Facebook is apparently hard at work this 4th of July having just released a new update to its beta Android app. In case you missed it last week, Facebook started using the Play Store beta program to test new versions of the app prior to wide release. If you want in, follow the instructions we posted last time. If you're already in, get ready for a bug-squashing update.
As Android users and enthusiasts, we sometimes find ourselves curious about the continuously evolving interfaces in Google's ecosystem. Over the years, there have been a number of changes to the Play Store, once known as the Android Market, but we've never had the pleasure of learning how some of the big design elements came to be. This week, Nick Butcher and Roman Nurik of Android Design in Action invited a couple members of the Android design team, Marco Paglia and Owen Otto, to share details about their process.
Falcon Pro is the latest app to take advantage of Google's new Play Store beta program, and the developer is testing out some much anticipated features. The UI is flatter and more clean, a new theme is on-board, and there is finally multi-account support. Rejoice, brothers and sisters. Your prayers (complaints) have been answered.
If you're running Android 4.2, odds are pretty good that you have also installed Roman Nurik's popular lock screen widget, DashClock Widget. Now, thanks to the new method of running beta tests in the Play Store, you can also try out the latest features and improvements before they officially launch. By joining this program, test versions pop up as if they were regular updates.
The setup process is quick and painless.
Between Hangouts, the gorgeous new Maps, Play Music All Access, and everything else discussed in I/O's opening keynote this morning, several revisions to the Play Store developer's console were announced.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to the console will be an organized method for alpha and beta testing, and staged rollouts. Basically, developers can select alpha and beta testers, receiving all feedback directly (instead of through reviews) and, when the time comes, roll out the app to certain percentages of the user base.
If you've spent as much time on the Google Play Store as I have, you begin to recognize a pattern: developers asking (and sometimes begging) users to email them directly with complaints or bugs, because they can't reply to that snarky review left in lieu of a bug report. After years and years of frustration for devs who just want to make their apps better, Google has finally rolled out a direct reply feature.
I know many of you have been longing for a way to filter the apps you've paid for into one convenient list. Neither the web nor the app Play Store currently allow this, despite years of outcry. Things are looking up, however, as I believe Google is finally paying attention.
You see, there is a little-known official channel with current top suggestions for Play Store-related features called Suggest a feature for Google Play.