Android's always been pretty good at search - it's developed by the world's biggest search company, so you'd hope so - but one thing that it's always struggled with is searching content on your device, having removed it in Ice Cream Sandwich because the API was not up to scratch. Google is attempting to fix that today with the launch of the new 'Search In Apps' feature, which Cody uncovered part of during a recent Google app teardown.
In Apps is basically an extension to the Google search bar. When searching something that's 'personal' such as a name or place, scroll to the end of list of available searches - the one with 'Web,' 'Images,' 'Shopping,' 'Maps,' and more on it. Read More
The Gear VR is the cheapest route to virtual reality, assuming you already have a compatible Samsung phone. Today, it's even cheaper. The previous-gen Gear VR is available on Amazon for just $60, down from the regular price of $100. Read More
Beside the Pixel line, the Acer Chromebook R 11 must be one of the most beloved Chromebooks of recent times. It's very well reviewed on Amazon, often mentioned in our internal Android Police chats, and it's one of the two devices that first received the ability to run Android apps in the dev builds.
At IFA, Acer is following up on its success with a bigger version of the R 11: the Acer Chromebook R 13. Like the R 11, it sports a convertible design with a 360-degree swiveling touchscreen so it can be used in normal laptop mode, display mode (resting on the keyboard, display looking like on a stand), tent mode (standing on its borders, display toward you), and pad mode (tablet only). Read More
Nest has seen better days. A couple of months ago, a reshuffle was announced at the top of the company's hierarchy, with CEO Tony Fadell leaving and Marwan Fawaz taking his place at the helm. Nest has also been under pressure to bring more products from the pipeline to the market and to be more profitable.
It seems that there's another reshuffle in Nest's future though, according to a report by Fortune. The Nest platform team (think software) might soon be moving to Google, jumping from one Alphabet subsidiary to another. It will be part of a team lead by Hiroshi Lockheimer, current senior VP of Android, that will focus on the smart home and living room, create a unified Internet of Things platform, and continue to develop the upcoming Google Home. Read More
In February, Snapchat introduced a way for anyone to create custom geofilters for events such as birthdays or weddings (or almost anything else, really). Until now, creating a filter required at least a minimal level of mastery of tools such as Photoshop, so the feature wasn't truly accessible to many users. To address this, Snapchat has designed several templates that make it easy for anyone to make their own geofilter through Snapchat's website.
Snapchat has also updated their app with a few new features. Users can change the style of caption text by highlighting it and summoning the pop-up menu, and it's now possible to animate caption text in video Snaps too. Read More
It looks like Google is finally moving into the San Francisco ride-sharing market. According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant is looking to offer commuters cheaper rates (and lower fares) than the two big players, Uber and Lyft. The plan is to connect drivers and riders who are going in the same direction, instead of the on-demand service you would see with other ride-sharing services. Read More
Samsung announced a major upgrade to their budget SoC offering today, which will go by the name Exynos 7570. It will be the first of its kind—targeted to IoT devices and lower market smartphones—to be built on the power efficient 14nm FinFET process. Also noteworthy is that this new model will have built-in connectivity hardware for WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS rather than relying on third-party vendors to provide those components for end user devices. Read More
Earlier this month, I wrote about possibly the worst benchmarking application I had ever seen, 'Nenamark.' But Geekbench has come to save the day, bringing their Geekbench 4 benchmarking utility to Android. Geekbench is another cross-platform benchmarking program, so you can compare your results to a wide range of devices.
The Android Geekbench app, at least compared to the Windows/macOS equivalents, seems rather simplistic. You can benchmark your device's CPU and GPU, which are displayed as a number at the end (unlike Nenamark). The CPU benchmark performs both single-core and multi-core results, which is a nice touch. Unfortunately, Geekbench's battery test has been removed in this version. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Deus Ex GO
Android Police review: [Game Review] Deus Ex GO: An engaging mobile take on a fantastic franchise
As it did with Hitman and Tomb Raider, Square Enix has translated one of its big-time console franchises into a mobile puzzler with board game influences. Read More