Google is no stranger to testing both warranted and unwarranted design changes in its apps on normal users, so this comes as no surprise. This time Google is testing a small change to the Pixel Launcher, but it's one that nobody asked for, and seemingly nobody wants it either. Read More
Google's constantly adding little server-side updates to its app in an aim to make things just a little bit easier. The latest addition a reader has spotted is a card entitled 'People also view' that shows up while you're reading through a webpage that you've clicked on from the Google app. Read More
Oh Google, you and your server-side tests. You cause so many people to have different interfaces on their Google apps and create mass confusion, yet we still love you. This latest server-side test involving the overflow menu popup in the Google app appears to be rolling out to many more people now, and it's overall a nice change. Read More
Autoplaying videos are the devil. I can't say how many times in a single week I have to turn off the "autoplay" toggle on YouTube's queue so it doesn't move from the video I'm watching to what it thinks I want to see next. (Why isn't this a universal setting, YouTube, why?!) And now it looks like YouTube is testing another way to annoy you with autoplaying videos on your home screen.
According to Android Central, the "feature" started showing up, though we don't have it on our devices despite running the latest YouTube version. It's one server-side test I'm not too brokenhearted about. Read More
Among the craziness of last week, we received one tip about a minor but welcome change in the Play Store that was showing up for some users: when browsing an app's listing, you might see a new line below the Install/Uninstall button that displays its current top chart rank, as shown for Spotify in the screenshot above.
That is useful when you reach an app's listing from the Play Store's search and you're not sure how popular it is. You might be more convinced to download it or buy it if you knew it was in the top 10 or 20 or even 100 in its category on the Play Store. Read More
YouTube is one of Google's most server-side test prone apps. Every couple of weeks, sometimes even days, we spot a new layout somewhere that brings a little change to the table. The latest is a renamed 4th bottom tab to Activity.
Activity merges the previous Shared 4th tab (which has been official for all since August) with your Notifications (which until now are hidden under Library -> your profile picture -> Notifications). So there are now 2 top tabs under the 4th bottom tab, yay! The move does make sense though since you can see all your active YouTube shared video discussions with friends as well as catch up on all the recent uploads, live broadcasts, and activity from the channels you follow. Read More
Google likes to adjust the Play Store more or less continuously, changing things in big or small ways for a small subset of users before rolling things out (or not) to Android at large. The latest updates to the app seem to be appearing for only a few people, presumably via server-side changes. It's nothing particularly huge - you might not even notice them if you're not looking for them - but it's the sort of tweak we live for. Read More
Google regularly conducts server-side tests - showing new features and UI changes to only a handful of users at a time. Unfortunately, sometimes these have adverse affects on users. In this case, Google has broken the Play Store and Google Now for some users, as a result of two independent server-side tests. Read More