The totally awesome Play Store review process strikes again. The developer of popular (and /r/AndroidCircleJerk approved) app Reddit Sync has gotten the dreaded automated support email indicating the app is on track to be pulled. The reason? Impersonating or leveraging another product or service. No, you're not having déjà vu—this has, in fact, happened before.
There may be a major trade show happening this week, but it's still Update Wednesday. Google has updated its 'Google' app (formerly known as Search) to version 4.1. We are still digging around for new features, but we've already found a few goodies and put the APK up for your enjoyment.
First up, there's a new space in settings called "Now Cards," which - as the name suggests - gives you control over the cards Google presents to you. Read More
There comes a moment in the life of most pre-installed Google apps where they hit the big 1 billion installs mark. This is measure less of how many users have sought out the software on the Play Store and more the number of times people have set up devices in the years since the app became available. Though in the case of Google+, the latest app to reach this milestone, there are surely people out there who didn't get the software out of the box and decided they wanted in on the fun. Read More
Google has updated its Play Store guidelines to again clamp down on how developers can list their apps. The keyword spam section of the support site now includes a rule that specifically forbids developers from inserting user testimonials into app descriptions. Doing so could get an app pulled. Read More
Google's self-driving car program has been one of the company's most visible and high-profile "moonshots" over the last few years. When Google showed off the primary development stages, the self-driving vehicles were basically production cars (like the Toyota Prius and Lexus SUVs) stuffed with huge amounts of robotics, communications, and processing equipment. Now the first self-driving "Google Car" prototype, built from the ground up to demonstrate the autonomous system, is complete and ready to roll out. Read More
Those Google+ users who often use the service for posting videos now have some exciting new tools. The automated enhancements for photos has been available for more than a year, and now the feature is coming to videos as well. Videos uploaded to the service that are flagged by Google's automated system can be enhanced with improved stability, color correction, and lighting enhancements. Improvements to sound for better voice quality are planned for a future update. Read More
Ever since Google integrated Voice with Hangouts, listening to voicemail has been a highly-focused affair. Unlike traditional voicemail, which we're conditioned to hold up to our ear like a phone call, voicemail in Hangouts comes with a play button that encourages us to treat it more like the audio file that it is. This is the same way Google Voice has treated it on the web for forever.
The downside is that turning off the screen or backing out of Hangouts has, until recently, caused the message to immediately stop playing. Read More
It appears Google really doesn't want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to easing its own apps into material design (no matter how long it may take). The latest to get an incremental refresh is Google Opinion Rewards - the app has been updated with a revised launcher icon (seen in the thumbnail for this post), and a new toolbar inside the app. The icon is a bit closer to material, but doesn't carry the exact same use of shadows as Google's other recent updates. Read More
There's an update to Hangouts Dialer rolling today to make those Google VoIP calls a little more useful. The dialer's new trick is that it can handle phone call intents from the system. That makes it easier than ever to place calls through Hangouts with your Google Voice number.
Google made some sweeping changes after it acquired restaurant review indexer Zagat, including limiting the cities in which it would work. The app itself was updated a few times, but it's been sitting neglected for a year until today. Zagat is going material in this update, but there are a few functionality tweaks too.