As we close in on Google's October 4th launch event, a new beta release of the Google app itself is rolling out with hints about some of the things we may hear about during the presentation. In this update, we find further confirmation that one or both of the new Pixels will include pressure-sensitive sides that wake up Google Assistant. There are also clues about customizable search bars and interchangeable voices for the Google Assistant. And we can look forward to routines, which are basically shortcuts capable of taking multiple actions. Read More
Notification channels are one of the key user-facing features added with Android Oreo, and almost all of Google's major apps were ready for launch day with their own set of custom channels. A few notable stragglers like Inbox and Hangouts remain, but today's update to the Google+ app means it cannot be counted among them. Unfortunately, the custom channels added in this update are almost certainly not what G+ users were hoping to see. Read More
Over the last few months, Google has been taking small steps to integrate Allo and Duo into different pieces of the phone. Most recently, Allo shortcuts were added to the Contacts app, but today's teardown is more closely related to Duo recording its video chats to the system call log. It looks like Google's next step may involve having its Phone app be a little more forward about Duo. Read More
The U11, HTC's second flagship phone of 2017, stands out from the crowd with its squeezable frame. The phone's software can perform custom actions based on how intensely you squeeze the phone - something that this year's Pixels might get too. Now the company is testing a beta update for the Edge Sense app, allowing users to set their own custom actions. Read More
Android Oreo displays a persistent notification for each app running in the background, to give the user a better idea of what is happening on their device. But for power users that frequently run apps like Tasker and LastPass, the notification can be plain annoying. Thankfully, there's now an easy way to hide it forever - an app by developer 'iboalali.' Read More
The latest update to the Google app is rolling out to beta channel members right now. There aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface, but as the tradition often goes, there are some things under the hood worthy of discussion in a teardown. This version brings a pretty good indicator that 8.1 will be the next version of Android. There are also signs that user-defined actions are going to get some changes in the future. We're also going to hit an option to turn off the built-in screenshot handler and a little bit more about Google's upcoming "Bisto" headphones.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
A lot of manufacturers are uploading their apps to the Play Store these days. That even includes Xiaomi, a company based in a country that doesn't allow the Play Store to be accessed. The Chinese company has just uploaded its calculator app, creatively named "Mi Calculator," to Google's app marketplace, and it's actually pretty nifty. Read More
The latest Google Maps beta update began rolling out to users late last night, and it brings with it a feature some users have been requesting for years: User-selectable language and voices. Not only that, but there are a few things from the teardown that may be of interest. Some of them are more like follow-ups to older topics, but there are some new bits of information to check out with each one. Read More