Google Photos is progressively building out its feature set. Version 2.4 began rolling out last week and it can now show which albums certain people appear in. This follows the addition of some newly enhanced editing controls and dynamic filters added with version 2.3 a couple of weeks ago, which will also be discussed in this post. All of this can be topped with with a couple of interesting hints at future additions found during a teardown, including initial support for RAW images.
If we had presses, they would be stopped right now. Instagram has announced not one, not two, but three new filters. That means three new ways to mess up your photos! I kid, some people are really into Instagram, so any new stuff is a big deal, and new filters don't come along often.
Here's a surprise for you. For once we're not talking about a photo editing app that has come to Android after being available on iOS for months or worse yet, years. How novel! Overam is the name of said app and it's being released on Android first (maybe only?).
While Overam does offer the usual panoply of filters, its selling point is the usage of geometric shapes to create a disconnect between two parts of the image and highlight the one you want. You start with one of 200+ geometric shapes ranging from the simple to the most complex, pick one of the 5 different blur effects included, add a filter if you want to (including dual filters that only apply to part of the image), and you can save your photo locally, share it, or go on to make another edit on top of it.
A fresh update for YouTube began rolling out today, bumping the version number to 10.10. This appears to be a fairly minor release, as it only includes some visual tweaks and adds the new 4K video search filter. Still, it might appeal to anybody with a screen and hardware that supports super high-def video. There's a download link below if you're anxious to give it a try.
Left: previous version. Center: new version. Right: 4k video.
4K search first appeared in a teardown of YouTube 10.8, just 3 weeks ago. Like any other video filter, it can be enabled after performing a keyword search, at which point there's an icon to the right of the search box that can be used to access the list of filters.
The folks over at YouTube have had a busy week after launching YouTube For Kids, and then turning on video trimming a few days later. To keep the ball rolling, the YouTube team shipped a brand new update to its primary app last night that finally enables stats for nerds. After examining the apk in a teardown, it turns out that there's also a big improvement to the upcoming audio swapping feature, and it seems there may even be some new search filters on the way.
Stats For Nerds
The "big" new feature probably isn't going to get too many people excited, but Stats For Nerds is finally live.
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.
Let's think about filters for a moment. They are immensely useful, allowing users to direct (junk) mail from particular senders to the appropriate location (the trash) or apply the correct label (stuff to ignore). Gmail has had the ability to create and manage filters for years, but its app hasn't. In fact, it still lacks this functionality. Yahoo, on the other hand, has rolled the feature into the latest release of its Android app, version 2.6. Now users can create, update, and erase filters without having to fire up a web browser.
The primary functions are all here. Users can name a filter, target senders or recipients, and delegate messages that "contains," "does not contain," "begins with," or "ends with" certain words.
I know, I know. You are tired of filter and effect apps, and so am I. But this Afterlight app looks good, really good. After starting out on iOS and gaining popularity due to its simplicity and quality, the app has just been released on the Play Store for Android devices running 4.0.3 and up.
Retrica's popularity can be summed up in one word: selfies. If somebody - let's call her Sue - needs a picture of herself right this moment, she needs an app with a minimalist interface that doesn't get in the way. And since Sue Somebody is working with less than optimal circumstances and a mobile phone with a crappy front-facing camera, she wants a wide range of filters that could mask how bad of a photo she's about to take. Retrica fits that bill. She's seen her friend using the app on iOS for a while now, but now it's available in the Play Store for her to download as well.
Google has been posting versions of most of its first-party apps to the Play Store in an effort to update key features of Android (or at least Google's branded additions to the platform) without having to wait for carriers to push out software apps. According to a report from Engadget, the standard camera app will soon get an upgrade, presumably following the same path. At this point we'll consider this a rumor, since Engadget only cites "sources aware of Google's plans."
The report says that the updated camera app will include many of the bells and whistles that newer devices are getting, like the fake depth of field effect shown off on the HTC One M8.