We know everybody is looking forward to the big Hangouts 4.0 update; and despite a pretty active day for updates, there's no sign that the big green chat app is going to get a big new version today. While we're waiting, a smallish update to the Google Play Newsstand app reminds us that there's plenty of stuff to read in the news. The changes in this release are mostly centered around improving performance and accessibility, and fixing bugs. Read More
The Messenger app published by Google received a significant #updatewednesday release this morning, adding support for location sharing, stickers, and quick scrolling. All things, I think we can agree, which are good.
The new location sharing and sticker features, found under the "attach" dialogue, look like this.
You can download new sticker packs (there are currently three), and some of the stickers are even animated. Location sharing is pretty cool - the way it works is quite clever. Read More
Today's Android devices are powerful enough to run circles around most game consoles of yesteryear, but that doesn't mean emulating old hardware is easy. 2D games, sure, walk in the park—but replicating the original PlayStation is a different thing entirely. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped an Android developer from trying to tackle the even more powerful PlayStation 2.
Play!, as the emulator is called, also supports Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS. Read More
Most of the app updates this week were relatively quiet, with the notable exception of Play Music with its new ad-supported radio feature. That doesn't have to mean some of the updates don't have something new to offer. The Google app (formerly "Search") was bumped up to v4.8 yesterday, but it doesn't seem to have any noticeable changes right now. However, a look under the hood reveals some pretty interesting features on the horizon. Read More
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