It seems like all hands are on deck to get Google's apps to conform on the new workmark. In all of the rush, a minor snafu occurred yesterday. A dogfood version (generally intended for internal testing) of the News & Weather app was uploaded to the Play Store, adorned with the cute little paw print badge. Well, the accident has been cleaned up and the proper version has been uploaded to the Play Store today. Let's just hope nobody had their noses rubbed anywhere.
Left: Old launcher icon. Center: Dogfood icon. Right: New launcher icon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
YouTube Kids is like YouTube... but for kids. Okay, it's not the most difficult concept in the world. Neither is the urge to take a video streaming to your tablet and make it bigger. With the latest version of YouTube Kids, your little one now has that option. Chromecast support has arrived. Read More
A late afternoon update to the Play Store just hit the scene. While we've only witnessed a single new dialog box in the live app, there are plenty of things standing out from a teardown. Preparation for Android 6.0 is clearly a big part of this release as signs pop up for support of the new optional permission model and fingerprint readers. There is also an uninstall manager in the works for those times when you've run out of space. We can also look forward to a new interface for requesting refunds and an option to get very precise recommendations based on location. Read More
YouTube updates have been rolling out at a pretty speedy rate lately, averaging about 3-4 each month. The latest bump is relatively minor, but it includes a useful new feature to quickly wipe any offline content from your device. A teardown also reveals that there may be a new auto-syncing feature that will download content for offline viewing without the need to manually pick out videos. As usual, we've also got a download link at the bottom if you'd like to grab the apk. Read More
Inbox for Gmail continues to stack on new features and refine its existing capabilities. While it may never fit the needs of many Gmail users, it has earned a strong following of fans that couldn't live without it. The latest release doesn't appear to add anything to the user experience, but a teardown shows a few of the changes that may be on the horizon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
SmartThings users have the luxury of controlling a large number of things from a single spot—their phones. That means the app SmartThings relies on must be pretty good, or the entire experience falls to pieces. To coincide with the formal release of its second generation Hub (which went on pre-order last month), the company is now pushing out an update to its Android app. Read More
The WordPress developers have bumped the Android app up to version 4.4, introducing a number of visual tweaks in the process. Some of them are better for phones than they are for tablets. Whether they're an improvement is for you to judge.
For starters, the page and post list page has changed from two panels into a list of floating titles. You can see the headline, a few lines of text, and a featured image. Edit, Preview, Stats, and Trash options line the bottom.
This change results in less information displayed on tablets in landscape mode than we saw in previous versions. Read More
Full disclosure: I own an iPhone 6. It's not my daily driver (I use it for testing and design research), but when Android Wear for iOS was announced, I thought it might be fun to connect my Moto 360 to the iPhone and see what our friends using iOS might experience if they decide to pair up with an Android Wear watch.
First things first: the Android Wear app for iOS. In general the experience will seem familiar to Android users. Pair up your watch using its special name/code, then view a video going over the basics, etc. The iOS onboarding process feels a bit laborious, since - if you follow the app's guidance - you'll have to do things like venture into iOS settings to enable bluetooth, double click the home button, and go back to Wear, but it's not unbearable and in practice you can just swipe up the iOS quick settings from the bottom. Read More
Google Keep just received a relatively light update, bringing it to version 3.2. This one doesn't bring much in the way of major functional improvements, but there are a couple of things worth noting. There are brand new welcome images to help new (and possibly existing) users figure out how to get the most out of Keep. The apk has also lost a little bit of weight, and it's now ready for the new Android M permission model. Read More
Android Marshmallow may not have officially arrived yet, but that means now is the time for developers to get their apps in working order. That's what the LastPass folks have done. Read More