These days, almost every service with any kind of social element includes a place for a profile picture. Most apps will also give users an opportunity to crop the image down before locking it in, that way you don't have to break out a photo editor just to center yourself and cut out other people from the shot. Most people probably never noticed it, but this little convenience feature wasn't available in Allo, at least not until now. Read More
The latest (minor) update to the Google app brought with it a surprise twist as it enabled customization in the search bar widget. As it turns out, that's not the only new thing in this update. A teardown also turned up quite a few clues relating to a new on-screen interface for Google Home or a new Home device with built-in display. Read More
The YouTube Gaming app has been flying under the radar for a while as most of the updates have been focused on fixing bugs or making fairly minor changes–there haven't even been any new easter eggs since v1.97. Yesterday's update shows a little bit more activity as both cosmetic and functional changes were made. A revamped app icon and splash screen bring a little freshness to the look, and the always familiar autoplay feature from the core YouTube app is now available so you can put on an endless stream of game reviews or let's plays. Read More
Outside of Samsung's yearly announcement of a new Galaxy Note, it's rare to see anything interesting happening with a stylus. However, the latest update to Google Play Books comes with some new behavior that makes a stylus much more useful with things like college textbooks and other reference material. Now when you drag a stylus over some text, it instantly switches into selection mode and pops up the action menu as soon as the selection is done. Read More
The Play Music app on Android TV has remained mostly unchanged since the platform launched three years ago. If you've grown tired of the wall of orange and all of the completely original Material Design components that were used when Android TV first launched, you'll be happy to see that Play Music is now sporting a new look. A new Android TV-specific variant of the Play Music app is rolling out through the Play Store with a completely redesigned look. Read More
A new version of the Google app began circulating in the beta channel late last night. This one brings a small addition that makes it easy to remove your account from a linked Android TV unit with Assistant. It's not too exciting, but it is important to have available. The more interesting details are found in the teardown, where we finally see a sign that Assistant is coming to tablets soon, the 'Recents' screen is going to get a bit more versatile with more types of content, and more. Read More
Most updates to the Google+ app tend to fit the "bug fixes and performance improvements" theme, but last month's release of v9.20 did bring custom notification channels for Android 8.0 Oreo – but maybe not the ones we needed. Today's bump to v9.23 makes a similarly subtle addition with support for a slightly older OS feature: App Shortcuts. If you're running on 7.1 Nougat or above, or using a custom launcher with support for static app shortcuts, you'll now have the option to quickly start a few different types of Google+ posts directly from your launcher. Read More
Back during 2016's I/O festivities, Google quietly launched what I consider one of its biggest sleeper hits: Science Journal. I could wax poetic about the app (and I will later), but the name is quite descriptive. Yesterday it saw a significant update, with support for more sensors, UI changes, and a new snapshot feature for capturing data points. An iOS version of the app was even released, so people of all platforms can more easily engage in the pursuit of quantitative inquiry.
Armchair science has never been so easy, or fun. Read More
A new version of the Duo video chat app is rolling out to (Nexus, Pixel, and Android One) users with the next step toward full integration with Google's Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages apps. While it's getting more convenient to make video calls with friends and family, a teardown of the latest updates points to a new screen sharing feature that may allow you to also help them when they have problems with their phones. Read More
Google launched a pretty cool promotion in 2016 with the offer to store every photo and video taken on Pixels at original quality. The same promotion will apply this year with the release of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but it now comes with a catch: The promotion expires in the year 2020.
Unfortunately, the phrasing of the new terms left room for interpretation, leaving many people concerned that all of their uploaded photos would suddenly count against their storage quota or may be converted to lower quality once the expiration date hit. Thanks to a teardown of the latest Google Photos update, we have definite confirmation that both your photos and your storage quota will remain safe and unmolested. Read More