There's a Google Maps beta channel on the Play Store now, and you can sign up for it at this link. You can also download the new APK, version 9.27, directly from APK Mirror if you prefer, right here.
We're still rooting around in the app to see if there's anything new, so let us know if you find anything! (Remember, Maps was also updated last week to v9.26.1, so anything from that update is not new). Also remember that if you're running the Android N preview, you already have Maps 9.30, and so this 9.27 APK will not install over your existing app, as it's a newer version. Read More
Developer Rayark International seems to be in something of a groove for anime-themed rhythm games, if you'll pardon the pun. After a surprise hit with Cytus, the company is back with a similar game. VOEZ is different enough in tone and structure that it doesn't feel like a direct sequel, but it's safe to say that those who liked the original Cytus will also enjoy the new game. It's a free download on the Play Store, supported by in-app purchases for unlocking levels without getting high scores. Read More
It has been a few weeks since Play Music formally launched its take on podcasts, so it goes without saying that there are probably a few things left to be done. An update to version 6.9 takes care of one of the bigger gaps in the functionality by putting podcasts onto its Android Auto interface. Also on the list for this update are some small-to-medium visual tweaks. As usual, the apk is available for download at the bottom of this post if you're interested in jumping ahead of the normal rollout. Read More
According to a new dialogue on the mobile Facebook website, the company will soon be forcing users of the service to download the native Android Facebook Messenger app in order to even view conversations.
The mobile site has been pushing users to download Messenger for some time, but it in the last few days, Facebook has begun much more aggressively shuffling mobile web users who go to the chat (messages) tab over to the Messenger app. Simply tapping the "messages" tab on the mobile web UI will immediately send you through to the Play Store listing for Messenger without any warning whatsoever. Read More
Facebook appears to be testing a new option in its Android app among some users that will make the app use less of your precious geebees. However, it doesn't appear to be anything beyond a simple photo resolution switcheroo, reducing the size of images that appear in your News Feed so that downloading them consumes less data. Interestingly, the toggle for the feature is positioned directly at the top of Facebook's labyrinthine sidebar menu, which is prime real estate. It's possible a wide rollout implementation would see this feature nested down in the settings area, though, and that this current placement is simply an attempt to maximize engagement with the toggle among users with whom it is being tested. Read More
T-Mobile's latest Uncarrier initiative has been rumored for a few weeks, and now the date is official. T-Mobile will unveil new perks and whatnot in Uncarrier 11 on June 6th. The event will be live streamed, but the landing page doesn't offer any hint as to what might be announced. Although, rumors abound. Read More
Samsung Pay is on a roll. After launching in South Korea and the US in 2015, it has expanded to China in 2016, started a trial in Singapore last week, and now it's deploying in its first European market: Spain.
And Samsung Pay is starting with a big advantage in Spain: it's the first mobile payment service to be offered in the country [Edit: Samsung said it's "the first of its kind," which apparently doesn't mean it's the absolute first. As readers pointed out, several mobile contactless payment solutions already exist in Spain], giving it a huge lead and potential for growth, especially considering the penetration of debit and credit cards among the country's working age population. Read More
Google+ is hitting v8.0. But don't let this major version jump trick you into thinking that you should expect big changes in the app. It's still the same Google+ you've grown to know since it was last redesigned, but with a few small changes here and there. Even Google's own Luke Wroblewski is quick to downplay the modifications.
So what should you expect in version 8.0? The usual fixes and general improvements along with three new features. First, you'll start to see a prompt to make a new post at the top of your home feed, encouraging you to contribute your own musings to the site. Read More
Direct Reply, which was introduced in Android N, aims to help you act on some notifications right away, without having to head into the app first. Its benefit is easily felt in communication apps and we've seen it so far implemented in Hangouts and a couple of other messaging apps. It's now making its first appearance in Facebook's own Messenger, in version 18.104.22.168.65 which is only available to beta testers of the app (or through APK Mirror).
If you're on this latest beta, you'll see a Reply button right beneath the notification, allowing you to type and send an answer to your contacts instantly without having to switch to the app. Read More
Wow, there have been a lot of 8-inch LG tablets. There was the original LG G Pad 8.3, with various carrier and Google Play variants. The G Pad II came in both 8.0 and more premium 8.3 varieties. Then there's the G Pad F 8.0 on AT&T and T-Mobile, plus the G Pad X 8.3 on Wi-Fi and Verizon. All of them have some considerable variations in specs and features (LG can't seem to decide whether it likes styli and full-sized USB ports or not), but the G Pad X 8.0 is the one coming to T-Mobile today. Read More