The Google Maps app is back again with a fresh update, and this one is certainly interesting. As far as live features go, there are some changes related to navigation that will help keep maps oriented north, even with accidental swipes. A teardown also shows that Google is planning to give advice about parking at different locations, and Local Guides can look forward to status indicators for edits. And finally, there's evidence suggesting the return of Launcher Shortcuts.
- New 'Keep map north up' setting
- Accidental swipe protection for North-up mode in Navigation
Keep map north up
Left: previous version with tilt map toggle. Read More
YouTube has a lot of content, not all of which is acceptable for kids. Actually, a lot of it isn't acceptable for grown ups either, but that's beside the point. The YouTube Kids app was launched last year to aggregate kid-friendly videos, but it didn't support YouTube Red. Now, it does support YouTube Red, which we predicted in an APK Teardown earlier this year. Read More
The Samsung Galaxy Note7 is available for pre-order across the internets with a few freebies. There are a few variations in the deals you can get, but they're mostly the same. Sam's Club has a pretty attractive promotion, though. If you pre-order there, you'll get the usual free Gear Fit2 or microSD card, but also a $150 gift card. Read More
Mobius Final Fantasy looks like a pretty standard entry in the famous RPG series from the last ten years or so: vague otherworldly threat, androgynous young hero, production design that borders on cocaine-fueled insanity. It helps that the plot is fleshed out in beautiful 3D cutscenes with full voice acting and orchestral music, unlike other "original" Final Fantasy mobile games such as All The Bravest. Indeed, Mobius might be the first Square-Enix title that can lay claim to being a truly original Final Fantasy game, built from the ground up for mobile devices. Today it gets a worldwide release, and it's a free download on the Play Store. Read More
OnePlus started selling smartphones a few years ago with an invite system, which allowed it to carefully manage its supply chain. It was also hugely annoying for people interested in actually buying phones from OnePlus. The OnePlus 3 was launched sans invite, and it's a much more attractive option because of it. However, OP says it can't keep up with demand, so it's pausing sales in Europe and Hong Kong for a month. Read More
We may have all been a bit dubious about Samsung Pay when it was first announced, especially as another duplicate service that Samsung was launching to provide its own solution instead of Google's or Apple's, but Pay has proven to be more of a success story so far. Launches in multiple countries, ease of use, and MST compatibility make it a great contender in the mobile payment segment.
With this continuous improvement comes a new feature of Samsung Pay: Samsung's own Rewards card. You can earn it by participating in different promotions — there's one right now for a $20 Rewards card after making your first payment in the US — and it'll show up as a VISA card inside your Pay account. Read More
Android Wear watches fall into a couple of categories: lifestyle watches that try to be a bit of everything for everyone, stylish watches that want to appeal to the classy geek, and sports watches that cater to the active types. The latter category has seen the Moto 360 Sport, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Nixon Mission, and is now gaining one more candidate: the Polar M600.
Coming from a company known for its heart rate monitors and activity trackers, the M600 is a bit of a hybrid between a smartwatch and an activity tracker, and it might be the first one we've seen that mixes both equally without sacrificing a lot on either front. Read More
Look, it's not as if we at Android Police are fanatically opposed to Cheetah Mobile as a company. I can see how one could get that impression from reading the previous Cheetah stories, I really can. But between screwing up an otherwise anticipated game sequel with in-app purchases, screwing up a perfectly good ASUS phone with bloatware, or screwing up future generations of developers with bloatware classes, it's hard not to see them as the cackling cartoon villains of the Android software world. The company's latest acquisition is a French news aggregator call News Republic. Read More
Not even an entire day has gone by since the official reveal of the Galaxy Note 7 (no, Samsung, I'm not going to take that space out, no matter how hard your brand managers glare at me) and everyone who's anyone is already trying to sell pre-orders. It's par for the course for American carriers, naturally, but something about this year's upgrade seems to have brought out the big guns. Maybe all of the cell service companies are trying to switch everyone over to a Note 7 before iPhone season rolls around? In any case, here we go: Read More
If typing is too much effort for you or you don't enjoy pecking at small buttons on your screen, then you might enjoy the art of handwriting a lot more. And in that case, you're probably using Google Handwriting Input (or a similar keyboard) to satisfy all your scribbling needs.
After adding a few languages in its 1.5 update, the app is now receiving more of them in version 1.7 and improving support for several existing languages. The new additions are: Corsican, Hawaiian, Kazakh, Luxembourgish, Samoan, Scottish Gaelic, Shona, Tajik, Uzbek, and Western Frisian.
The app also now supports Android N so you can install it on your Nexus devices if you're running a developer preview build, and has more emojis. Read More