If you're the type of person that has to flash developer previews and sign up for every beta program available, being the first to try new apps is probably also pretty high on your list of things to do. Google has you covered. Announced last month during I/O, the Play Store is launching an "Early Access" program to give people like us a place to find apps that are mostly operational, but not quite ready for prime time. A few people found that they had early access to Early Access a few days ago, but now it looks like everybody is welcome to the club. Read More
Sony isn't making the most compelling Android phones these days, but it does at least try to put out good software. It's one of the most developer-friendly OEMs and it was even the first to release the N preview on non-Nexus hardware. Now, Sony has the distinction of being the first to do something else. The latest version of the Xperia Home beta has a Google Now pane just like the Google Now Launcher—no other OEM has done this on its custom launcher. Read More
After five years, ADW Launcher has returned with a version 2.0. It looks pretty sweet, and there's an in-app unlock for the premium version that disables ads and tosses you a few new features, and by a few, I mean a ton. Including no ads. Here are all of said features. Read More
Opera already has a handful of browsers in the Play Store, and today you can add one more to the list. The new Opera browser has a focus on news and social media, along with a revamped interface. You can try it right now, but it's only officially available in the US Play Store. We've got the APK below, of course. Read More
Google Maps is now accepting beta testers through the Play Store, and it's probably no coincidence that there's already an update to v9.27 to go along with the news. The latest version doesn't appear to have any mind-blowing features, but it's not without a few changes to be found on the screen and buried in the apk. There are new notification settings, a new splash screen for Android Wear, and a few hints from a teardown. We're still looking around for more, so let us know if you stumble across any cool changes.
Unofficial Changelog: (stuff we found)
- New Notification Settings: "Show pending contributions notification" and "Driving notifications"
- Splash screen on Android Wear
More Notification Settings
Just a few days ago I commented on how the Notifications screen had grown quite a bit over the last few months, and with the brand new beta, two more settings join the list. Read More
There's a Google Maps beta channel on the Play Store now, and you can sign up for it at this link. You can also download the new APK, version 9.27, directly from APK Mirror if you prefer, right here.
We're still rooting around in the app to see if there's anything new, so let us know if you find anything! (Remember, Maps was also updated last week to v9.26.1, so anything from that update is not new). Also remember that if you're running the Android N preview, you already have Maps 9.30, and so this 9.27 APK will not install over your existing app, as it's a newer version. Read More
Direct Reply, which was introduced in Android N, aims to help you act on some notifications right away, without having to head into the app first. Its benefit is easily felt in communication apps and we've seen it so far implemented in Hangouts and a couple of other messaging apps. It's now making its first appearance in Facebook's own Messenger, in version 126.96.36.199.65 which is only available to beta testers of the app (or through APK Mirror).
If you're on this latest beta, you'll see a Reply button right beneath the notification, allowing you to type and send an answer to your contacts instantly without having to switch to the app. Read More
Most flagship phones from last year have gotten their Marshmallow updates by this point, but not the OnePlus 2. Technically, it's not a flagship—it's a flagship killer. OnePlus took time out from killing flagships in March to release a community build (beta) of Marshmallow for the OP2, and now there's an update to that in the form of OxygenOS 3.0.1. Guess what, it's still just a community build. Read More
Yahoo Mail might not be the trendiest web mail service on the planet, but it's still used by hundreds of millions of accounts (if not necessarily that many actual people). And somehow, the official Yahoo Mail app for Android has neglected to sync contact information with the operating system before now. That's been rectified, according to the Mail blog on the Yahoo-owned Tumblr. The latest version of the app in the Play Store, 5.5.3, confirms it in the changelog. Read More
There are only a few months left (probably) before the young and young at heart will be able to live out their Pokémon fantasies in glorious augmented reality with the upcoming Pokémon GO game. But a select few will get an early ticket to Kanto (or wherever you set a Pokémon game with an entire planet's worth of playing surface). Today The Pokémon Company announced that it was looking for participants for the game's "Field Test," and registration is open on the US site. (It may be open to others, but we can't verify that.) Read More