It has been a little quiet on the app front today, but it is in fact Update Wednesday. There's a new version of Hangouts available for download right now, and it has at least one useful tweak. Presumably there are also some bug fixes and other under-the-hood changes.
Just like the new version of Google Play Movies & TV, the Google Play Games app sourced from the recent ADT-1 Android TV device update works fine on recent phones and tablets. There doesn't appear to be any huge functionality improvement in this release, it's merely a shiny new coat of paint. That being the case, it might be best to wait for the official phone/tablet update. If you don't want to wait that long, then have at it with the update below.
We've been digging into some of the apps that come with the latest update for the ADT-1 Android TV device. Interestingly enough, some of these apps work just fine when side-loaded onto standard phones or tablets - it looks like they contain all the standard resources and layouts for both versions of Android. You can check out the changes for Google Play Movies & TV below - there are some notable ones for Chromecast users.
You would think that with the popularity of Google's search engine, Gmail, Maps, Docs, and all of the company's other web apps, it would know everything about us by now. Millions of us have Android devices in our pockets capable of transmitting our location to Google servers every second of the day. But there's one thing Google hasn't been able to pin down just yet--our opinions. It wants to know these enough to pay us (kind of) for the information.
The latest version of the Google Play Movies app has been rolling out to users over the course of the past week, and while we found in the code that the changes had something to do with placing pre-orders, we had to wait for Google to flip a switch somewhere for the functionality to get exposed. Now that Google has taken to its social network with the news, consider that switch flipped.
According to Google, approximately one out of every two hundred Android users reading this post actually placed the built-in YouTube app widget on their homescreen. That's not really surprising: the one that has been a part of the YouTube Android app for years isn't all that useful, it just grabs a handful of videos that the search algorithm thinks you might be interested in and plops them down in a stacked list.
You might remember back in August an update to Google Play Music added public playlist search, which is neat. However, Google then pulled the feature. Presumably it wasn't ready for release at that time, but now it's back in the newest build, and you can download it below.
We saw Google Voice integration go live last night, but it contained a number of issues which this update is expected to fix. Yet as exciting as this is, what's more immediately striking is the new visual redesign.
With the amount of smudging this post required, I feel like I've been working on classified documents. The new version of Hangouts plasters your email address absolutely everywhere. It's not an issue when using the app, but it does make for some rather swirly screenshots.