With so many things happening this week surrounding Google's new hardware, it's easy to overlook some of the software updates rolling out. The latest version bump to YouTube Music doesn't include much in the way of visible changes, but a teardown of the apk also reveals some worthwhile additions in the works for the future. As always, the apk is ready and waiting at the APK Mirror link below if the Play Store isn't already serving the latest version to you.
Google Photos remains one of my favorite Google products. Unlimited free photo uploads (at a capped resolution), easy organization, automatic tagging, the list of features goes on and on. Google Photos is rolling out two new features today that improve sharing and automatic video creation.
Amazon's official audiobook outlet is getting a few tweaks after its latest update. The most notable is Clips, a new feature that allows users to easily create and share bite-sized portion of an audiobook narration from within the app. Here, let me show you a Clip from one of the Harry Dresden novels in my Audible library (feel free to critique my taste in the comments).
The Google Photos app had some cool sharing features when it was released back in May, but now it's getting even better at sharing. Google has announced the addition of shared albums to Photos (announced a few months ago), and it's available today on Android, iOS, and web.
A new version of Google's cloud storage app is making its way to the Play Store. According to a post on the company's blog, the latest Drive release lets people request access to content links that they've received via email, an instant message, or some other method.
What do you do with something you want to save for later? You stick it in your Pocket. Simple. But what about when you're ready to share it with someone? Well, you could hand things out to one user at a time. Or, with the latest beta update, you can share things to your new public profile page for everyone to see.
Even at $99 a year, Amazon Prime is a great deal if you often order items from the giant retailer - the free two-day shipping alone is worth it for impatient types, and extras like a collection of free streaming videos don't hurt. Before now you could make your dollar go even further by sharing an account with up to four other Amazon customers (for a total of five). Alas, the halcyon days of that frugal fivesome are over: Amazon now restricts you to two adult users per Prime account.
The new setup seems particularly targeted at nuclear families. The two adults can both access the Prime account, with each person having access to the other's credit or debit cards on the Amazon account after the original owner verifies it.
Now, Google is taking the feature public. In a post over on its developers blog, the company details ways in which Nearby will make sharing information with someone nearby easier than exchanging account information or scanning QR codes.
Android's share menu has always been useful and extensible, but Android M will make it even more handy with the addition of direct share. This is a set of APIs that will let developers specify sharing targets deeper inside their apps. So instead of sharing that photo to Hangouts, for example, you might be able to share it to a specific contact in Hangouts in a single tap.
For many, this one falls into the category of "fixing problems you didn't know you had." If you have a lot of apps installed, though, you probably have already been frustrated by the share menus on previous Android versions. God forbid the app you want falls too low in the alphabet, because you will be scrolling like the dickens to share with it. Android developers clearly recognized that they were really wasting some space, so the Android M version is a lot more efficient.
Left and middle: the old share menu Right: the new one
If you look closely, you'll notice that you can actually see more share options in the compact version of the new menu than you could in the fully expanded view of the old one.