Back in the summer, Cody took an in-depth look at the latest update to Inbox by Gmail and found evidence for a new feature called Highlights. He found that Google was planning to introduce a section at the top of Inbox that would bring attention to priority emails. Now, it looks like the feature has been turned on by Google, for some people at least.
Yesterday's teardown of Gmail brought news that the app would soon include some of the useful sorting methods over from the web client, giving users a way to see messages that might be the most important to them. Not to be left out of the fun, the latest update to Inbox reveals it has a couple new tricks of its own. Of course, we're talking about Inbox, so these upcoming features are driven by artificial intelligence and mountains of data about the types of messages that matter most to users.
If you're on the list for beta updates to the Google app, a new version should have rolled out to you in the last day or so. We haven't seen any new features or notable changes yet, but there are quite a few interesting bits worthy of a teardown. There's a sign that rumors about an "Assistant" key on some new Chromebooks may be true and we may finally get to ask the Assistant to name songs again, among other things. As usual, we've got the apk linked at the bottom if you'd like to pick it up without waiting for an update to hit your device.
An update to Google Photos began rolling out yesterday, and alongside it came a promising blog post about new assistant cards highlighting memories and suggesting rotations for sideways photos. Regular users may recognize that some of these aren't totally new, at least not with this version. However, there are some under-the-hood changes that speak to some interesting things for the future. A teardown shows that the video play may be getting an overhaul and Photos might soon auto-generate time-lapse videos for us.
It's easy to underestimate the importance of the review process. When considering a purchase, we scour Amazon for well-written reviews, YouTube for thorough comparisons, and (obviously) Android Police for insightful hands-on articles. We do it for everything from smartphones to cars to vacuum cleaners. Sometimes we even enjoy reading reviews for things we don't want to buy, simply for our own amusement. So why do we generally ignore app reviews on Google Play?
Twitter isn't particularly welcoming to newcomers, and the company knows this. It has long worked to help users discover which accounts to follow and how to turn their feeds into something interesting. Part of this effort has included churning out daily summaries called Highlights. Now it's making a move to keep you tapped into what's going on across the network and the world regardless of whom you follow.
Twitter can be intimidating to new users. The same can be said for experienced users. A timeline is only as good as the content you follow, and even then, you may miss the good bits over the course of a day unless you commit to scrolling through every single tweet.
So the company is introducing Highlights, push notifications that put what's hopefully interesting content directly into your notification shade.
After its update to 5.0 on iOS about a week ago, Pocket has been upgraded for Android as well. I'm a long-time user of Pocket, and while my use case is probably different from the typical user's (there are probably only about 10 items in my list at any given time), it's clear to me that Pocket is always trying to find new ways to make simple save-and-read functionality better and more convenient. To that end, Pocket's new update offers users a new "Highlights" selection, which will pull and organize the best stories from your list, placing them in categories like "quick reads," or sorting by source, trending status, or subject matter (like "#photography").
Just two short days ago, Samsung unveiled the massive Galaxy Note 2 at IFA in Berlin. They briefly showed off some new features of the Note II, like Air View and various note-taking and image editing tweaks. Still, this left anyone who may be interested in this next-gen phablet wanting more.
And now you've got it.
Samsung just released a note-tastic 13 minute video detailing several new features of the Note II, including the video player and Gallery applications, Air View, the ability to natively record the screen, and so much more. Even if you're not into the whole oversized phone thing, it's still worth a watch just to see some of the cool technologies that Sammy built into the Note II with the S Pen.
Google's keynote address on day 2 of Google I/O was all Chrome, all day. Now that Chrome is the default browser for Android, combined with the company's continued push behind Chrome OS, you can expect to see the browser everywhere from now on. Including in the hour-and-twenty-minute video below featuring all the new (and old) features and developments in Chrome.
If you're short on time, or I/O is just overwhleming, Google's done you the favor of piecing together all the best parts of day 1 and 2's keynotes in a single, easy-to-digest four minute video. There are even a few snippets of some of the exhibitors at the keynote.