Yesterday was a busy day with the official announcement of Android Oreo and our sun playing a short game of peekaboo behind the moon. Yesterday also saw the release of a brand new version of the Google app to the beta channel. After a bit of digging, there aren't any notable changes jumping out at us, but a teardown of the APK provides a monstrous amount of information about a mystery device called Bisto. There's plenty here, so let's dig straight into the juicy bits! Read More
It's time for the next installment of "The Messaging Mess," an unintentional comedy series from Google. After focusing on Allo as a consumer messaging platform, Google has taken to removing features from Hangouts. At the same time, it's launched a pair of business-oriented Hangouts services known as Meet and Chat. However, only Meet is generally available. Starting today, Meet has chat, but it's not Hangouts Chat. It's all so simple. Read More
Do you find yourself thinking Google Hangouts would be perfect if it only had a few more secret shortcodes to make emoticon art? No, I didn't think so. I guess that means today's update to Hangouts probably won't convince anybody that it has hit the pinnacle of excellence; but it will give us five more easter egg phrases, if that helps. Read More
Perhaps you woke up today a bit confused. As you sat down at your computer to check the morning email, you saw that something had changed. Nestled along the edge and ever-visible, where the familiar head-filled bubbles of your Hangouts friends one rested, a window now sat. A window without priority, without transparency, and without style. That's because Google took away that interface, the transparent chat-bubble UI for Hangouts on desktop is now missing. Read More
Today is the day that Hangouts finally loses SMS support. We were warned by Google about it months ago when Hangouts started showing a warning that it would no longer support the feature. But, as of today, it's finally set to happen. For anyone who isn't on Project Fi or Google Voice — both of which will continue to support SMS in Hangouts — this is the end of an era. Read More
According to several frustrated posters on Google's product forums, the hands-free reply function built into Android Auto is broken. The feature enables users of various different messaging apps to reply to incoming messages while keeping their hands on the wheel. There is a bizarre workaround, though — make sure you have Hangouts enabled and up-to-date. Read More
Before there was Allo and Duo, before Hangouts was unveiled, there was Google Talk. In some ways, it was better than the Hangouts platform that replaced it. Talk had a real desktop app, and if you didn't like it, you could use any XMPP client to communicate. You could even send messages to users on other XMPP-powered services - a huge difference from today's proprietary messaging services. Read More
Once upon a time, I was able to get most of my communication done through Hangouts. Between its support for standard SMS, Google Voice, and normal Hangouts conversations, it was an incredibly useful tool. It could even merge SMS and Hangouts conversations into the same thread, much like iMessage on the iPhone.
Over the past year or so, Google has been separating all this functionality into standalone apps. Google started asking SMS users to switch to Messages, then removed merged conversations, and finally launched a new separate Google Voice app. The company has also been trying to move people off Hangouts itself, with its new Allo and Duo apps. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Today's roundup is presented by Accu Battery from Digibites. Batteries today are ubiquitous with just about every device we use, as they play a critical role in our day-to-day that is difficult to dismiss. This means that it is pretty important to stay on top of your battery usage. Read More