A new version of the Google app began circulating in the beta channel late last night. This one brings a small addition that makes it easy to remove your account from a linked Android TV unit with Assistant. It's not too exciting, but it is important to have available. The more interesting details are found in the teardown, where we finally see a sign that Assistant is coming to tablets soon, the 'Recents' screen is going to get a bit more versatile with more types of content, and more. Read More
Most updates to the Google+ app tend to fit the "bug fixes and performance improvements" theme, but last month's release of v9.20 did bring custom notification channels for Android 8.0 Oreo – but maybe not the ones we needed. Today's bump to v9.23 makes a similarly subtle addition with support for a slightly older OS feature: App Shortcuts. If you're running on 7.1 Nougat or above, or using a custom launcher with support for static app shortcuts, you'll now have the option to quickly start a few different types of Google+ posts directly from your launcher. Read More
A new version of the Duo video chat app is rolling out to (Nexus, Pixel, and Android One) users with the next step toward full integration with Google's Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages apps. While it's getting more convenient to make video calls with friends and family, a teardown of the latest updates points to a new screen sharing feature that may allow you to also help them when they have problems with their phones. Read More
Google launched a pretty cool promotion in 2016 with the offer to store every photo and video taken on Pixels at original quality. The same promotion will apply this year with the release of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but it now comes with a catch: The promotion expires in the year 2020.
Unfortunately, the phrasing of the new terms left room for interpretation, leaving many people concerned that all of their uploaded photos would suddenly count against their storage quota or may be converted to lower quality once the expiration date hit. Thanks to a teardown of the latest Google Photos update, we have definite confirmation that both your photos and your storage quota will remain safe and unmolested. Read More
Mozilla has been pretty busy recently. Last month it updated its main browser, Firefox, with a much needed modern UI makeover, and back in the summer it launched a completely new browser, Firefox Focus. It's much simpler and faster than the standard Firefox app, and it's much more privacy conscious, too, with no tabs and automatic blocking of ads and trackers. There's also a Germany-specific version called Klar.
The company isn't taking a break anytime soon either, and a new unreleased app has popped up on the Play Store. Firefox Rocket appears to be similar to Focus, except it's specifically built for Indonesia and rather than privacy, the key USPs are that it's lightweight and fast, perfect for a region where mobile data and Wi-Fi aren't so cheap or easy to come by. Read More
A new version of Allo hit this morning, but that's not nearly as important as the features that were remotely activated by Google in the last day or two. Two features we've been expecting have gone live: Web Stickers and @mentions in group chats. But just as those teardown topics make the transition into live features, the latest update does bring some new things to look out for in the future, including group management and permanent bans, plus a new way to record selfies. Read More
After Google's event finished yesterday, a stream of app updates began rolling out. Among them, Play Movies and TV saw a relatively simple update, but it has a couple of changes that are worth pointing out. The thumbnails for movie trailers are gone, but you can still watch them by tapping on the cover art. Also, TV shows now include the language of captions and audio tracks. A teardown also shows there may be something happening with Disney Movies Anywhere. Read More
An update to the Google app hit the beta channel yesterday and it brings back the Notification toggles for Assistant devices that had briefly appeared a few months ago. Also in tow are some visual tweaks and a revised list of the types of devices certain Assistant features work with. A teardown also turns up new commute settings, a few bits about getting your kids set up with Google Assistant and Home, and a pretty cool feature for the newly announced Pixel Buds. Read More
In the midst of Google's largest product announcement ever, a brand new app turned up in the Play Store with the name Google Assistant. You might be thinking that this will finally bring Assistant to Android tablets, or maybe even enable it on Chromebooks, especially since the Play Store allows installation on both types of devices. Unfortunately, it doesn't do either of these things. The app is just a shortcut to trigger Assistant on devices that already have it. Yes, it does the same thing as holding the home button. Read More
Last week, Google announced that the Assistant is coming to Android TV starting with the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. The firmware update started rolling shortly thereafter and users were able to grab the new Google app that came with it: version 3.0.
After probing on Google+, we got limited feedback that v3.0 of the Google app for Android TV can be installed on other Android TV devices and it does indeed activate the Assistant on them. However, before you scream victory, there are several limitations to keep in mind.
First, since the SHIELD has an Arm processor, we only have the Arm APK now and thus this won't work on TVs or boxes with an x86 processor like the Nexus Player. Read More