Today, Google launched a couple new features for developers that will give them a lot more flexibility in storing data associated with apps. For starters, using what's called "app data folders," a developer can store important files in a user's Drive storage space. This is huge news as, up until this point, the main method for backing up data has been the Backup API, which is great for small things that are 1-2MB or so, but isn't really sufficient for larger files.
Today, Google rolled out an update to the YouTube app (v4.4.11) that will allow frequent users to get easier access to their favorite content producers with the 'My Subscriptions' feed. In the slide-out panel on the left side of your device, you can now tap on this section to get a list of all the most recent videos from your favorite directors in one place.
Additionally, channels that have signed up for One Channel, which allows more customization of your channel and a better branding experience, will now see their tweaks within the app.
You know what we just can't get enough of? Google Now cards. Today, the data giant updated its search app with a new real-time package tracking card (as opposed to the static "Your order has shipped" option before). In addition, regular old search results should be faster, which users on older devices are likely to love.
As a bonus, the app now provides quicker access to feedback and settings on the cards themselves.
Back in December, we noticed that a bunch of countries had been added to the list of supported areas for Google Maps Navigation. That list was promptly updated to remove most of them, but now it looks like they're (almost) all back and available for use right now, including Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovakia and more.
Here are all the new countries that have been re-added to supported list:
- Ivory Coast
Of those, we have independent confirmation from users in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, and Slovakia that turn-by-turn navigation is available as of right now, which leads us to believe that the entire list is legit.
Samsung has an app called Push Service that it uses to manage push notifications for its collection of applications found on a variety of phones and tablets. Also, according to user reviews, it can defeat the Amish Army, instantly cure your chronic depression, and raise your pets from the grave. We're not sure if many users will have a need for this, but it can probably find a niche home.
Here's just a sample of what Samsung's Push Service can do for you (note: some reviews may have some colorful descriptions):
Since Google acquired Quickoffice last year, the internet has been quietly hoping that the investment will result in a much improved document editing experience on Android. So far, there hasn't been a monumental shift, but now the company is releasing Quickoffice for Google Apps For Business. For real.
The suite is only available for users of Google Apps For Business, obviously, but if your company is in that group, then enjoy your new, free applications.
Whether due to neglect or a topsy-turvy set of priorities, Android developers sometimes leave out basic features like lock screen or notification (I'm looking at you, Spotify) controls. Well, Pandora is fixing at least some of its problems with an update that brings the ability to pause or skip tracks from the lock screen. Unfortunately, notification controls still aren't available but, hey. One step at a time.
Here's the full change log:
What's in this version:
- Lock screen controls for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and later
- Added elapsed and remaining timestamps to the track progress indicator
- Reduced startup time
- Bug fixes and enhancements
Aside from the lock screen controls, it's not a huge update, but it's always encouraging to see a prominent developer truly take advantage of what Android can do.
It's time for us to come clean. We've been collectively living a lie, Android fans. Hiding our deepest desires and hoping they go away. Praying that maybe, Duarte willing, that we'll get something that's close enough that we'll be satisfied. But no more! Today, we shed the façade and embrace the truth: all we really want is a clean, simple UI that's not cluttered by drawers, widgets, or icons in shapes other than rounded squares.
Update: The update is now live in the Store – find it by hitting the widget at the end of the post.
Last month, Google announced they'd be killing off Google Reader this July. Yes, in just a couple of short months, one of the most beloved RSS resources in existence would be kaput. Google says it decided to pull the plug because of dwindling use numbers. While there were plenty of discussions about Google's real motivation (everything from well-reasoned examinations of the situation to cries of "EVIL!"), there was something more important happening behind the outcry – there were people stepping up to fill the gap in as seamless and timely a fashion as possible.