Large companies have a hard time keeping secrets, especially when multiple partners and countless employees become involved. Bits and pieces are bound to leak out, both intentionally and accidentally, and sometimes a wealth of information can be discovered about unannounced plans. It appears that an app designed for Google's much anticipated MVNO has turned up in an unofficial Nexus 6 firmware image. If legitimate, the app not only confirms the service, but it may reveal some details about service plans, billing, and even a previously unheard-of name, "Project Fi."
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
YouTube isn't the only Google web property getting some A/B testing right now. Apparently Maps is under the microscope as well, with Google testing a new nav drawer menu and refreshed biking and traffic elements.
The nav drawer icon, as you might expect, is embedded in the search bar, a pattern introduced with the new nav drawer icon and material design.
There's also a "road sign" navigation icon embedded in the same bar.
As mentioned, biking and traffic legends have been refreshed in the new design, too. The information panels have been broken out of the search interface, centered at the bottom of the UI. Read More
Earlier this week we reported on Google's decision to refuse an Android port of the PC shooter Postal in the Google Play Store. Two days later, a representative of developer Running With Scissors told us that Amazon had done the same for the Amazon Appstore, and provided us with the rejection letters from both companies. Google refusing to allow the controversial shooter onto the Play Store is merely inconsistent; as we noted at the time, games with similar levels of violence like Grand Theft Auto III are easily available. But Amazon blocking the sale of the Android app, when the company sells the same game as a PC download, was just downright hypocritical. Read More
Google's Snapseed photo editor is receiving a big bump to version 2.0, aiming to give users "the precision and control of professional photo editing software."
With the new version number comes a new product icon and a refreshed design that cuts out the gradients, textures, and holo action bar of Snapseed's past.
The new design puts a simple histogram under your photo, and conceals the app's tools and filters under an unassuming floating action button. The actual editing screen has been similarly refreshed, with familiar editing gestures intact.
The 2.0 update isn't just skin-deep though. With the new Snapseed, users can enjoy non-destructive editing, so re-editing or undoing changes doesn't mean starting from scratch. Read More
Advertising is a necessary evil. If you look around this very page, you'll see ads that keep Android Police afloat. (Unless you're blocking them, in which case you owe me a beer for every paragraph you read.) Google knows its way around ads - that's how an incredibly expensive, bandwidth-intensive video service like YouTube makes money. But if you could skip the annoying commercials before your videos, even the 5 second blips that require an extra click, would you? You'll probably have that option soon.
Tired of seeing these?
A recent email sent to active YouTube channel operators says that Google is getting ready to implement a subscription-based, advertising-free option. Read More
Google has finally updated the platform distribution numbers a little later in the month than usual, and there's been very little movement since last time. The most notable change is Android 5.1's surprise appearance. It's running on 0.4% of active devices already.
Mobile payments are on the rise. Google has been working with companies for years, and with Apple Pay turning more consumers on to the idea, new opportunities to swipe your phone at a register or pay in advance are popping up left and right.
Now Google has partnered with ChowNow to bring Wallet to thousands of independent restaurants across the US. As of today, restaurants have updated their mobile apps to include Wallet as an additional option at checkout. Future businesses that work with ChowNow will offer integration from the beginning.
The move will hopefully serve as a win-win for everyone involved. Read More