Google Drive and its host of specialized editors have been improving by leaps and bounds, this year. Over the last few months, we've seen big new features like drag and drop file management, Chromecast support, and much more. The latest update builds on top of the recently added drag and drop interface to give users even more ways to manage multiple files quickly. There is also an overhaul to the interface for selecting collaborators and viewers which makes the experience immensely better. Read More
Google gave us an update for YouTube a little early this week, bumping the latest version number up to v10.24. Aside from a few bug fixes, which we certainly won't complain about, the changes appear to be mostly cosmetic. Read More
Back in May Spotify offered a healthy serving of new functionality to iOS users that, dagnabbit, we Android folks wanted too. At the time, we were told that our taste would come in the near future with no specific timing. Well, premium Spotify subscribers have started to see the features show up in the latest beta updates.
We detailed the changes back when iOS got its hands on them, so I'm going to skim over them now. Read More
The fine engineers at Google have been hard at work with some cool new features to both the WebView package and Chrome for Android. Recent updates to the Chromium project have extended Contextual Search to tablets, and there is now partial support for the new text selection features introduced with Android M. Even the T-Rex easter egg game got a little bit better.
Contextual Search for tablets
If you've tried selecting text in Chrome on a phone recently, you've probably noticed a cool little popup at the bottom of the screen that acts as a shortcut to search for the selected term. Read More
Giving away free apps is sort of Amazon's thing. Each day the company offers up a different piece of software in hopes of attracting Android users away from their default app store. Now Google seems to be dipping its toes in the water and trying out something similar. Instead of a free app of the day, we can download one for the week.
The offer isn't immediately apparent when you first open the Play Store. A banner advertising "New Family Fun" appears at the bottom of the screen. Clicking that will take you over to the family section, where you should see another banner advertising a free app of the week from PBS Kids. Read More
When Google unveiled the Chromecast, more than a handful of people looked at the dongle as a cheap way to get around putting up with projectors and VGA cables when giving presentations. Unfortunately the company seemed in no hurry to actually update the Slides app with compatibility. Casting presentations saved on Drive required mirroring an Android screen or using a laptop instead. But as Cody discovered in an APK teardown back in February, support was finally set to land in Slides at any moment. Read More
The updates came rolling in quickly this morning. Among them was a fresh bump to Google's Inbox app – the email app for people without time for email. This release was a little light on truly new features as far as the main interface is concerned, but it finally brought a feature to light we've been expecting for a few months: home screen shortcuts to jump straight into writing a new email or scheduling reminders.
The new shortcuts are called Compose and Reminders. They were first revealed during a Teardown of Inbox in early March and they appear to work as expected. Read More
A new update to Google's Maps application is out, but the wait for offline navigation must go on. This is a relatively minor version bump, so we're not going to see the big features mentioned at I/O, but that doesn't mean there aren't still some pretty good things in this release. We now get to enjoy a new photo gallery view, car rental bookings will be shown, and there are a few pleasant improvements in Settings.
New Photo Gallery View
Left: old photo view, Center: new photo gallery, Right: new single photo view
A few weeks ago, Google made some subtle changes to the interface for uploading photos for locations you had visited. Read More
Fix for multi-column layouts
From a user-facing standpoint, the only directly relatable change came to multi-column layouts in Chrome. Read More
A couple of months ago, Google brought 360-degree videos to YouTube. While we're still not seeing a lot of multi-directional content popping up, it has certainly warranted some attention, including a fairly lengthy mention during the Google I/O 2015 Keynote presentation. At the time, we learned that YouTube would be adding VR video support for Cardboard later this summer. In a rare turn of events, Google's claim of "later this summer" actually meant it was one week away – or six days, to be exact.
left: old version, right: new version. Note the cardboard symbol next to the timeline
Now, whenever a 360-degree video begins playing, the overlay screen will show the Cardboard logo just to the right of the track bar shortly before the entire overlay fades out. Read More