YouTube updates have been rolling out about every week or two for the last couple of months. Most of the changes haven't been very big, but they're polishing up little aspects of the app in notable ways. The latest version bump doesn't bring significant modifications, either, but it's continuing the trend of small but visible changes. A permanent Cast button has been placed in the action bar and there are updated icons in the privacy selector for uploads. Read More
Google let loose with a torrent of updates yesterday, many of which offered little more than bug fixes and fairly small changes. Drive and its lineup of editors made the list with a few improvements, but not much to get excited about. However, a little digging around revealed that a previously seen Easter egg has finally been enabled. Also turning up is one of the most shocking features yet, an actual terminal. Read More
Update Wednesday is starting off with a new version of the Gmail app. There don't appear to be any grand changes with this release, but it does boast at least a couple minor improvements. The only obvious change in this update comes in the form of a new full screen workflow for adding email accounts. A quick teardown also reveals that users will have the option to add vacation responders to their Exchange accounts, and Gmail's Unsubscribe feature is coming soon. Read More
Teardowns can bring both good and bad news. At times, I've been afraid to write about things buried in the dark corners of an apk because they would be misunderstood or make people angry. Then there are times that I see something and I can't wait to tell everybody about it. This is one of the good times. I know people want this, so here it is: Inbox is finally going to offer email signatures. Read More
Besides a dogfood version of Play Games, update Wednesday brought us a new version of Play Books - 3.4.5. The changes in this update aren't major (or even immediately apparent), but they are worth taking a quick look at.
First up, there's a brand new translation interface. Rather than a toolbar and sheet overlay, the new translate interface lives on a card, just like the existing notes and dictionary interfaces. Here's a quick before and after.
Left: Play Books 3.3 Right: Play Books 3.4
Next up, new changes to notes. The ability to take notes in a book was present in 3.3, but users could not do that in a free sample of a book. Read More
Update Wednesday came and went this week, leaving us with about a dozen new and updated apps. Project Fi and Google Connectivity Services were added to the Play Store in preparation for Google's first MVNO customers, and new versions were rolled out to bring Quick Reply to Messenger and prepare Google+ for the wide release of Collections. A small bump to Google Play Music also made the list, but there wasn't much in the way of visible changes. However, a look inside suggests there may soon be a new behavior when two or more devices try to use the same Chromecast at once.
: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
When Google Play services receives an update, there's almost always something interesting to discover. Many of our future experiences – good and bad – are shaped through the new features Google adds to this one framework. Google Play services 7.3 recently rolled out to users, and like previous versions, it contains some hints about new features and capabilities we can expect for the future. With this update, we've got signs of a built-in invitation system for apps, more forward progress on the long-rumored Nearby feature, and more.
: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
It's been a few days, but Google just posted the changelog to Newsstand 3.4, and it looks like a lot of algorithm changes. Read More
Now that Project Fi has come out into the open, we can expect to see integration for the new service popping up in a handful of Google's apps over the coming weeks. The first app to received custom support is Hangouts, which began rolling out just hours after the Project Fi website went live. This update doesn't make any changes to parts of the app we care about, but just adds some elements that come alive when a device is hooked to Google's new service. The apk is exclusively for devices running Android 5.1, and I wouldn't expect to see another variant with support for lower versions since every Nexus 6, Project Fi's sole supported phone, should theoretically be 5.1 (unless your current carrier is evil). Read More