The app updates hit quickly yesterday as about a dozen Google apps were given new versions. Among them, Gmail made an incremental bump to v5.6. There aren't any new features to speak of, but a look inside the apk gave up the goods on a couple of interesting additions we can look forward to in the future. Users will soon have the option to send email with richly formatted text. On top of that, there are signs that we'll soon have deep calendar integration, which should make for smarter and more intuitive auto-suggest results. Read More
Each instant messaging platform of sorts offers its own appeal. Snapchat's appears to be the ability to share moments of spontaneity that won't linger around for the rest of your life. Pictures and clips disappear after they're viewed. Unless, that is, you Replay them. This is a feature that has been around for a couple of years now, but users have been limited to one per day.
Now Snapchat is providing the option to replay things more often. However, this feature doesn't come free. Snapchatters have to buy Replays, starting at a three for 99 cents. Even then, each Snap is only eligible for one Replay. Read More
Primer by Google (formerly listed in the Play Store as Primer: Marketing for Startups) is a simple little Android app that helps small business owners get their company off the ground and in the public eye. Users view a number of brief, bite-sized lessons and walk away with a general understanding of what they need to do. That's the idea, anyway. Read More
On the last episode of Android Police Teardowns, Google's plans for Smart Burst were revealed. Soon, Creations are going to become an innate part of the Camera app, giving users their own collages, animations, group pictures with the best possible smiles, and even pictures styled as if they were taken in a photo booth. Many questions remain. Will Google finally make the most out of the Camera 2 API? Will there be slow motion and HDR modes? And will readers get that this intro is just a goofy bit modeled after old TV shows that awkwardly explain the whole previous episode in 30 seconds before continuing with the story? Read More
The Motorola Connect app isn't required to use a Moto 360, but it's what you need to install in order to tweak some of the device's default watch faces.
The latest update adds four more to the list, along with the ability to change the color of the smartwatch's charging screen from the default blue. There are five to choose from altogether: blue, red, green, purple, and yellow. Read More
The SMS app that comes with new phones tends to suck in one way or another. Why is the interface so ugly? Bah, switching between conversations is so awkward. Samsung, what are you doing? Motorola, the old Messaging app no longer feels stock―it just feels old.
When you ask a friend for good alternatives, don't be surprised if you hear them mention EvolveSMS. Not only is the app pretty, the combination of using the side panel to list conversations and swiping left or right to switch between them is just plain convenient.
Now version 4.0 is here. Unfortunately, you're not going to get to enjoy most new features just yet without the right hardware. Read More
We're just two weeks away from the anticipated launch date for Android 6.0, up to two Nexus phones, and possibly many other surprises. As we all know, secrets are rarely well-kept as the clock counts down on big new products, and that means bits and pieces occasionally escape. We've got an early look at the resources belonging to Google Camera v3.0, which we expect to see included with the upcoming Nexus handsets and rolling out to the Play Store.
Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
In case you aren't getting enough Google Now inside the normal interface, it looks like the Google app is bumping out into some users' notification trays with new, richer, higher priority notifications.
While it's hard to say when the rollout began, some users on version 22.214.171.124 of the Google app (myself included) have begun noticing new notification settings in the Google app, toggling notifications for "substantial changes in weather condition," sports, places, and "stories and videos." Other users' settings lists still stop at "priority notifications."
So far we've only seen weather notifications - which offer temperature changes or other condition changes expected for the next day - and sports notifications in person. Read More
Android Pay is finally here and it's pretty much everything we expected it to be. While there are plenty of questions about where we can use it, which credit cards can be set up, and why it's so aggressive with brightness even when barcodes aren't on screen, the actual act of spending money is about as straight-forward as it could be. As it turns out, there's one feature Google hasn't really discussed yet, but it could become the best thing about using a phone to buy things. Android Pay can automatically redeem special offers, submit account details for loyalty programs, and make a payment in just one tap to a payment terminal. Read More