Last week brought a rush of new app updates from both the Play Store and the Android N developer preview. There were surprisingly few new features to discuss, and not much for teardowns; but the Google Keep app does have at least one notable addition in store for us. It looks like Keep is going to give users the ability to pin important notes so they remain readily available and won't get lost as new items are added.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
Sharing works pretty well in Android - the standard "share" command and its collection of APIs allows for easily getting content from one app to another. But if you're anything like most Android users, you have dozens of apps installed that include Share functions, and you're only used to actually using Share in a few of them. Android N has a little feature that makes that interaction much more user-friendly: Share apps can now be pinned to the top of the cross-app menu.
Earlier this year, Google+ community managers gained the ability to pin posts to the top of a page, useful during those times when you want visitors to see something in particular the first time they arrive. The thing is, community pages aren't the only ones that could benefit from such a feature. So the capability is now rolling out for regular profiles and pages as well. General users can now pin posts using the web version Google+ from their PC.
To pin, click on the drop down menu at the top of a public post. The option should be the first one on the list.
Google's reinvention of the Chrome bookmark system, called Google Stars, was first spotted by Florian Kiersch nearly a month ago. Today, it looks like the Chrome extension and web interface are already live for the public, preceding any official word from Google about the burgeoning bookmarking service. For now, it looks like Stars is still in a dogfooding or testing phase.
Users who install the Chrome extension (linked at the bottom of the post) will be able to access the service's web interface, which will automatically "add the Google magic to your data," collecting a history of topics you're interested in or things you've bookmarked, arranged automatically by date.
Google will soon roll out changes to Voice intended to prevent unauthorized access to our voicemail inboxes. To access accounts via phone, you will now have to call from a verified forwarding number. If you're calling from a number Google doesn't recognize, you will be prompted to enter a verified number instead. In addition to this, PIN codes can now be up to 10 digits long. These changes will take effect starting on the first day of October, and anyone who signs in via a web browser should receive a notification giving them a head's up.
If you want to tinker with your phone forwarding or voicemail settings before these changes take effect, here are instructions for doing so straight from Google.
The launch of the world's most hyped Android-powered mini console might have been something of a dud, but at least the creators are keeping up the support. The first major update after Ouya's release includes some substantial improvements to the app/game store, most notably PIN security for purchases (to make sure those meddling kids don't empty Mommy and Daddy's checking account) and support for pre-paid gift cards. Card totals can now be applied towards new games or in-app purchases. The news came from the Forums section of the Ouya developer page.
Other additions include a new and more user-friendly Game Details page, changes to the game download dialog (which can now be cancelled), and the ability to create new users after logging out.
If you're paranoid about losing both your smartphone and your tablet... well, you probably shouldn't be carrying both in an area where either is likely to get stolen. But if you do, and feel like you need an extra layer of protection, McAfee is here to indulge your fear. Smart Perimeter Plus (in the Security Innovations app) links your Android phone and tablet, then sets off an alarm if either are separated from the same WiFi network. It's a free download for devices running Android 2.1 or later.
The concept is pretty simple: connect both your phone and your tablet to the same WiFi network, then pair them with the app-specific PIN.
The Galaxy Nexus launched with rather little accessory support from Samsung. Recently, they (finally) released a GPS mount, and now the pogo desktop dock has hit the store and is available for purchase. What's special about a pogo dock compared to a normal dock? This dock uses pogo pins - which match up to the three metal dots on the side of the GNexus - to charge the phone, rather than a normal charging port. You can simply drop your phone in, and when the metal dots touch, the phone charges - it's that easy.
Other than the simplicity offered by the pogo dock, it also includes a 3.5mm stereo audio port.