Friday, December 13, 2013

163 KitKat For The Holidays

Mario Kart redone, quick launching apps, a whole lot of updates, and more!

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Headlines
  • Google News mobile website gets improved mobile UI (follows HoloUI)
  • CyanogenMod 11 nightlies start rolling out with Android 4.4.2 coming soon
  • CyanogenMod to start including secure SMS via WhisperPush
  • OmniROM to get OpenDelta OTA updater - aims to also minimize update files
  • Android 4.4.2 rolling out to Nexus devices to fix voicemail indicator, other software fixes and improve security
  • Google to turn Google+ posts into +Post ads to make advertising interactive
  • Google Translate gets 9 more languages - Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Somali, Zulu, Mongolian, Nepali, Punjabi and Maori
  • Google Play Books gets ability to upload files not in Play Store
  • Sign-In with Google+ updated to allow use by Google Apps users and people without Google+ profile
  • Gallery removed from Google Play Edition devices to favor Google+ Photos app
  • Google Sheets updated to allow larger spreadsheets, filters, highlighting function errors, running text into multiple cells, and offline support
  • Google to no longer have display images option in Gmail
  • YouTube now allows live streaming for all verified accounts (regardless of the number of subscribers)
  • Google Tips allows users to get tips on how to use a variety of Google services
Apps
  • Google+ Hangouts updated to fix MMS delivery issues
  • Nova Launcher is out of beta with KitKat UI and enhancements
  • Official Twitter client updated with pictures in DM and alerts for unread counts
  • Android Device Manager released to Google Play as app
  • Gmail v4.7 update brings more file attachment support, downloading zip files, support for printing in KitKat, and improved app performance on lower end devices
  • Google Santa Tracker app released to Google Play along with Christmas time games to play
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 released with original game in widescreen, Hidden Palace Zone and Boss Attack Mode - $2.99
  • Mirror updated to stream to Apple TV
  • Google+ update including one search box for everything, improvements on who can notify the user, and shaking the device to winter Auto Awesome pictures - shake once to Auto Awesome and twice to save
  • Chrome Beta 32 to remove double click delay for faster tap action (basically instant tapping for page loads and clickthroughs)
  • Skype for Android (for tablets) updated to allow “multi-window” style video chatting - can use other apps while keeping video in small window in corner of tablet
Devices
  • HTC Droid DNA get Android 4.2.2 and Sense 5
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition rolling out for $649 - comes with 6.4” screen
  • LG G Pad 8.3” Google Play Edition rolling out for $350
  • Chromecast gets more apps to cast to your TV (i.e. Vevo, Red Bull.tv and more) and lets users stream from Google Play Movies and Music (on the web)
  • Sony Xperia L and Xperia support added to AOSP
  • HTC One Max now available in black for $799
Device Review - Moto X
  • Positives
    • Great battery life - generally 19 hours or more under normal use
    • Minimal battery use while idle - 10 hours overnight & 10-15% battery usage
    • Fast camera (stock and HDR Camera)
    • Snappy performance
  • Negatives
    • No reboot in Power Menu
    • Persistent AT&T notification
Game Review - Angry Birds Go!
App Review - Cover (beta)