You can cross another one off your list—Google Calendar is getting its material design update today for Lollipop devices, according to Google. It's not just the design, though. The new version of Calendar is adding some awesome features and new layouts too. It's a big, big deal. This is usually where I tell you we have an APK for you, but we don't (it's out "in the coming weeks"). We do, however, have all the details for you to salivate over.
Verizon's ongoing DROID program means that most of the phones sold under the label will never appear on other US carriers. When the DROID Turbo was announced last week as one of the most high-end phones to come this year, more than a few of our commenters said that they'd prefer it to the Nexus 6 (also made by Motorola) due to its smaller size, if only a non-locked GSM version was available.
During October we've been positively innundated with new versions of apps, mostly from Google as the company plasters Material Design over nearly its entire catalog. But there have been some notable launches as well, dominated by Google's own Inbox (and the scramble that comes from an invitation system). For some other highlighted picks from October and a few honorable mentions, read on.
Inbox by Gmail
Android Police coverage: Google's 'Inbox By Gmail' Email Replacement System Is Live, But Invite-Only For The Moment
Inbox is kind of a big deal as far as Google is concerned - it appears to be the new status quo for the company's email system going forward.
The Nexus 6 came in for a landing on my doorstep yesterday, and I've been happily exploring Google's new phablet ever since. Because I've had it for just one day, there's no way I could write anything resembling a review, so instead I thought it may be fun to do a very basic "initial impressions" post. There are a few things that immediately strike me about the device, so I'll discuss those here, with more details to come in the full review.
Several months ago, we discussed something called Nearby, a project that - at the time - seemed to be Google's effort to let "people, places, and things" know when a user is, well, nearby. It seems that Google is still hard at work on its effort to connect various devices to each other and their surroundings, but Copresence (an internal name for this functionality) may have a more specific scope in this effort than we first estimated, apparently including iOS devices in the fun.
Google's apps, alongside Facebook's, remain the only Android apps to reach over 500 million users. Some of the tech giant's offerings, such as Gmail and YouTube, have even managed more than a billion downloads.
Now Play Movies & TV has become the company's latest app to join the former category. On Google Play, it resides in the 500,000,000 - 1,000,000,000 range.
This is a significant achievement for Play Movies, a brand that has only really been around since the Android Market turned into the Play Store not much more than a couple of years ago.
We've been seeing bits and pieces (and fully functional prototypes) of Google Stars for a long time now. The tool, which for now acts as a replacement for Chrome's bookmark manager, has been in development even longer, but it looks like the Chrome extension might finally be ready to roll (assuming it doesn't get pulled again) as Google released "Bookmark Manager" to the Chrome Web Store earlier today.
Despite the new name, the extension takes over chrome://bookmarks just as before, with options to organize bookmarks into folders, give those folders descriptions, and even share folders with others.
Months ago, we posted a rumor about "modular actions" set to come to Google's Search app (now just called Google) along with "Ok Google Everywhere" functionality that would allow users to activate search from anywhere on their device. The latter has already been implemented, but Google is still inching toward the former. With the technically unreleased Google app, the search interface can overlay apps from which it is called, but Google today announced another step forward - the ability to let apps hook into search by accepting voice queries from the user.
It is apparently 'material all the things' day as Google keeps rolling out those updates. This time we've got a new version of Play Games, but unlike the last one we brought you, this is for all Android devices, not the version intended for Android TV.
Project Ara stirred up plenty of excitement when it was first announced, and it continues to entice people with its promise of a modular and upgradeable phone. We recently learned that users will be able to hot-swap modules (excluding the CPU and screen) while the device is on thanks to a modified version of Android Lollipop.
Now Phonebloks has shared a video of Ara's porgress at NK Labs, a Massachusetts-based contractor doing a great deal of work on the project.