20
Nov
unnamed (2)

Since Google Maps got its update to version 9.1 yesterday, we've been taking a closer look to figure out exactly what's new, and - of course - taking a quick look inside as well.

So far, it doesn't seem like a huge update, but there's at least one big change worth highlighting. In 9.1, Maps will provide helpful information about your destination or a location you look up. The app will give you the current weather and time at the given location, and will provide some fun facts too.

18
Nov
gms

Most of us don't want to think of Android without Google Play services. There's a good reason for that, without all of the tools Google offers, we would miss out on features like push notifications, integrated maps, and even newer things like Google Fit. Developers keep asking for more and Google is answering that call. With the latest release of Google Play services, new features are coming to Fit, Maps, Drive, And Wallet.

17
Nov
leanback_banner_music

Anybody who owns an ADT-1 has noticed the inexplicable absence of a Play Music app, something that became even more apparent after the Nexus Player began shipping with it. Well, the wait is finally over! An update to the Play Music app began rolling out earlier today, and it includes a banner on the Leanback Launcher for those of us with Google's development hardware. If you've got a Nexus Player, you haven't been left out with this update.

13
Nov
Screenshot 2014-11-13 at 12.50.35 PM

Google Cloud Print has recently received a material redesign of its own. You would be forgiven for thinking that the printing service wasn't its own app, given how it's tucked away with your device's other settings. But when you do go to "add a printer," you are, in fact, kicked out to a different app.

It just doesn't look like it.

What's New

Cloud Print has gone Material. Everything's bright white, the sidebar slides out on top of the action bar, and the new color palette matches the settings menu in Android 5.0.

04
Nov
thumbcal

Yes, you read that right. We took an early look at it a couple of weeks ago, then Google formally announced its existence, and now Google Calendar 5.0 is here and ready for download, working on devices running Android 4.0.3 and up.

Screenshot_2014-11-04-14-33-42 Screenshot_2014-11-04-14-33-48 Screenshot_2014-11-04-14-33-53

The app itself is exactly what you'd expect having seen our previous coverage - a super smart "schedule" layout at the front, with supporting day and 5-day views on phones, with a month and week view appearing on tablets.

03
Nov
Gmail-Thumb

The Gmail 5.0 APK was, for many users, the sweetest thing they tasted on Halloween. But that release was just a very thorough preview, a test build that was essentially complete. Now Google is officially rolling the stable version of the app into the Play Store.

What's New

The changes here are predominantly bug fixes, but there is at least one user-facing tweak. Gmail has traditionally displayed an image in the background whenever you load up an empty folder.

31
Oct
ic_launcher_play_store

Update 10/17/14: Play Store 5.0.32, a small bump over 5.0.31, is now available for download.

Update 10/31/14: Play Store 5.0.37, a bump over 5.0.32, is now available for download. It comes with at least one new change - a new permission bucket called Wearable sensors/activity data to help explain permissions for apps that can grab data from wearables, such as heart rate monitors.

Of course, as I have to pick up my son from daycare, breaking news had to hit, and Google had to start pushing out the Play Store 5.0 update (5.0.31, to be exact).

24
Oct
Amazon-thumb

Amazon's Android app has received an update to 5.1 that's all about reducing how much typing you need to do to use the app. We've spotted changes to the search UI that make it possible to perform inquiries using your voice. We've also come across strings hinting that credit card scanning is either already included or on its way.

What's New

When you hit the magnifying glass in the action bar to begin a search, the screen that appears will now contain a microphone for voice searches.

18
Oct
ap_resize

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.

17
Oct
key

For a while now, we've been aware of an unreleased keyboard theme, shown off in screenshots of Google Chrome on the Play Store. Today, the Android 5.0 Lollipop developer preview brought us Google Keyboard 4.0 that carries both the Material Light and Dark themes. There's really not much to say about the themes that can't be communicated in images - they are similar to the keyboard included in the original dev preview, but now there's a light theme.

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