It's pretty rare that we get to talk about Google's text-to-speech engine. Updates are fairly uncommon and most of them can be summarized as bug fixes and performance improvements. But every once in a while there's an update that brings a pretty cool new feature to this workhorse of an app. Version 3.8 adds one of the top requests to speech output: user selectable gender and voice variations for each language.
Left: previous version (v3.7). Center + Right: latest versions (v3.8).
As of version 3.8, each language's voice packs now offer a default voice (usually female) or one of six other variations split between male and female. Read More
A new version of Google+ started rolling out yesterday, and now we've got all the details on what's new. There are a few subtle UI changes, some navigation improvements, and a big change to link handling that some users started to see in the last build. Read More
The Clock app doesn't get a ton of updates, but when it does there's almost always something worth talking about. The latest version does a little bit of everything with a little bit of visual polish and updates for the Android Wear app. As usual, there's a link at the bottom if you'd like to grab this version before it rolls out to your devices in due time. Read More
There's a new version of the Play Store floating around in the wild, taking us up to v6.2. If you haven't read the title already–which might be possible–you probably want to know what this update includes. There's really only one immediately visible feature, and it's not big, but it's there: the Play Store can now use your Gmail messages to give app recommendations. There are also a couple of minor changes to the navigation drawer and even something we already knew about that will get a teardown mention. Let's be honest, you're here for the apk, so just jump to the link at the bottom and start downloading. Read More
My largest WhatsApp group has 6 members (as seen in the image above) and we can barely manage it when we're all being active at the same time. So forgive me for not being overwhelmingly excited by this new update to WhatsApp's beta channel that enables groups up to 256 members. The previous limit was 100, so if you ever wished you could grow your 100-member group larger, there are now a lot more people you can invite in on the conversation.
The change seems to be triggered by WhatsApp's version 2.12.437, though some users on this exact release aren't seeing it yet. Read More
The Play Books update from a couple of days ago turned up the first sign of life for the Family Library we've seen since mid-November. At the time, I made a quick prediction that matching strings would pop up fairly soon in Google's other content apps, and Play Movies & TV is the first to follow through. But this wasn't just a mirror image of the same strings, there's actually a bit of new information regarding movies sold as a bundle and seasons of television shows.
In case anybody is curious, this update doesn't have anything in the way of notable new features. Read More
It has been a little while since we've seen an update to Messenger, so something potentially big was expected from this release. Version 1.7 doesn't seem to bring any visible changes, but like a sugary cereal box, there is a cool toy hidden inside. Messenger will have its own Android Wear app, just like Keep, Play Music, and a few others. But in a quirky twist, this mini app can't be installed quite yet, not until your Wear watch receives an update to Marshmallow. Read More
It's Update Wednesday and Google has been rolling out the updates pretty steadily all morning. Most of them aren't packing much beyond bug fixes, but Photos did get an update to v1.13 with at least one cool little feature. The search results screen now provides a quick way to see photos taken on the same day alongside the regular results, even if they aren't related otherwise. We've got a couple variants of the latest apk linked at the bottom, and more are sure to come shortly. Read More
Now that app updates are back to business as usual (more or less), Play Books is showing some activity again with a couple of small-ish changes that add a bit of polish. There are now shortcuts with links to different sections of the Play Store and an updated welcome card for the so-called Night Light feature. But the more interesting change is actually buried where it can't be seen in the live interface: some real signs that the Family Library is moving forward in Play Books. If you're looking for the APK, we have the link at the bottom. Read More