About four months ago, Google added Auto Awesome Stories to the Google+ Android app. This feature groups photos taken at roughly the same place and time when you're traveling away from your home area into a nifty slideshow or "travelogue." It looks like someone at Facebook really digs the idea, because we've been alerted by multiple users who say they've seen pretty much the same thing in the Facebook app over the last few days.
Most app updates roll out to the majority of users either all at once or within a matter of days, but like a tropical storm, the Weather Channel has decided to take its time with its big 5.0 Android release. The update is currently available to just 10% of users, and it won't be out for everyone until mid July.
This update brings the Android version of the app up to date with the iPhone release that went out in April.
Google has begun rolling out an update to the Play Services package we all know and love. Details about version 4.4 have already been posted to the Android Developers blog, and it features updates and new features to the APIs for Maps, Mobile Ads, Activity Recognition, plus a few minor fixes for Games Services and Wallet. Aside from general bug fixes, it looks like this update is mostly about giving new tools to developers.
Owners of the HTC One on AT&T have been patiently waiting for their update to KitKat since Friday's announcement that it had passed technical approval. According to AT&T's blog, the OTA just started rolling out to big blue customers earlier today. In addition to all of the Android 4.4 goodness, this update boasts improvements to the user interface, phone app, caller ID, BlinkFeed, and the long awaited update to Sense 5.5.
Earlier today, we reported that KitKat updates for the HTC One on both T-Mobile and AT&T had received technical approval, meaning a rollout was imminent.
Today, Google finally opened the Chromecast up to developers in a meaningful way, releasing the Google Cast SDK and integrating the relevant Android API into Google Play Services, the ever-growing backbone of Google's Android-based offerings. The update has already begun its rollout. Of course, that means we're going to look inside and see what's new, and we've also got a download for those who just can't wait for Play Services 4.2 to hit their device.
Glass has just gotten a nice update to XE12, which besides foretelling the long-awaited iOS app, brings with it new Glassware, gestures, and questions.
Perhaps most important, the update introduces new glassware for Hangouts. Not being able to interact with the service by sending and receiving messages has been an elephant in the room for Glass from the beginning, so it's great to see that compatibility has finally arrived. The glassware will also take over Glass' video call capabilities, and allow users to send photos too.
Google's got a surprise for users across Asia and New Zealand today, bringing Play Books availability to nine new places: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand.
The company that claims the world's largest selection of online books has been slowly but surely making headway in spreading its Play products across the planet. Of course, it would be great if Google could simply flip a switch to bring Play to all Android users everywhere, but legal issues and other roadblocks mean it still takes some time to expand.
We know some of you have been dying to get your hands on a mobile version of FIFA 14, and you probably hated to find out that the game was now available, just not in your country. When we first posted earlier today, this game was only out in several countries. Well, patient soccer fans, it's time to check the Play Store again. EA has taken an awkward approach to rolling out this title, but it should now be available in most countries.
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.