We were begging Google to add SMS to Hangouts for so long, and now it seems like a case of be careful what you wish for. Well, at least there's the new Messenger app. This SMS alternative from Mountain View is getting an update today that makes it prettier, which is always nice.
It was only a few months ago that Google finally updated its long-neglected News and Weather app, sometimes called the Genie widget because of the package name. Today there's already a sizeable update for the app that brings a new dark theme, material animations, search, and more.
Google has seen fit to grace us with a nice little Chrome Beta update this update Wednesday. if you're on Lollipop, you'll immediately notice one thing in particular—the address bar now goes all the way across the screen, but only if you have a certain setup. You'll have to dive into the flags for the rest, but it might be worth it.
We all know that sometimes a device reboot fixes stuff, but Google would never admit to that. Android is supposed to run constantly and keep things in order as it's designed to, but the new Device Assist app finally lays all the cards on the table. The top suggestion (and for some, the only suggestion) is reboot your phone. Dammit, Google.
Update Wednesday has begun! We're starting off with a pretty small bump for Google Play Games, taking it from v2.1 to v2.2. There aren't any big new features, but a few things have been polished up.
Like so many other Google apps, the first-run experience has been updated with a short introduction to explain what the app does and the value users can expect to get from it. Of course, this generally won't show up if Games has been in active use already.
One of the nicest little surprises lurking in Android 5.0 is the support for native on-device screen recording. The ADB screen recorder was added in KitKat, but now we can finally do it without a cable. Apps are still being updated with support, but AZ Screen Recorder is a new listing that seems to hit all the high points, and it's free.