Cody found evidence of an improved smartburst for Google Photos in his v1.16 teardown, and on the v1.17 official changelog it listed 'Improved burst photo support' as one of the points. Now, just after the v1.19 update, it seems the new Smartburst is finally starting to rollout to general users via a server-side update. Read More
Google announced the addition of podcasts to Play Music in October of last year. We heard a few rumored dates for the feature to actually roll out, but they came and went without a peep. The latest April 18th rumor seems to be legit—Google just announced that podcasts are official in Play Music for Android and the web. They're only available in the US and Canada right now, though. Read More
Many of the new features in the second Android N dev preview have actually been additions or improvements to Google Now Launcher - we've had the controversial new folders and home screen / lock screen wallpaper options. Here's a third one, and it's a double whammy this time: pinch to overview on the home screen, instead of just long tapping, and finally some consistency when apps are dragged from the home screen or app drawer.
Pinch to overview works as you'd expect: a two finger pinch on any home screen shows the home screen overview, with wallpaper, widgets, and settings options at the bottom. Read More
It's something custom ROMs have been able to do for years, but has never found its way into stock Android. Well, the second Android N dev preview changes that: Home screen and lock screen wallpapers can now be different, if you so choose.
When a wallpaper is set, it now asks if you'd like to apply the wallpaper on your Home screen, Lock screen, or both. Interestingly, while there aren't any stock live wallpapers in N Dev Preview 2 (live wallpapers are still supported, there's just not any preloaded), live wallpapers are not able to be set as just a lock screen wallpaper. Read More
We've been getting tips about this for months, but now it's finally happening. Google has announced on the official Android blog that Android Pay is coming to the UK, with major bank and retail support in tow. The post says, "in the next few months Android smartphones will become even more useful with the launch of Android Pay," meaning we don't know exactly when it's coming. But be assured it is. In fact, various people have been reporting that Nationwide cards have worked for payment since the start of this month, although we can't verify this.
The major banks mentioned include Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Nationwide, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland (although not Royal Bank of Scotland). Read More
Amazon has finally (finally!) brought its Prime Instant Video service to Android devices with an Instant Video app available through its own app store.
The news comes as part of an update to version 5.0 of Amazon's own app in the Play Store, which sees a broader content shift - the new Amazon app allows users to access Amazon's entire digital catalog, meaning that - besides instant video content - users can shop for (and install) apps from Amazon's app store. This ostensibly makes the Amazon App Store app obsolete, though the old app will still need to hang around on your device to verify apps that use Amazon's optional DRM system. Read More
OK, Pressy faithful. Your patient waiting, or just possibly your impatient waiting and incessant grumbling (guilty), has finally paid off. According to an email sent to Pressy Kickstarter backers early this morning, the first of the final production devices have left the factory in China and been sorted and shipped out. The rest should be shipped by tomorrow, and depending upon location, Pressy creator Nimrod Black says that it will take 1-3 weeks for the units to arrive to backers.
There's buttons in them boxes.
Pressy is a headphone jack-mounted external button that can be triggered to various selectable apps or functions, basically adding a customizable physical button for power users. Read More
Back in April, we posted a rumor that Google Now was on track to properly handle timer queries (like "set a timer for five minutes") using the clock app's built in timer functionality, rather than simply setting an alarm.
Nearly a month later, we saw mention of the functionality in a teardown of the Search app itself, and today it looks like that functionality has finally been switched on.
Users who say "Set a timer for [time]" will be greeted with a card letting them know the timer is about to commence, with the option to skip straight to starting the timer. Read More
It's hard not to be excited about the future of Google Now. It's already an incredibly powerful tool, on its way to being a do-anything personal assistant, and we've heard tell of even more functionality from bill pay reminders to inferred events entries to contact-based reminders.
Today, though, we've heard about something that many have asked for from Google Now for a long time now - actual timer functionality. Search may not be getting its own built-in timer, but it won't be side-stepping your request to set an alarm, either.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Developers have certainly made great use of the Alpha and Beta distribution channels in the Play Store since they became available last summer. There was one glaring oversight: developers could only write a single block of text for the "What's New" section. This often led to changelogs that left beta testers in the dark about changes or confusing regular users with promises of new features and fixes that hadn't yet materialized in the stable channel. Well, this problem ends today. Google has finally opened up support for distinct changelog text for each channel!
Things don't look all that different from before. Read More