We're deep in the woods with Android N news, but that doesn't mean everything else has stopped. This is still Update Wednesday and there are apks to be investigated. Earlier this morning a new version of Google+ turned up and it has at least a couple of changes worth looking at. The post pinning feature is back after a long hiatus, and the Circle Streams feature might be getting a few improvements of its own. If you're just looking for the update, a link is at the bottom of the post.
Pin to profile returns
The one definite feature of this release is the return of 'Pin to profile' for non-collection, non-community posts. Read More
A new Android release, a new default wallpaper. Do you have a device that isn't compatible with the Android N developer previews? Maybe you just have a very slow internet connection and can't wait for the new factory images to download. Whatever the reason, you want to make your device look a bit more like it's running Android N, and you don't want to wait around. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and download the new wallpapers from the links below. Read More
Inbox is all about convenience and efficiency. Every couple of updates bring some kind of feature that provides contextually relevant information or automates some action so it becomes fairly painless. The latest Inbox update to v1.18 contains some details that betray yet another one of these shortcuts: a direct method for modifying the sharing options of a file in Google Drive. Read More
The Google app has gone through some fairly rapid-fire updates over the last month or so, with new versions popping out every few days. Just yesterday, a somewhat buggy v5.10.22 rolled out in the morning, only to be replaced in the evening by a minor v5.10.23 update to fix some issues with crashing. The changes from v5.9 to v5.10 appear to be rather minor, but a close examination turned up a couple of little things we couldn't ignore. Read More
A late-night update to Google Maps on Tuesday brought the version up to 9.21. Despite a moderate bump to the version number, this appears to be a relatively minor release. Of course, knowing the Maps team, we'll end up with an update in a few days with an official changelog that includes at least a couple more interesting additions. In the meantime, there's a new setting to control notifications about responses to your edits. Maps has also expanded its list of supported countries for the recently released Driving Mode and the "Explore around you" feature. Read More
Version 1.50 of YouTube Kids started rolling out early Thursday morning. This update brings a really great new feature, and parents are going to love it. It's now possible to pause the watch history of YouTube Kids, and it doesn't affect the rest of your YouTube apps. A teardown also shows that parents will soon enjoy the benefits of YouTube Red, as well. As usual, if the update hasn't hit your account yet, jump to the bottom of the post to find a download link. Read More
Street View is a fun digital tool for exploring the huge world we live on. An update to version 126.96.36.199257855 began rolling out earlier this week, and in addition to bringing far too many digits, it also has a few new features, a few visual tweaks, and improved support for spherical cameras. It looks like this one is rolling out pretty fast, but if you're in need of a download link, it's at the bottom of the post. Read More
Many of us are anxiously awaiting the official launch of Podcasts in Play Music. While a few people have already been given an accidental early look, there are good reasons to be confident that the real launch will happen sometime in the next week and a half. It should come as no surprise that the latest update to the Play Music app happens to include a few fixes and features for podcast listeners. On top of that, Google is preparing for an exclusive deal with the BRIT Awards.
For those that want to know about new features, it doesn't look like there's anything to talk about right now. Read More
It's pretty rare that we get to talk about Google's text-to-speech engine. Updates are fairly uncommon and most of them can be summarized as bug fixes and performance improvements. But every once in a while there's an update that brings a pretty cool new feature to this workhorse of an app. Version 3.8 adds one of the top requests to speech output: user selectable gender and voice variations for each language.
The official changelog has been posted for TTS v3.8. It mentions support for seven new languages, higher quality speech output, faster speech for offline voices, an updated Indian English voice, and the usual bug fixes and performance improvements. Read More