As most of our readers know, an update to the Play Store rolled out a couple of days ago with a feature many of us have been requesting for nearly three years: the ability to join and leave beta test groups from within the Play Store. For reasons we can only speculate about, the join/leave capability was disabled about 24 hours later. While the headlining feature was covered in our original post, there are still a couple of interesting tidbits waiting for the teardown treatment. Read More
There's a new version of the Play Store beginning its slow rollout, and it's all about all those beta apps you've signed up for. You can see when you're in a beta, leave/join them, and even provide direct developer feedback from the Play Store client. Anyone who's in a lot of betas will want this update, and we've got the APK ready for download. Read More
Your opinion is worth something. Not much, but something. Companies are willing to pay for consumer feedback, and in this area, Google is no exception. It is happy to reward people for answering a few mundane questions. And now that offer extends out to people in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Read More
There are a few ways to enable 2-factor authentication. One common approach is to send a text message to your phone containing an authentication token. Another option is to have an app installed that will generate that string of numbers without making you wait.
There are a few apps out there that will do the job. Google Authenticator is one. Another is Authy, which was acquired by Twilio a year ago. The latest version of the latter adds support for six, seven, and eight digit authentication tokens. Not only that, it makes those digits significantly easier to read. Read More
Google added support for delta app updates ages ago to save you from re-downloading an entire app every time there's an update. That's all well and good, but the process hasn't been very transparent. Now, it looks like the Play Store has started showing the size of an update rather than the full app size. Read More
Account management apps aren't the most exciting pieces of software. Reading about one is liable to be even less interesting when you can't even get the service in your area. I understand. Having to write about Google Fiber when I can't get it doesn't feel much better.
But those of you in Fiber cities deserve coverage too. Read More
There are many ways to go about building your own smart home. The easy approach is to buy a hub and look for products that are compatible. Logitech makes one of those hubs.
If you've embraced the Logitech Harmony approach to controlling your home, you now have one more way to manage everything. Logitech has released an Android TV app into the Play Store. Read More
Bringing games to mobile phones has come with challenges. Touchscreens don't handle some genres as well as traditional controllers. Interface elements need to be large enough for fingertips. Some titles, frankly, feel shoehorned to fit on phones.
The Lifeline series of games are an exception. I don't mean these are three titles that are remarkably well adapted for small touch controls. This series offers an experience that only feels natural on a phone, and today you can get all three entries for 10 cents apiece. Read More
The Play Store is, of course, a core Google app. While this time there's no version change, in the last 24 hours, a new server-side change to the app has begun to roll out, this time affecting the Accounts screen and how it is organized, making it clearer which setting belongs to which section.
The change segregates the different options into four categories: Payment methods, Subscriptions, Rewards, and Order history. Formerly, these were all in one large top-level category encompassing everything to do with your account, but Google has obviously seen fit to change this and make it a little easier to work out what is being looked at. Read More