I don't know what to think of this one. Of all the Allo features we've discussed so far, many are cool, some are interesting, and few are controversial. But the lack of a cloud save or backup/restore function? I am not on board with that, and I doubt anyone can justify it. But here goes.
In the preview test version of Allo that we've been getting our information from, the app seems to be very forgetful with all of your history. Whether you uninstall the app and reinstall it on the same phone, perform a device restore and have to install it again, move your SIM card to a new phone and need to authenticate Allo there, almost nothing sticks or carries around. Read More
Google I/O has taken its toll. At least that's the way it looks based on the fairly quiet week we've seen for app updates thus far. The biggest update to arrive was for Snapseed, which gained some fairly useful improvements for editing. The focus on images continued with an update to the Photos app, but it didn't appear to bring any notable new features, rather just a bug fix. However, a teardown of the app reveals quite a bit more. Google is lining up some cool improvements to the app, including new sorting methods for albums, new editing controls, and a pretty amazing promo for Nexus devices. Read More
If you're into rooting these days, there's a good chance you've at least tried out FlashFire by well-known SuperSU developer Chainfire. It's one of the friendliest tools to use for flashing firmware images and mods, and it can even install official OTAs while keeping root intact. Today, Chainfire is releasing a new version of FlashFire with a pair of new features that will make it even more powerful: it can now create fastboot-flashable backups and there's a new option to preserve the existing recovery after installing OTAs and ZIPs.
FlashFire has long had the ability to create backups, but they could only be restored through a custom recovery or from FlashFire itself. Read More
While Google has been pushing out a ton of OS and app updates, the Drive team got out one of its own. This is a perfectly good update on its own, but it also includes clues to some upcoming features, too. In this update, you'll find a newly revised look and operation for uploading files, and there's even a color picker for folders. (Yey!) On the teardown side, we can look forward to recommendations for files, a shortcut to "Team Drives," and possibly even another form of device backup. Oh yeah, and the FAB changes color. Read More
Cloud storage is probably the greatest thing to happen to casual photography since manufacturers started putting decent shooters into smartphones. There's nothing like snapping a couple of group shots and throwing them up on Google Photos without the hassle of hooking a computer to a phone just to move them over first. The catch is that most of us choose not to sync pictures over cellular, instead waiting to get back within reach of Wi-Fi so our data plans don't feel too much abuse. However, there are times you still need to back up a few shots right away, and that's where the latest Google Photos update comes in. Read More
HTC has promised to reveal an Android 6.0-powered device on October 20th, and that event is just around the corner next Tuesday. But the company hasn't released any upgrades for its current devices just yet (not that anyone really expected them to at this point). Despite that, HTC just released a new app on the Play Store, HTC Restore, which is only compatible with Marshmallow HTC phones. All none of them. Presumably the app is on the Play Store in advance of that new phone, which we expect to be the HTC One A9 "Aero."
The app is... Read More
If you own a smartphone and live outside the US, chances are you're one of almost a billion monthly WhatsApp users. WhatsApp may not be the most feature-rich messaging platform, but what it lacks in functionality, it makes up for in rock-solid reliability (hi, Hangouts) and virtually unparalleled market penetration (hi, Telegram). That's why WhatsApp is the de facto messaging app for so many people around the world, even if it still requires things like chat backups — something more characteristic of MSN Messenger than a modern messaging service. Fortunately, starting today (and after many months of adding and removing the feature), WhatsApp will offer to automatically back up and upload your chat history to Google Drive. Read More
There's no nice way to say this: interesting and new apps were a bit thin on the ground in September. Maybe it was the double-threat of new announcements from both Google and Apple that scared off developers, or maybe they're all hung up on ancient Green Day lyrics. Either way, things were looking pretty sparse, but we still managed to find a few interesting tidbits for you. Here are our top seven and a few honorable mentions. Read More
The saga of WhatsApp's Google Drive backup option is only rivaled by the app's epic voice calls invite feature that we all had to endure for months. It's there, then not there, then it's back, only to disappear again, then wait it's hiding and only shows when it's time for a backup... but Rita, it's not working for me, and now it's gone for everyone, oh-oh look I got it with root and a few commands, and now it's on for everyone finally. We swear. Read More
Users are reporting that Google has started slashing and burning old accounts in recent days, seemingly with no warning. The first sign something is wrong comes in the form of an alert sent to the user's backup email informing them their Google account has been deleted because of an unresolved terms of service violation. Whatever is going on, it's probably time to backup any unused accounts you have sitting around.
The Gmail support forums are packed with users reporting their old accounts have been nuked, and several Reddit threads have popped up in the last few days as well. Most affected users say the deleted accounts hadn't been used in a long time, possibly years. Read More