A new beta update of Google Maps began rolling out late Tuesday night. The changes aren't particularly major, but they might tie up a few loose ends. If you're a Local Guide with a few points to your name, this version will bring the ability to share links to individual reviews. There are also some tweaks to the notification settings, including a new notification for people with business listings to maintain. Finally, there's an improvement to the parking difficulty rating system, but it may not be live yet. Read More
I have a weird relationship with news apps, constantly switching between different things and never really feeling comfortable with anything. Flipboard was one of the first apps I tried for this purpose, and while I haven't used it in ages, I still like it. Today Flipboard is launching a major redesign, v4.0, focused on smart personalization and magazines. Read More
Signal, the encrypted messenger app which has seen growing popularity over the last couple of months, has begun testing experimental voice and video calls in its beta programme, in preparation for adding the feature to the stable app. This follows the lead of Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as Google Duo, in a trend of companies focusing on video calling recently. Read More
In the last few months, Android Pay has been popping up quite a bit with expansions into new territories, support for more banks and credit unions, and of course, new features. The latest update began rolling out this morning and looks basically unchanged, but a teardown shows that Google is preparing to give users a reason to poke around in the app more often. Loyalty programs are about to get a fairly significant upgrade that will allow them to feature special offers to members. Read More
Home security cameras are great, made all the better when there's a great app to control them with. Accordingly, tinyCam Monitor has just had a major update to version 7.4, with some big features surrounding the cloud in tow.
The talking point here is definitely 24/7 cloud recording. This means that the recordings, which will now take place continuously, will be uploaded to the cloud, and when the quota of 500MB is exceeded, the oldest JPEGs uploaded will be deleted to make way for new footage. There are other new features for recording, as well - the archive for cloud recordings and on-device recordings can be deleted on demand, and less memory is used for the Motion JPEG (MJPEG) streams. Read More
The latest release of Google Photos hit today and it brings a few visual adjustments to a couple of the screens we visit most often. The pages for Albums and Device folders have been rearranged a bit to pack more things on the screen at once. The teardown also reveals upcoming support for easier photo sharing through Nearby and a new creation tool for mashing up your pictures and video. Read More
Playboard, the Google Play Store and Apple App Store aggregator with various channels and lists, has announced it will be discontinued at the beginning of February 2017 (i.e. any time now), in lieu of a new company, 42matters, taking its place.
Many pages on the Playboard website 404, with most channels for various apps and games not being found. Other pages redirect to the new website of 42matters, the successor company, which is focusing on app market analytics, mobile app data, and APIs. The site and service has been used by many websites since its inception, not least by the team here at Android Police, for weekly app roundups and widgets. Read More
Ever since March of last year, Google has been testing a new payment method called Hands Free. The premise was that you could pay for goods with your smartphone without ever having to remove it from your pocket. The pilot was limited to the Bay Area and to only a few businesses. But now, the experiment has hit its end of life for the time being.
As of February 8, Hands Free will shut down. Read More
Google Maps was recently promoted to v9.45 in the beta channel. This update includes a partially redesigned arrival card when users reach their destinations and introduces a feature where Google will send emails with highlights from your timeline. Turning to the teardown, it's clear that Google will soon allow users to share their custom lists with others. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom of the post, but since the v9.45.1 update came out shortly after the .0 release, both versions are linked. Read More
If it's indie music and new, unknown artists, chances are it'll be on SoundCloud. The Berlin-based company has long pioneered a music platform that doesn't focus on the big, stadium-filling artists, but on the small, independent ones. An update to the app adds in Charts, letting users see what others are listening to on the service and what is popular at any given moment. While these were actually implemented in the previous version, they've just been added to the changelog, indicating it's possible they were rolling out on a server-side basis.
The charts are separated into two sections - Top 50 and New and Hot. Read More