So far there are only two devices that officially support Google's neat-o Project Tango spatial detection technology: the original developer kit (no longer being sold) and the shiny new Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. The latter is set to release next month, so Google is preparing the way with a new first-party app, simply called "Tango." It's available as a free download in the Play Store right now, but without access to either the tablet or the phone, you won't be able to play around with it. Read More
If you ordered one of the new Pixel phones, you may want to start checking your order status. Pre-orders have finally begun to ship, as some of the AP staff can confirm. Google did give us a timeframe similar to this at the announcement event, so no one should be surprised. Read More
The SafetyNet API is the bane of root and custom ROM users everywhere. For those unfamiliar, it is part of the Google Play Services API that is designed to detect modified devices. If your system is tampered with in any way, be it rooted or a custom ROM, the SafetyNet check will fail. Android Pay, among other applications, uses this API and will fail to run if SafetyNet fails.
Reports are coming in from Reddit and our own tip box that SafetyNet appears to fail on some bootloader-unlocked devices, even if the device has not been modified in any other way. Devices confirmed to have issues include the Nexus 6P, OnePlus 3, and Nexus 6. Read More
Google now has two launcher apps in the Play Store, but you probably can't install the new one. The Pixel Launcher is one of the selling points of the Pixel phones, and remains technically exclusive to them. But of course, we have the APK available for download. Read More
The Android Pay landing site (android.com/pay) has just been revamped with some more eye-catching elements. I haven't heard anybody complain that Android Pay's landing site is too drab, but this new site definitely looks quite a bit nicer. (You can check out the old one here.)
When you get to the site, you're hit with a splash of color, some "tap. pay. xxxxx." text, and a Nexus 6P or 5X demonstrating these actions (oddly, they didn't go with the Pixel or Pixel XL for this). Some of the 5Xes have curiously small bottom bezels. Read More
Google hasn't been shy about ingratiating itself and its services with the people of India and similarly data-constrained markets – and it should take a bow because some competitors certainly aren't trying very hard to keep up. Last month Google announced a number of initiatives for the Indian market designed to cut down on unnecessary data costs. Among the announcements was a change to the News & Weather app adding a so-called "Lite Mode" that intelligently reduces the amount of text and images that ultimately reaches a phone. Now it looks like the Google app itself will be sporting the same options. Read More
The Pixel's review embargo just lifted earlier today, and reviewers have been very impressed with both the speed of the phone's 12.3MP shooter and the quality that its images capture. In his review of the Pixel, David said it has "the best smartphone camera on the market." Marc Levoy, the lead of a computational photography team at Google Research, discussed with The Verge just how much the software assists in making the Pixel's camera so damn good. Read More
Google Chrome has traditionally been available in four 'channels' - Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary. Beta and Dev are progressively buggier and unfinished than Stable, and Canary is the definition of bleeding-edge. Canary builds are released automatically every day, with no manual testing, and are prone to more bugs than all the other channels.
Until now, the Canary channel has only been available for Windows and Mac (not even desktop Linux). Google has just published Chrome Canary onto the Play Store, starting with build 56.0.2891.8. There aren't any noticeable changes here as opposed to Dev, but in the future, this should be the first place to spot new features. Read More
Google is pushing Assistant in a number of products, including the Pixel, Allo, and Google Home. Ars Technica stumbled upon a bit of an Easter Egg in the Pixel's implementation of Assistant, and it's pretty bonkers. If you tell the phone "I'm feeling lucky," it goes into full game show host mode. Read More
Some months ago, Google looked to be rolling out a new interface for notifications in the Google+ app. No sooner did we report on it than Google removed the new notifications with a server-side switch. Google giveth, and Google taketh away. Today, Google giveth. The new G+ notifications appear to be rolling out for real. Read More