VLC for Android gets Android TV support, Chromecast still pending

VLC player android

Fans of the VLC media player on Android have been waiting for the app to incorporate support for streaming to Chromecast devices for some time now. Interest ratcheted up earlier this month when some changes in the VLC source code for the upcoming version 3.0 release indicated support for Chromecast was present. VideoLabs has released an update for the app, but it is still not the one everyone was hoping for that would include the casting capability. The good news is that it does include support for Android TV.
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Rovio’s Bad Piggies reaches 100 million downloads, receives celebratory update


Most of us have probably played at least one of the games from the popular Angry Birds franchise developed by Rovio, who has just announced that its Bad Piggies game has reached over 100 million downloads. That’s a pretty big number that includes download figures from Google’s Play Store, Amazon’s Appstore and Apple’s App Store. To celebrate, Rovio has updated the game to version 1.6, the details of which are below.

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Sony updates the Folding@Home App to support non-Sony phones and Android Lollipop


Many of us have allowed our home PC’s to be used for the Folding@Home project that utilises the PC’s idle time to investigate the mechanisms of protein folding, aiding medical research into Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases among others. Owners of Sony smartphones running Android 4.4 KitKat have previously been able to run the relevant Android app on their devices, and now Sony has updated the app to be compatible with Android 5.0 Lollipop as well. Perhaps even more importantly, even non-Sony smartphones can run the app thanks to this latest update.

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Sundar Pichai discusses Google’s future with Google Wallet, Google Plus, and the Chinese market

Sundar_Pichai_7885Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior VP of products, was recently interviewed by Forbes about the direction the company is taking in key areas. He discussed Google Wallet, how Google plans to utilize Android in the Chinese market, and where Google’s own social network was heading. It was a pretty interesting interview that shed some light on some of Google’s intentions and more or less confirmed some rumors we’ve been hearing.
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[New Android Wear App] AutoWear is a complete automation tool for your smartwatch


Android Wear smartwatches are pretty cool as they are, but if you are looking to step up your automation game, then look no further than AutoWear. It’s a Tasker plugin that will allow you to automate just about anything you can think of. It was developed by João Dias (joaomgcd) who also created AutoRemote and AutoVoice.

By utilizing Tasker, AutoRemote, and AutoVoice, the possibilities are endless. You can open up a voice command screen to send voice commands directly to AutoVoice or you can use predefined Google Now commands to do whatever you want. You can utilize floating icons that you can access from any screen. You can even set a particular task to start when shaking your watch. Like I said, the possibilities are endless, and he put together a video (see below) showing you a slew of examples.

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Google Classroom introduces themes and mobile app improvements


Making the Classroom experience more unique, Google has provided themes for teachers and their students. Teachers can go ahead and upload personal images as themes. Google Classroom will offer cropping options for perfect dimensions so nothing is cutoff or distorted. In the event that a personal image is not available or needed, Google has nearly fifty options to use as a theme. Classroom matches relevant themes with class titles when a teachers cannot decide upon themes for themselves.

Hit the break to see what Google has going on with the mobile side of Classroom.

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Microsoft releases Keyboard for Excel that works across all apps


Tapping out numbers on any tablet keyboard can be tedious. Think about having to work on a spreadsheet with a tablet. Constantly, you will have to go between the letters and the numbers/symbols. Microsoft Garage, which allows for the fostering of new ideas from within the company, has produced Keyboard for Excel. The keyboard layout is optimized for the use of numbers. Keyboard for Excel offers a number bad on the far right just as many full-sized physical keyboards do. Although the keyboard is tailored for Microsoft Excel, it is capable of operating in other apps.

The following are the key features listed by Microsoft:

  • Keyboard layout optimized for numbers
  • Excel operators prioritized in the keyboard layout
  • 10-key number layout for fast number entry
  • Tab key for quick navigation across columns

Hit the break for the gallery and download links.

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Revamped Android Pay will be announced at Google I/O

google_wallet_softcard_picture1With Apple Pay off to a solid start and Samsung working on a better competitor to the service, it would make sense for Google to push their own mobile payment system front and center to stay competitive, and some rumors are pointing at that happening at I/O later this year.

This new service, called Android Pay, will actually be separate from Google Wallet. Android Pay will supposedly allow vendors to integrate the service into their Android apps so customers can quickly buy things without having to put in their debit or credit card information over and over. On top of that, retailers will also be able to set up tap-to-pay transactions in physical locations using Android Pay. 
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