Android Auto was announced at Google I/O 2014, but it didn't start showing up on cars until the following year. Like Apple's CarPlay technology that was announced the same year, Android Auto is designed to use your smartphone as the 'brains' for your car's head unit. No more outdated and ugly head unit interfaces; just Google Maps and whatever other Auto-compatible apps you have installed. Read More
If there's one thing that annoys me more than almost anything else, it's the selfie stick. If you use one, I'm sorry, I really am, but I just can't stand them. Walking around packed central London streets is hard enough without people flapping about with creepy telescopic camera mounts. So when a company says they want to kill the selfie, and by virtue also the selfie stick, I'm all ears.
ElsiePic is a new app with an interesting premise. It's essentially a crowdsourcing app for finding a photographer in the vicinity who will take your photo so you don't have to resort to a selfie or give your phone to a stranger. Read More
Motorola had hit a rough patch when Google came calling back in 2011. It took some time to clear out the queue of sub-standard devices, but the first true Google-backed Motorola effort came in 2013 with the launch of the Moto X. This device broke new ground with clever software features like Moto Display (called Active Display at the time) and a customizable design. Motorola made a few more Moto X phones, all of which were excellent devices. Lenovo didn't keep the Moto X going when it took over from Google, preferring to sell devices like the modular Moto Z.
Here we are, two years after the last Moto X launched, and there's another phone that calls itself "Moto X." This is the Moto X4, a device that comes with the added distinction of being the first Android One phone in the US. Read More
The YouTube Gaming app has been flying under the radar for a while as most of the updates have been focused on fixing bugs or making fairly minor changes–there haven't even been any new easter eggs since v1.97. Yesterday's update shows a little bit more activity as both cosmetic and functional changes were made. A revamped app icon and splash screen bring a little freshness to the look, and the always familiar autoplay feature from the core YouTube app is now available so you can put on an endless stream of game reviews or let's plays. Read More
Yesterday in China, HMD Global announced the newest member of its range of Nokia branded Android smartphones. We've seen the wallet-friendly Nokia 3 and 5, the mid-range Nokia 6, and most recently came the flagship Nokia 8. While it might appear that HMD doesn't know how to count, the Nokia 7 announcement at least takes us one step closer to a full house. The Nokia 2 and 9 are on the way soon, too.
The Nokia 7 follows the same pleasing design language as its siblings, but where the Nokia 8 was encased in metal, this new phone goes for a mixture, with an aluminum frame and a vacuum molded back made from Corning Gorilla Glass which curves nicely around the back. Read More
In his teardown of the Google app 7.12, Cody uncovered a customizable Google Search bar was in the making and it's been showing up here and there for some, but the latest Google app beta version 7.14.15 finally brings it to life for everyone.
The new Search bar widget looks pretty much the same as the old one, so you'd be forgiven for missing it. The main change is an overflow menu on the right that lets you choose a Customize option. Tap that and you're taken into a new UI where the search bar is dropped in the middle of the screen with a white menu of 4 options below it. Read More
This time last year, Google confirmed that it was working to add support for Visa Checkout and Masterpass to Android Pay. The aim was to have the services integrated in early 2017, but we've not heard much about it since. There was evidence of Visa Checkout on Google's payment platform in a demo at I/O in May, but it remained to be seen when it would go live for users.
While the Android website shows that PayPal is already supported, it still has a 'Coming Soon' note by Visa Checkout, although we believe that was added recently and as a precursor to today's news. Read More
BBC publishes a lot of apps for the UK market, but it's been branching out and making apps for a more worldwide audience as well. The BBC News app has already been localized to several languages, with language translations but also a focus on the target culture and audience: there's BBC Mundo, BBC Hindi, BBC Russian, BBC Cymru Fyw, and now the latest addition is BBC Arabic.
The app is obviously in Arabic and right-to-left aligned. It follows the same design as the other apps with a red theme and title bar, different categories of news spanning the world and the Middle East, and covering politics, science, technology, economy, arts, sports, and more. Read More
If you've been caught up in all of the Pixel news today, then you might have overlooked something in the specs page. It would appear that Google is extending its software update promise from two years to a minimum of three years. That's fantastic. Read More
Google Text-to-speech may not be the sexiest app out there, but it's a particularly useful one for many people, especially those who make use of accessibility options such as Talkback on Android phones. The last meaningful update to it came back in April (v3.11) with a few new languages (Bangla (India), Czech, Khmer, Nepali, Sinhala, and Ukrainian) as well as improvements to voices and better number processing.
The latest update brings the app up to version 3.13.3 and includes support for two more languages: Filipino and Greek. There's also a new setting to for language detection on devices running Oreo and a few more improvements to how the voices sound. Read More