Zoes are little video highlights that are similar to GIFs but tend to be longer, so don't call them that. The functionality launched as an HTC exclusive back in the days of the original HTC One. Then things opened up to other devices as the manufacturer expanded Zoe into a social network of sorts. Along the way some things changed, like the ability to create Zoes locally.
Well, Zoe 2.0 is now available in the Play Store, and it lets you create things on your device rather than using the cloud again. But, and this is a pretty decent but, you can only create Zoes locally on HTC devices.
Google Maps was updated just about a week ago and there's already a brand new version bump for your navigational pleasure. The latest update rolls out a new UI for planning out your navigation, including a big interactive map, more information, and convenient route selection. There's also a new chart in the details page that details just how busy a business gets at different times of the day. If you can't wait to try it for yourself, grab the download link at the bottom of the article.
When you get a text message in Google Messenger, you don't have to open the app to initiate a reply. You just tap the buttons that appear in the notification. This capability appeared years sooner in apps like Gmail, which allowed you to reply, archive, and delete messages.
It turns out this feature is available in the latest Android version of Skype. When an incoming notification appears in your notification shade, you will have the option to call the person or reply via text. These heads up notifications will also appear on top of your current app, so you don't have to swipe down the notification drawer to read them.
Earlier this month, Google surprised us with OnHub, a $200 WiFi router made in partnership with TP-Link that looks great and packs in some smart technology (even if it only has one ethernet port). We knew Google planned to release an app to pair with and control the OnHub, and today Google On hit the Play Store.
The app appears to be super straight-forward, guiding users through initial setup with a variety of simple, pleasing illustrations, and - after that - allowing for easy troubleshooting, speed testing, and network sharing. Users can also rename their network or change the password, and the app even has a feature to "remotely provide or receive help from friends and family." On's interface relies on shades of blue and teal that should be familiar to OnHub customers, matching the device's body and glowing light (assuming you went for the blue version).
Android Pay has been a hot topic in the last weeks after a series of memos and promotional materials turned up with the supposed August 26th launch date. As it turns out, Google hadn't yet distributed the necessary software to enable Android Pay for use on phones. That changes with version 8.1 of the Play services apk, which began rolling out Friday afternoon. A look around inside of the app also suggests there has been a bit more progress on the long-anticipated Kid Accounts. As of this release, there is also an important change to the convention Google uses for identifying Play services apk variants for different devices.
When you open up your Pocket, what do you see? If you haven't been running the beta version for the past few weeks, you've seen all the articles you've gathered from across the web. Now you will also see recommendations, content Pocket thinks you'll be interested in alongside the stuff you've saved.
To determine which articles to recommend to people, Pocket looks at what content users with similar reading habits saved to their accounts. It also considers how many of these users actually read or eventually shared each story. The company is quick to point out that over two billion items have been saved to Pocket, so there's plenty of information to work with.
Many gamers are acutely aware of the impending launch of Google's new live-streaming service YouTube Gaming, which will go head-to-head with Amazon's recently acquired Twitch.tv. After the last few months of beta testing, YouTube Gaming is finally set to leave beta later today to allow users from almost anywhere in the world to broadcast their own gameplay footage live to anybody who would like to watch. Google has just released the Android app, which serves as the guide and viewer for live shows and much of the recorded gaming content on YouTube. As usual, we've got the apk available for download, which may come in very handy since the Play Store will initially limit availability to residents of the US and UK.
Just because you have an Android device, that doesn't mean you have to commit to using Google Now. Maybe you don't trust el Goog with that much information. Maybe, for some reason, you rather give that data to Microsoft instead. In such a case, you're welcome to use Cortana as your digital voice assistant.
tinyCam recently made the big leap to version six dot oh, dragging along a new icon and material design. On the functionality front, we saw the introduction of 24/7 background video recording. This allowed users to keep recording long after they've switched their attention to another app.
With version 6.2, the developer has added in an internal web server that lets users record video on one device and remotely access them from another. For someone who already has multiple Android phones and tablets lying around, this is a cheap way to make an NVR.
This may be the primary new feature, but the lengthy changelogs include a few other noteworthy additions.
If you felt like Google clubbed you over the head with tons of announcements and releases last week, you're not alone. Between giving out the codename for Android M, a new preview release, an Android Wear update, and about a dozen other things, it was a huge week. Toward the end of the onslaught, a fairly innocuous update to Google Maps bumped the version up to 9.13 and it has a couple of useful shortcuts that deserve a look. There's also a new Google app, but it's not in the Play Store, and that deserves a Teardown-style discussion of its own.