Google seems to be on a rampage of updates with small tweaks and adjustments to a number of apps. I like to think of it as polish. YouTube in particular has been flying through minor version bumps, the latest of which seems to include just a single visual adjustment to the player screen. Tap on the screen while a video is playing and the overlay now contains the current video's title, the channel it's from, and the total number of views it has acquired thus far. Read More
Google shipped quite a few updates this week, some of which are adding (or teasing) legitimate usability improvements, while others tend to be a bit more cosmetic. The new version of YouTube Gaming leans in the direction of the latter group, though some of its changes speak to subtle improvements for information visibility. There are quite a few little details and some of them aren't obvious unless you're looking very close.
Left: previous version. Right: latest version.
The first change stands out pretty clearly: it's a big new button in the title bar. Tapping on it will instantly launch the setup for live streaming from your own device. Read More
An update to Google's Messenger application rolled out yesterday afternoon. Like a lot of other updates lately, this one appears to be centered around clearing up bugs and issues rather than adding new features. For regular travelers or those that have some compatibility issues with their local carriers, there is now an option to override the automatic country detection the app currently performs. Those users on Android N can also look forward to a fix for a pretty critical bug that could cause Messenger to crash with a simple YouTube link.
Bug Fix: YouTube Links No Longer Crash Android N
For those people living on the edge with the Android N Developer Preview running on their primary (or only) phone, there can be some pretty critical bugs that tend to break things in really unexpected ways. Read More
An update to the Google Photos app just rolled out, bringing the current version number up to v1.17. This release is pretty straightforward with just one notable change: photos can now be edited in a non-destructive fashion. In other words, you can make changes to a picture and still return to the original version if you like. That feature alone is certainly enough to make this a worthy upgrade, but a teardown provides some good clues about features that are probably coming in the next couple of releases, assuming they're not already here. Read More
When Android 6.0 landed, it brought a big new battery-saving feature called Doze mode. While it was great at reining in known troublemakers like social network apps and misbehaving games, Doze had a bad habit of knocking out apps with genuinely important roles to play. One such app was Android Wear. Today, a new update to the Wear companion app adds awareness of Doze Mode and prompts users to add it to the protected list.
Doze Mode Support
When the Android Wear app starts up for the first time after updating to v1.5, it will have a bright blue notice on the screen to let you know that your watch may not remain connected unless the Wear app is allowed to run in the background. Read More
Google yesterday pushed out updates to the Sheets and Slides apps, bringing compatibility with more file formats and automatic titling for Slides. Together with these changes are the normal bug fixes and performance improvements which accompany any Google app update.
More File Format Support
Both apps have had a significant amount of file formats added for sharing and exporting your creations. For Slides, there is now the possibility of exporting presentation slides to .JPG, .PNG and .SVG, as well as the already-available .PPTX, .PDF, and .TXT. These can then be sent to others or downloaded to your device. Read More