Apps are at the front and center of any smartphone experience, and with over a million apps on the Google Play Store and new apps being submitted to our forums every day, staying up to date on the latest apps and games can be a hassle. At XDA, we don’t discriminate apps - if it’s interesting, innovative, original or useful, we mention them. The XDA Portal Team loves apps too, and we usually share and discuss the latest app releases...
Chrome Beta Gains Hidden Chromecast Support, Google TTS Now Offers High Quality Voices, and Play Games Improves Multiplayer Support
It’s become quite the routine to see nearly weekly application updates to Google’s major first-party Android apps. And with so many entries in their Android app portfolio, this is quite a commendable accomplishment. Just last week, we saw Google deliver a massive update to its Google+ app, giving it much improved photo editing capabilities straight from their Snapseed acquisition. Now, Google has delivered major updates to Chrome Beta, their TTS engine, and Google Play Games.
Perhaps the most significant update this is Chrome Beta version 34, which now offers hidden Chromecast streaming support for HTML5 video. Streaming is still not available by default, even in Chrome beta, but it can be enabled by going to about://flags/#enable-cast on your mobile device. Then after a reboot, you should be able to Cast videos from any HTML5 video player, just like you would through your desktop browser. However, the results aren’t always perfect. While this generally works flawlessly on YouTube, other video sites don’t always work as they should. Perhaps this is why this feature must be enabled via flags.
Next up is Google TTS version 3, which brings higher quality voices and a few minor UI tweaks. Loading the app’s voices list, users will now see new options for “high quality” voices. Rather than the standard voices that range from 3-6 MB, these higher quality voices are often well over 100 MB. They do offer a notable improvement, but since the standard quality voices were already better than the competition, this is more of a luxury item.
Finally, Google Play Games version 1.5 brings a few new features that are slated to improve your multiplayer mobile gaming experience. With 1.5, you are now able to see who in your Google+ circles happens to play a particular game. You can now also view all invitations for multiplayer games from within the Play Games app.
You can get in on these application updates by visiting the Google Play Store listings for Chrome Beta, Google TTS, and Google Play Games. But since these updates are coming in the form of a staged rollout and since not everyone has access to the Google Play Store, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account.
Google Play Store Listings:
DevHost APK Mirror:
[Many thanks to XDA Senior Member kautionwirez for the tip and APKs!]
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