It might be hard to believe, but the Google Maps we know and love launched 10 years ago today. Before Android, Chrome, Google Plus, Youtube, and most of the other services that make up the core of the Google experience, we had Maps. And while it might be saying too much to argue that Maps led the way to Google's recent successes, it is certainly under-appreciated for its role.
Google Maps wasn't the first online map service. It also didn't obviously relate to Google's claim to fame: search. It's important to remember that by 2005, Google was no start-up anymore. Read More
It's been a while since Google bought up another company - with the regularity that the folks in Mountain View go on the corporate equivalent of a shopping spree, you might say they're overdue. The latest Google acquisition is Odysee, an app and service that automatically backs up photos and videos taken on mobile and saves a copy in the cloud and/or on users' home PCs.
The Android and iOS apps have already been un-published on the Play Store and App Store, and according to the Odysee home page, the service will shut down completely on February 23rd. Read More
Earlier this week a report surfaced about a successor to NVIDIA's high-powered SHIELD Tablet coming "within a couple of months," to be announced at the GPU Technology Conference starting on March 17th. The report claimed that the new SHIELD Tablet would be using NVIDIA's next-gen mobile chipset, the Tegra X1, which was announced at CES 2015 without any accompanying smartphone or tablet.
A new generation of SHIELD hardware powered by the Tegra X1 is a no-brainer - despite tepid interest outside of the Android and gaming communities, NVIDIA has shown no sign of slowing down its first-party mobile brand. Read More
The Mailbox email app belongs to Dropbox, but it began life as an independent app on iOS. That being the case, it's not really surprising that when Dropbox bought the developers and made the app multi-platform, it wasn't initially optimized for Android tablets. It was a little odd when that status quo continued for the better part of a year. With version 1.6.2, that considerable oversight has been addressed.
Well, kinda. While the app at least works with tablets now, it's not exactly optimized - the interface is essentially a gigantic version of the smartphone app, offering no real advantage on the larger screen. Read More
It's starting to look like Google is getting back into the rhythm of regular releases after the holidays. It feels like forever since the last Play Store update began its rollout. We've got a new version for you, but this one doesn't seem to be sporting any user-facing changes, just a lot of bug fixes. However, a deep look inside reveals a lot to get excited about. Of course, if you stumble onto anything we've missed, let us know in the comments.
For anybody eager to get straight to the download, a link is at the bottom. For everybody else, it's time for a teardown. Read More
Google Play Music. Poweramp. Apollo Music Player. We certainly do not suffer from a lack of choice when it comes to local music playback on Android. A simple search for the terms "music player" on the Play Store is guaranteed to yield hundreds of alternatives, varying from the excellent to the good and often the mediocre. However, in a sea of notoriously powerful (like Poweramp, GoneMAD, AIMP, Neutron) or familiar (like DoubleTwist, Apollo, n7 player) apps, hide a few that do something different. This is a selection of 5 such apps.
They aren't the best music players around, they probably lack certain features that you personally deem essential, and they certainly don't fulfill everyone's needs in a music player. Read More
Piracy is a problem on any platform where installing software is easy, and that certainly includes Android. In a particularly egregious example, the developer of Today Calendar estimates that 85% of the users of the $5.99 premium version of his app have stolen it. What's a responsible Android developer to do? In this case, he's using a creative method to try and annoy illegal users into becoming paid customers.
Pirates who use Today Calendar will now be seeing some of what Jack Underwood describes as "Arrgh - Anti-Pirate Measures." Unlike most conventional DRM, the app won't shut down if it detects an unverified user. Read More
If you're a regular Android Police reader, you probably don't need any "sales assistance" when picking out a new phone, tablet, or laptop - pretty much everything you could want to know is just a web search away. But some people appreciate the personal touch, which is why those guys in the blue shirts at Best Buy still have jobs. To help out these sorts of shoppers, Google is offering live video chat assistance for hardware shoppers on the Play Store.
Image credit: TechCrunch
The new service leverages Google's own Helpouts service (an instruction and assistance portion of video Hangouts) and the infrastructure of the Play Store. Read More
I'll confess: I know basically nothing about high-performance racing. It's got weird-looking cars that go around the track really, really fast, and some people seem to think that it's very important in the context of production cars in the same way that NASA is really important for radical developments in writing utensils. All that is a bit over my head. But if you're a fan of the INDYCAR series of American races, you might want to check out Verizon's updated app.
Verizon Wireless is the primary sponsor for the series of races, and it has supplied an official mobile app since last year. Read More