Google is doing a big upgrade to Play Music this week, enabling a smarter and more contextually aware recommendation engine, an easier to use interface, and a more streamlined caching system for offline playback. You'll notice some big changes to the look of the Play Music home screen on both the web and mobile devices, and hopefully some better music suggestions. Read More
Play Newsstand has been quietly going without an update for much longer than normal, and now we can see why. Version 4.0 began rolling out yesterday and it's packed with a whole new look and a few new features. If recent events haven't scared you away from reading news, there's a link at the bottom of this post where you can grab the latest update from APK Mirror and skip ahead of the regular rollout schedule. Read More
Consider this one just a shadow of a whisper of a rumor, folks, but a recent video posted by Google indicates that at least someone in Mountain View is considering some major changes for the Play Store app. Take a gander at this Pixel Tips support video. Most of it is fairly obvious stuff meant for first-time users (perhaps including some of those iPhone owners that Google is so keen to convert), but at around the 1:40 mark the demonstrator opens the Play Store, and it's immediately clear that it's not the same one we have right now. Read More
Setting up and using 2-factor authentication on a Google account used to be a fairly miserable affair. The sign-in process lurched from a native interface into a browser where users were expected to quickly enter codes, various apps weren't compatible and required special 1-time use passwords, and the app for generating codes felt completely unfinished. These days, all of those problems have been solved, and now Google's Authenticator app is even taking steps to further improve its look and usefulness. The latest update brings a great looking refresh to the UI, adds a dark mode, and finally adds its own built-in scanner functionality. Read More
The YouTube Gaming app received an update yesterday, taking it to v1.7. Google has already posted the changelog and this release appears to be mostly about fixing up the chat experience. There are improvements to both the chat interface and the underlying code that drives it. There are supposed to be changes to better support Android 7.0 Nougat, although it's unclear what they are, and the typical assortment of bug fixes and performance improvements. Of course, with each new version comes a new easter egg. Read More
I've never been much of a runner, so I've only taken my phone with me for a lap around the neighborhood a handful of times. When I did, it felt Runtastic. But the Nike+ Running app has been another option for people looking to set goals and track their progress. Read More
It's been a long time since we last saw an update to Google Fit, but after some subtle hints during the Android Wear presentations during Google I/O, it was fairly obvious something big was in the works. An update to v1.57 just started rolling out and it may just be the start of a whole new Fit. There are huge changes to the look and at least a few changes to features. Read More
When eBay released its version 4.0 interface revamp back in September of last year, I was slightly disappointed. The app looked like a mishmash of design styles and ideas that didn't really belong on any platform but that were trying too hard to not offend anyone either on Android or iOS. It lacked life and felt clinical, with so much grey and white and nary another color. It also removed access to your personal lists, an omission that I still despise because I am very picky about organizing my items in differentiated and clear lists.
But now eBay is rethinking its mobile design altogether, introducing a new look with more colors, clearer layouts, and a lot of Material Design. Read More
Times are a-changin', and so is YouTube's Home on both Android and iOS. It's not quite equivalent to moving houses; more redecorating, giving things a lick of paint where the wallpaper has got a little tatty.
The most noticeable change is videos are getting bigger. Instead of the small, thumbnail-like videos of the past, the video preview now takes up almost the entire width of the screen. This means that fewer videos can now fit in a single scroll - on my Nexus 6P, the old layout could fit six previews, just about, whereas the new design can only fit a measly two. Read More