The Android Tools Team has been hard at work on version 2.2 of Android Studio, and it's finally ready to step up to a stable release. Demonstrated at Google I/O, the preview release of v2.2 introduced a plethora of great new features and improvements intended to make app development faster and easier. Over the last four months, Studio has been continually tested and refined to get it ready for all developers, regardless of which development channels they're normally following. For anybody that hasn't been following along with the canary or dev builds, the video below summarizes many of the new improvements in this release. Read More
Benchmarking applications like 3DMark and PassMark are great for scoring the graphics or computational power of a given device. Nenamark 2 was a popular choice for benchmarking graphics back in the day, and five years after Nenamark 2 launched, Nenamark 3 has arrived. It's not clear why.
I hesitate to even call Nenamark 3 a benchmarking app. It's designed like a game - the benchmark proceeds through levels, each level having up to four tests. But the benchmark ends as soon as your device can't reach a steady FPS arbitrarily determined by the Nenamark app. So instead of a useful score like an average FPS or the time it took to complete the test, my Nexus 5X gets a score of "3-0." Uhh... Read More
Less than a week after we reported that Play Store reviews no longer require a Google+ account, it seems that Google has begun testing another change in the same arena - Top Features, a new element that aims to make determining what functionality an app has easier. In addition, the reviewing process has been tweaked. As of now, these changes do not appear to be rolling out to all devices; while I have the feature on my Nexus 6, it's nowhere to be seen on my HTC 10 that is running the same version of the Play Store.
Top Features' scrollable bar
Top Features is situated above Review Highlights and contains user feedback about certain abilities of the reviewed app. Read More
Google is constantly testing new features and approaches to getting things done on Android. For example, the new Nearby tab that some users have noticed when doing searches from the home screen search widget. We've gotten a few tips about it, but it seems to be in the early stages of testing. Read More
While all major tech companies use their flagship events to announce new products, Google doesn't shy away from putting developer tools on stage. And keeping with a common theme lately, there's a preview release for the next Android Studio. Version 2.2 includes some immediately popular and often-requested additions to the IDE. Read More
Google is apparently reaching out to Maps explorers with word of a new app heading down the pipeline.
The email invite calls on recipients to be the first to try a new app for travelers. There isn't much in the way of details, other than the availability for both Android and iOS. But given the recent launch of Google Destinations, travel is clearly an area of interest for the company. Read More
Some major changes for the YouTube Android app appear to be coming down the pipeline. Several readers have reached out to us with screenshots and video documenting substantial tweaks they noticed when firing up the app. Read More
Pocket lets you take whatever website you don't have time for right this moment and saves it somewhere for you to get back to later. It then reformats this content to make the text easier to read. That's what it does, and for the most part, that's all it needs to do.
But maybe this alone isn't hitting your buttons. You want more features, and you want them now. Well, just for you, Pocket has rolled out a beta channel. This will let you get access to upcoming functionality before it comes to everyone else.
Right now Pocket is working on a way to recommend high-quality stories and videos, not just those that are popular and new. Read More
Google is certainly no stranger to testing new features slowly. Most recently, it released an update to YouTube's UI that's been in testing for at least four months. And for Google, this is a good thing. Testing new features with limited samples of users helps get data not only on their usefulness, but also on how they augment user experience and engagement.
That brings us to the Play Store, an app where nothing is more important than engagement. Google appears to be testing a new feature called "Related Interests," which lists off various categories with round chips similar to the chips used for artists on Google Play Music's web interface. Read More