Android tablet users know what it's like to get stuck with a phone app stretched out to a large display. It's less of an issue today than it used to be, now that smartphones come with 1080p displays and apps sport visual elements that would look crisp on a television screen. But sometimes you're still left with an excess of white space or an interface that you can't spin horizontally, even though that's how you want to hold your tablet.
Well, Yahoo has updated its News Digest app to play along more nicely with Android tablets. The interface still looks similar to the highly stylized experience users have grown accustomed to on their phones, but now it's wider, and you get to swipe left and right. Read More
When Google unveiled its material design vision for Android 5.0, the changes included a new button that hovers in the bottom right-hand corner of apps. The Floating Action Button, or FAB, has become commonplace in the time since.
But in the latest version of Keep, Google wants you to forget all about it. The FAB is gone. In its place there's now a white bar across the bottom of the screen. This is now where you will go to create a new note, jot down a list, start a voice recording, or take a picture.
Left: Old, Right: New
Is this a step forward? Read More
Google Photos version 1.1 didn't come with much in the way of changes, and the tradition looks like it's holding true for 1.2 as well. But hey, sometimes we like minor tweaks just as much. So let's go over them, and then you can rush to grab the APK.
For starters, there's the ability to easily add individual photos to albums from the drop-down menu. Here's a before and after shot.
Left: Old, Right: New
And when you're inside of an album, you also have the option to set an image as the album cover.
There's no logic to this untitled album. Read More
Do you skype with Hangouts or with Skype? If you skype with Skype, here's a bit of good news—version 5.6 is now available on the Play Store.
This release should make life easier for skypers who keep multiple chats going at all times. The Recent tab now shows more conversations on screen at once. Skype has also made tweaks that better show when your friends are online regardless of your location within the app.
While we're talking about looks, those round avatars that have been around for a while in chat screens and the contact list will appear more consistently elsewhere in the app, such as on the Favorites tab. Read More
Kodi, also known as the app formerly known as XBMC, has made it to version 15. This evolution comes a little over half a year since the last major release. We're graced with a number of new features, a big one being 4K support on Android devices with capable hardware and a version of Lollipop. Refreshrate switching and HEVC playback are also available on such gadgets.
The changes don't stop there, and since we're talking about a media player, the additions get increasingly specific. For instance, take the new chapter selector window that lets you select chapters in video formats that support them. Read More
The app updates from the last week seem to be all about where you are, where you've been, and where you're going. It has only been a few days since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out with a couple of location-related bits hidden inside, and now a new version of Maps is hitting the scene with a host of new features centered around our location history. We can now look back through the places we've visited, when we were last at certain spots, and the routes we've taken. Read More
Sygic, the company behind one of the world's most popular mobile navigation apps, has purchased Fuelio. And to sweeten the deal for users, the company is making all of the app's pro features available for free. That includes Dropbox and Google syncing, a widget, and detailed information presented in the form of stats, summaries, and charts.
In case you've never taken Fuelio on the road with you before, this app logs how much you spend on gas and how much you're getting out of each gallon. With GPS support and Google Maps integration, you can track all the places you get gas. Read More
The long-awaited Nearby is on the horizon, and it will be launching with Play Services 7.8. The APK is in the midst of its rollout right now. It contains a few elements of Nearby, and surely plenty of bug fixes and tweaks, but there are also plenty of interesting pieces hidden inside, as well. After a quick long examination, we've got the interesting bits and pieces ready for viewing, along with some theories about what it all means. It's time for a teardown!
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
YouTube's Offline Playback feature was first introduced alongside Music Key back in November, finally giving people a way to store a (limited) selection of videos for trips into areas with poor connectivity, or just to avoid using up capped data plans. While it has remained mostly unchanged in the last 8 months, the latest update finally brings a few modifications. The interface is now a bit more informative and uniform, and there's a new low-quality option (which is actually a good thing). A teardown also revealed some big improvements to the voice command interface that has been in the works for a while. Read More
Version 4.9 of the Google app began rolling out late yesterday, but it's not sporting a lot of obvious additions. The only immediately visible changes appear under Settings -> Now cards, where a new toggle has been added to enable or disable lock screen notifications based on cards. Some updated text also appears below the new toggle, if you care about that sort of thing.
Left: old version. Right: new version.
The existing Notifications toggle gave users the option to determine whether cards from Google Now could occupy space in the notification shade. The new toggle brings a little more control by allowing notifications to appear in the shade without being shown on the lock screen where they could potentially overwhelm more important notifications. Read More