Developers usually use version numbers to convey the amount of change an app has gone through from one release to the next. But what does it mean when Google Maps not only jumps over v9.24 entirely, but also skips forward a patch release to give us v9.25.1? Let's assume it's a sign that there are a lot of new features and not too many bugs. This version certainly doesn't disappoint on new features. There are a bunch of additions to be seen, so let's get right into it.
Unofficial Changelog: (there may be more)
- Contact addresses appear in Your places screen and on maps.
While Google has been pushing out a ton of OS and app updates, the Drive team got out one of its own. This is a perfectly good update on its own, but it also includes clues to some upcoming features, too. In this update, you'll find a newly revised look and operation for uploading files, and there's even a color picker for folders. (Yey!) On the teardown side, we can look forward to recommendations for files, a shortcut to "Team Drives," and possibly even another form of device backup. Oh yeah, and the FAB changes color. Read More
Depending on which apps you install, your notification shade can feel like a warzone. Check this email. Read this text. Water your crops in this game. Your tank is full, so switch to another game and race. Read More
Swype, at its core, helps us be lazy. Want to type? Don't bother lifting up your thumb. Don't know how to spell? Just get close. Sure, these are only the byproducts of creating an input method that takes the pain out of using touchscreens, but the end result is the same. And things are only getting easier.
The latest update reduces the need to hold down keys with numbers as secondary characters or switch back and forth between alphabetical and numerical keyboards. If you peck away at letters with a number attached, Swype will include numerical values among its suggestions. So you can enter $650 by typing sytp or 2:30 by entering wjep. Read More
The News & Weather app is a bit of a dark horse among Google's lineup. It's also not as talked about as Google+, or as vital as Gmail; and it doesn't fit in with the Play-branded apps like Newsstand, which it is effectively a direct competitor to. For many people, News & Weather is just another widget that came pre-installed on a Nexus device, at least until it was made available on the Play Store, in late August. Since then, a few really big updates have drastically improved the once stale app. Read More
An update has rolled out to the Pandora Android app that builds upon what made the Internet radio service popular to begin with - making it easier to discover new music. To this day, Pandora still has an uncanny way of serving out songs that fit a listener's tastes precisely, especially for those who have been tweaking their stations for years. But we are all creatures of habit, and it can be easy to still fall into a rut even with Pandora's helping hand. The newest update addresses this by providing up to six suggested artist stations to add to your lists. Read More
Remember that little diagonal arrow that used to appear next to suggestions in the Google Search box as you typed? The arrows could be used to insert suggestions into the search bar, while you kept typing away. For a while now, though, the arrows have been missing from Google Search. Those that want that feature back are in luck, however – astute Redditor Foxsbiscuits notes that a simple long-press will fling search suggestions into the search bar, providing essentially the same functionality with a slightly more discreet UI.
Before and After
Keeping this handy tip in mind, your searches can be as quick and efficient as ever. Read More
OpenTable is a pretty fantastic app that can help you place reservations at restaurants nearby. While plenty of services let you find local eateries, few help you get in. Once you're seated and eating, though, what do you do? Enjoy your meal? Nah. That's for fancy pants. You should take pictures of your food! That's where Foodspotting comes in.
You see, Foodspotting takes the vanity of snapping shots of your dish and turns it into a service. Your pictures are geotagged, uploaded to the server, and shared with people nearby so that they can not only find cool restaurants, but see the actual food that said establishments crank out. Read More
Google TV still exists. It's important to be reminded once in a while because, while Google TV promised to be our deliverer from the evil world of crappy cable box interfaces, so far the company has yet to deliver. Today's update to the TV & Movies app, though, is a step in the right direction. For starters, Google has finally done what we've all wanted since there were more than three channels: now you can see what shows are on just your favorite channels on a single screen.
Using Google TV to augment your existing cable/satellite service, you've always been able to add your favorite channels to a special tab. Read More