Back in December, we reported on a new "pseudo-drawer" for the YouTube app on Android - replacing the horizontal list of avatars and activity indicators found on phones, the drawer gave users a scrollable vertical list of subscriptions - avatars and names - along with actual numbers.
Now, it looks like the drawer is getting some tweaks. First, it overlaps the UI when expanded now, rather than pushing everything to the side. Whether this is better or not is debatable, but the more important change is inside the drawer itself. Instead of just "Channels," the drawer header now has filters to let users sort their subscriptions by relevance or new activity. Read More
Just last month, YouTube added support for 360-degree videos, giving us yet another way to thoroughly confound our grandparents with the cool new stuff that can be done with gadgets. We had an early warning this was coming after a Teardown exposed an option to filter search results for "spherical" and 4k videos. A subsequent update to the YouTube app enabled the filter for 4k videos, but mysteriously ignored spherical videos. It looks like it's finally time to take more of those 360 videos for a spin, Google is finally letting users filter for them in the Android app and web interface. Read More
YouTube has always been one of Google's less conventional properties, but the sudden leap from version 6.0 to 10.0 gave everybody a surprise. Even stranger is that with such a substantial jump in versions, there are virtually zero meaningful changes to the user-facing features. While there's relatively little for us to enjoy right now, a full teardown reveals that there are at least a few additions that might be worthy of a major version bump.
It's no secret that YouTube is set to gain some basic editing features. Reports have been coming in that the trimming feature discovered back in November has finally started going live. Read More
Do you remember the end of 2012? Android still ran Jelly Bean (no make that Jelly Bean, or was it Jelly Bean?). A 5.5-inch screen was as big as phone's got, and the mere promise of the Pebble had people virtually throwing money at their screens. Then in December, Instagram introduced a couple of new filters into its mobile app.
Two years later, devices are getting updated to Lollipop, a 5.5-inch screen is dangerously close to being considered average, the Pebble is looking a little dated next to the new kid on the block, and Instagram has finally introduced five more filters. Read More
The update everyone has been waiting for is finally here - YouTube has been updated with some material design goodness. The app's makeover is essentially what you'd expect - along with circular avatars (per Google's spec), it features a tall, tabbed toolbar in YouTube's signature vibrant red brand color, a full-height material nav drawer, and a clean white background.
Channels receive special attention, with Lollipop's Palette API pulling colors from the channel art to color the app's toolbar. Of course YouTube 6.0 brings a new launcher icon too, falling into line with the rest of Google's product icons.
The update also brings more advanced search filters to YouTube, a welcome addition to anyone who's struggled to find just what they were looking for in the past. Read More
We've been seeing bits and pieces (and fully functional prototypes) of Google Stars for a long time now. The tool, which for now acts as a replacement for Chrome's bookmark manager, has been in development even longer, but it looks like the Chrome extension might finally be ready to roll (assuming it doesn't get pulled again) as Google released "Bookmark Manager" to the Chrome Web Store earlier today.
Despite the new name, the extension takes over chrome://bookmarks just as before, with options to organize bookmarks into folders, give those folders descriptions, and even share folders with others. Of course the interface for adding a bookmark is also updated. Read More
The Chrome Web Store may not be the first place you hit up in your search for Android apps, but that doesn't mean it isn't there to help you out. Google's centralized location for all things Chrome - apps, extensions, themes - now has a label that marks whenever something you're looking at is also available for Android. If you click the corresponding hyperlink, it will shoot you straight out to the correct Play Store page.
Not only that, you can now search the entire store using a global Android filter. When you land on the site, just head to the top and bring the drop-down menu to "For Android."
The filter will also appear in the sidebar when you perform searches. Read More
The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.
Check out these screenshots. Here's a DROID MAXX browsing the Play Store's home page, and a quick look at one of the featured apps, Cluster.
Now the same view on a Nexus 7 2013. Read More
One of the many photography-oriented announcements made during today's Google+ event was Snapseed's new HDR Scape filter, one which promised to produce awesome photos with a dynamic range that's deliciously high.
Unlike stock camera HDR modes, Vic Gundotra was sure to point out on stage today that Snapseed's HDR Scape filter doesn't approximate tonal mapping effects by measuring pixel brightness, but instead detects pixel edge contrast, which according to Gundotra should produce more realistic effects, close to what you might achieve with a set of bracketed exposures from a "real" camera.
Pixel edge contrast, for those wondering, is basically the difference in tone between (as you may expect) the edges of two pixels. Read More
Remember the latest Facebook beta update v3.5? The one that brought photo saving and got rid of the legacy menu button, among other things. Looks like there's another change we didn't spot - one that's roughly 3 years overdue.
Starting with v3.5, the Facebook app finally registers itself as one of the apps capable of opening facebook.com links, so that when you click on, say, a new comment email notification, Facebook is right there instead of all your installed browsers. Hallelujah.
The support is very limited so far - in fact, only links that start with facebook.com/n (n stands for notifications, presumably) are being handled at the moment. Read More