The Google+ app has gone through more UI revisions than Android itself, and the latest one is starting to roll out now. Version 6.8 of Google+ is starting to show up in the Play Store, and of course, we've got the APK below if you don't want to wait. Be aware, installing this APK won't immediately kick you over to the new design. It looks like this is a server-side switch that's only active for some users.
Google does things—a lot of things. For two years now, the company has been indexing the content inside of apps. This way it can point you to other Android apps when they can better provide answers to your query than a general website. Google says 40% of searches done on Android bring up app content.
But there remained two issues with this approach. One, Google could only display information from apps that had matching content available on the web. Two, opening results required installing said app if you hadn't done so already.
Now Google will begin showing content that exists only in apps, and it will start offering you the option to stream apps that you don't have installed. Read More
Sprint has been struggling to remain competitive in the face of big consumer-friendly initiatives from T-Mobile and the continued dominance of AT&T and Verizon. Now, the carrier is announcing a new revamp of its LTE network called LTE Plus, and it's celebrating with steep discounts for a limited time. Read More
Microsoft isn't wavering in its laudable multi-platform support - at this point the company is beating out both Apple and Google in its support for customers on all mobile operating systems. The free mobile version of Outlook first came to the Play Store earlier this year. It's advanced to version 2.0 after a few months, and the developers have added... actually, not much. Certainly not that Sunrise Calendar integration that users of the abandoned app are probably looking for. But we do get a new UI. Read More
You've probably played a million tower defense games, and "orbital shooters" aren't too uncommon either, but what about playing them at the same time? Artificial Defense combines a few different game types with some nerdy computer vernacular to create a distinctive mobile game, and you can give it a shot for free. Read More
During the keynote address yesterday for this year's Chrome Dev Summit, VP of Chrome Darin Fisher shared some numbers about the mobile web browser's rate of adoption. tl;dr, people are flocking to Chrome, and fast. Over the past year, the number of 30 day active users has doubled from 400 million to 800 million. Read More
Yesterday brought the beginning of the rollout of a new and fresh Google+ website on both desktops and mobile browsers. The focus in Google's announcement was on the redesign, the bold colors, and the improved access to Collections and Communities, but there's a better story hiding there for everyone, especially me. (Excuse my selfishness.)
The previous Google+ page was a complete nightmare to load. I am bound by a stupid slow 512Kbps connection, and if you had ever tried to check Google+ on any connection slower than a few Mbps, you'd have a different outlook on life. While waiting for the home feed to load over the previous years, I've questioned the meaning of life, my annoying luck of being born in a country with such slow ADSL speeds, I've thanked my lucky stars for having access to an Internet connection to begin with, I've wanted to smash my computers and routers, I've laughed and teared up and played a bit of basketball and ate falafel and dispensed a few prescriptions to my patients, I've done some introspective thinking, watched half an episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine, and more... Read More
As announced yesterday, Google Photos is now ready to offer you an option to downgrade your photos and reclaim some storage space in your account. The option has gone live on https://photos.google.com/settings and will let you convert all photos you had uploaded in Original quality to High Quality (maximum 16MP). Given that the latter don't count toward your Google storage and the former do, this will allow you to save whatever space you had lost on photos while still keeping them stored in your account. Better yet, in our previous review of Google Photos, Alex had concluded that there is no detectable quality loss when switching to High Quality uploads, so you're not likely going to lose anything by activating the conversion. Read More
YouTube Kids launched in the US back in February with the aim of making it easier and safer for kids to watch videos on YouTube. So far, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times across all platforms, and Malik Ducard, YouTube's Global Head of Family and Learning, says that families consider it to be "among the top kids apps available." Today, the team is expanding YouTube Kids into five new countries — Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — and adding in lots of country-specific programming like Charli's Crafty Kitchen and Wild Kratts, too.
YouTube Kids boasts many elements parents will find very attractive, such as a playful, child-friendly design, voice search for kids who are still learning their ABCs, and plenty of family-focused content. Read More
This isn't the first time we've reported about Google's deplorable policies for removing apps from the Play Store. One day you're the developer of an extremely popular app, distributing it to thousands of users, the next it's poof gone with no warning, no explanation, and no way to easily communicate with the team to understand what has gone wrong.
The latest victim is the famous and ridiculously powerful Tasker app. Tasker has been available on Android since time immemorial and has made many a user extremely happy with its extensive featureset. Want to turn on the popcorn machine when you yell "movie time!" at your phone? Read More