaks it, nor do all the people that do necessarily prefer to use it. So Google has rolled out Hindi support in both the mobile app and the browser-based version of Maps. Have a look.
Support is available in the latest release of the mobile app for people running Android version 4.3 and above. To take advantage of it, users must select Hindi under the "Language & input" area of phone settings.
NVIDIA just announced its second SHIELD device, the SHIELD Tablet. You can read all about it in the main post, but every gamer knows that a new device is nothing without games to play on it. NVIDIA has focused its efforts on bringing full-sized PC and console games like Mount & Blade, Portal, and Half-Life 2 to the SHIELD Portable, but with the Tablet, they've set their sights on current-generation titles.
Users of newer versions of Windows or just about any Microsoft web service might be familiar with the company's rudimentary two-factor authentication system. If it's been a while since you've logged in or you're setting up a new Windows device, it might ask you for a verification code, accessible from a backup email account. Of course that can be a pain if you don't remember the password for that account, or simply don't want to dig it out.
Last week Google released a sizeable update to Google Wallet that finally let you carry loyalty cards in digital form. Now Amazon has released its own version of... pretty much the same thing, minus all the other stuff that Google Wallet does. Amazon Wallet is currently in beta on both the Google Play Store and Amazon's own Appstore in a rare simultaneous release. Compatibility seems to be limited to phones at the moment, and since it's labeled as "for Fire Phone" on this promo page, it may be pre-loaded on that device.