No matter how much we use our Android devices, there are tips and tricks that we don't discover until someone shares them with us and we hit ourselves on the head and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" One example is how to enable traffic view in Google Maps in countries and areas where the app says it isn't available.
Live traffic is officially enabled in about 50 countries in the world, and the rest of us often have to just start driving and then discover that the route we picked was jam packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Some countries have a local solution in terms of a standalone app or traffic provider, but that isn't as universal and integrated of a solution as Google Maps. Read More
Loading up a website without a connection established is a real shame. Instead of the information you were looking for, Chrome shows you a dinosaur and an error message. You're left sitting there, out of luck.
But if there's a cached version lying around, Chrome can display that instead. There's an experimental flag available that turns this feature on. Just look for the "Enable Show Saved Copy Button" that you can find at chrome://flags/#show-saved-copy. (This applies to Chrome Beta and Dev. For Chrome stable, see update.) Afterwards, you should see the button at the bottom of the screen. Read More
Today we've got a quick tip for Chrome - a new method of switching between what we'll call "sibling tabs" in Chrome for Android when you've got apps and tabs merged.
First, what are sibling tabs? In Chrome on Android Lollipop, when users have tabs and apps merged (so Chrome tabs show up in the overview space), tabs opened using the "open in new tab" action will group together with the parent tab, making a nice little group that will stick together as you scroll vertically.
Now here's the tip: when you are looking at one of these grouped tabs, a simple swipe across Android's system navigation bar will jump between those tabs. Read More
Google Now is never short on surprises. The personal assistant/wizard living in Google's Search app (technically it's Google's "Google" app now) can do some amazing tricks, and no matter how long you've used the app, there are always new features being discovered, added, or improved.
One such feature that's come to our attention is Google's ability to show you a countdown to important events based on your reminders. Basically, if you have a reminder related to an event Google knows about (like Christmas, for instance), Google will pick up on that and - on your reminder card - serve you a countdown. Read More
With the obvious exception of watch faces themselves, there aren't many parts of Android Wear that actually benefit from the round screens of the Moto 360 and the upcoming G Watch R - not even Google's official apps. A new and relatively humble tip calculator is the first Wear app I've seen that makes really excellent use of the extra radial space. It's called (appropriately) Wear Tip Calculator.
The app uses a circular design. On the first screen, you drag your finger around the circular controller to select the total cost of your bill. Then you select your tip amount, anywhere from 0% (jerk) up to 50% (save your money, you're not getting her number). Read More
For the relentless proof-readers among us, we've got a quick tip pointed out today by Reddit user SuperNanoCat. When writing in an editable text box on Android, users can highlight a word or chunk of text, then press and hold to drag it around.
This feature has actually been around for quite some time, possibly as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's a feature most users have only used accidentally. Read More
It's time to point out a little-known feature in Chrome's omnibox that may save you a tap or two. If you're looking for something on the page you're currently viewing, rather than tapping on your overflow or menu button, going to "find in page" and typing your search string, you can do it via Chrome's omnibox as shown below. Take a look at the first option with the magnifying glass inside the box.
This wouldn't be the first time Google has inconspicuously thrown a useful feature into one of its products, and certainly won't be the last. A search of Chromium commits didn't turn up anything useful, so it's unclear how long this feature has been right under our noses. Read More
It turns out Spotify Connect has a very useful feature that the company hasn't done much to make immediately obvious. The service, which lets you stream music to WiFi-connected speakers from your smartphone or tablet, also lets you pump music to other Android devices. The devices don't even have to be on the same network, for that matter. You can connect from an LTE network, as you can see in the screenshots below.
This means you can plug an aging handset into any old speaker and stream Spotify to the setup, just as long as it's logged in too, making this is a great way to open up Spotify Connect up to more devices outside of the handful of supported models. Read More
When it comes time to pull the trigger on a new app, the reviews are typically what make or break the decision. If the app's instable, laden with malware, full of bugs, or is generally all-around janky, the reviews give us a heads up. The only problem is that it's difficult to sift through all the reviews to find the ones most relevant to our needs. This used to not be a problem, but the ability to filter reviews went the way of the dodo following the Play Store's relatively recent redesign. Now they're back.
For those who aren't already familiar with the Play Store's review filters, you have the choice to select from three drop-down menus: Rating, All Devices, and All Versions. Read More
Gmail 4.5 started rolling out today to Android devices (have you installed your update yet?), and immediately some of you noticed that it has definitely shuffled some things around. The bottom bar moved up top, the navigation is now on the left, and the multi-select checkboxes are gone. Don't worry, though - multi-select functionality hasn't disappeared. In fact, it's still very easy to use.
With the addition of sender images, two separate scenarios exist for using good old multi-select. Read More