Google's Local Guides program for Google Maps has proven to be quite successful, with tons of people offering additional feedback and providing photos about various destinations. Part of this is due to the rewards that Google gives to Local Guides; for instance, Google is currently offering me three months of free Play Music and 75% off a movie rental. The latest reward is kind of a double whammy for Google - an opportunity to preview new Google Maps features before the public does. Read More
Lately, YouTube has been pushing a ton of server-side changes to users. In just the span of a few weeks, the comments section has been tweaked, the bottom nav bar test returned, and expanded replies were improved upon. The video-sharing service isn't stopping there; today, it seems that YouTube has begun displaying to a few users little snapshots of the video you're watching when you seek through it. Read More
ZTE managed to get Android 7.1.1 rolled out to the Azon 7 a few weeks ago, making it one of the few phones to have the latest build of Android. Now, it's the Axon 7 Mini's turn. Well... sort of. ZTE is starting up a preview program for the Nougat update, but not everyone will get access. Read More
Google Calendar covers most of the basics for synced calendar users, but anyone who wants something more robust needs to go on a bit of a hunt. Titanium Track, the indie developer team behind the power user favorite Titanium Backup, is on the job. Their latest project is EvGenie, an advanced calendar designed for seamless backup across multiple devices and sharing with family members or coworkers. It's currently on the Play Store in an open preview. It's free to download. Read More
Not too long ago, Google began offering users the chance to test unfinished Chromecast firmware. The first preview firmware, version 1.21.72444, began rolling out to users recently. Google's release notes for the update only state, "General bug fixes and stability improvements." Really helpful, Google.
Thankfully, tipster Rafael sent us the screenshots above and below. They indicate that all references to the word 'Chrome' have been removed. The current public firmware shows the Chrome logo when the device starts up, which is now replaced by a Google logo. Read More
Honest companies are expected to retain their users by offering the best service they can provide and not by actively locking them in and making it hard to switch to a competitor. Read More
Before today, only Google devices, the Sony Xperia Z3, and the Sony Xperia X Performance had Android 7.0 previews built for them. Now, another Android has joined the Nougat ranks—the LG G5. Whether you like the G5 or not (David sure didn't), it's getting a Nougat preview right now, albeit with more than a few catches. Read More
While all major tech companies use their flagship events to announce new products, Google doesn't shy away from putting developer tools on stage. And keeping with a common theme lately, there's a preview release for the next Android Studio. Version 2.2 includes some immediately popular and often-requested additions to the IDE. Read More
Fans of Android Wear have plenty to be excited about. A major update was just announced during the Google I/O 2016 keynote with many of the features users have been looking forward to. The headlining additions to the platform focus largely on more advanced watchfaces, improvements for messaging, and expanded integration and more automatic use of the Google Fit platform. A Preview program is also being launched for Wear, so developers will be able to work on new apps for the platform before official rollouts begin.
If you want a quick overview of what's new, watch our Wear 2.0 hands-on video. Read More
The Google Cast app doesn't get much attention these days. It's the type of software that remains installed on our phones, but rarely opened since it is rarely needed any time other than to set up Wi-Fi on a Chromecast. Otherwise, it stays out of the way and doesn't need a lot of updates. Still, a seemingly minor version bump occurred last week and it might be giving away a couple of pretty interesting details about future plans for our favorite streaming dongles.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (application packages) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.