Google is rolling out a new version of Photos today, and it's a pretty significant update. There's a new navigation paradigm you might remember from a different Google app, and the strangely named "Collections" section is no more. It's now called Albums. As usual, we have the new APK available for download.
Google long ago teased Hands Free, a way to make mobile payments without even having to reach for your phone. Now it's launching a pilot program in the southern San Francisco Bay Area.
Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services to communicate with cash registers inside participating stores. Right now those partners are McDonald's, Papa John's, and some local restaurants.
Google is constantly making changes to the Play Store layout, and these tweaks are often server-side. A new line here, a different dialog box there, and the experience changes. This time, Google appears to be testing a layout for reviews that takes away a dialog box when you leave a review. Instead, the review dialog is embedded in the page.
Google's annual developer conference is now less than 77 days away; at least that's what the new Google I/O 2016 website says. The website also says that registration begins 9AM on March 8th and goes through March 10th. As always, tickets will be in very short supply.
Virtual reality is suddenly a big deal again. It's like the early 90s, but with devices you might actually want to buy. Google is ramping up its Cardboard VR promotion with a dedicated VR area of the Google Store. Featured for sale are the View-Master and C1-Glass VR viewers.
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.
It's that time of the week again, namely Update Wednesday. With that in mind, there's a new update to Google+ which should bring a smile to many a person's face.
This release contains a bunch of bug fixes, as well as a few small, but nevertheless very welcome, new features:
10 bugs fixed
4 accessibility issues addressed
Ability to filter your notifications by All, Unread & Other
Several Community moderation tools
Delete multiple items in Activity Log at once
Hide the top bar when scrolling Collections & Communities
Even faster Web browsing on WiFi
In addition, search autocomplete has been re-enabled in this release.
Google added voice typing to Docs last year, but it was fairly limited. Today, Google is rolling out more features to voice typing in Docs. You now have control over formatting like text selection, punctuation, and copy / paste. While this is not strictly Android, it's pretty close and we think it's cool.
A new version of Gmail is rolling out, and Google was kind enough to provide a blog post so we know just what's new this time around. In Gmail v6.0, you can finally use rich text formatting in emails and RSVP faster without opening separate apps.
Google has been fiddling around with Project Tango for a few years, but there have yet to be any consumer devices. That's expected to change this summer when Lenovo releases a Tango phone, which it previously announced at CES. Now, Google and Lenovo have set up shop in a Barcelona museum to show what Tango can do for you.