Chrome 54 was just released, bringing a substantial amount of changes for both users and developers. Now the first Chrome 55 Beta has been released for all platforms, and there are some exciting changes in store for Android users.
Chrome's built-in download manager first appeared in Chrome Dev early last month, but only now has made its way to the Beta channel. The Download Manager doesn't just serve as a simple list of all your downloaded files (or dozens of APKs, if you're like me), it's also how you get to saved pages.
By tapping the new Download icon in the overflow menu (where the back/forward buttons are), you can save a page for offline use. Read More
It's time for a new Chrome release, and as always, there is both new features for users and new abilities developers can use. Let's take a look at what's new. Read More
Google's Pixel smartphones have just begun shipping in most countries (some lucky Aussies got them last week), but Verizon, a carrier notorious for slow updates, will be pushing an update with build number NDE63P out to their Pixels tomorrow. Impressive.
The update is so small that the changelogs for both the Pixel and Pixel XL only have five words: "This update improves Wi-Fi connectivity." It's almost definitely just a fix for a small bug that Google caught before the public release of the phones. It's likely that phones from the Google Store will also receive this update, if they don't ship with it already. Read More
The SafetyNet API is the bane of root and custom ROM users everywhere. For those unfamiliar, it is part of the Google Play Services API that is designed to detect modified devices. If your system is tampered with in any way, be it rooted or a custom ROM, the SafetyNet check will fail. Android Pay, among other applications, uses this API and will fail to run if SafetyNet fails.
Reports are coming in from Reddit and our own tip box that SafetyNet appears to fail on some bootloader-unlocked devices, even if the device has not been modified in any other way. Devices confirmed to have issues include the Nexus 6P, OnePlus 3, and Nexus 6. Read More
The Android Pay landing site (android.com/pay) has just been revamped with some more eye-catching elements. I haven't heard anybody complain that Android Pay's landing site is too drab, but this new site definitely looks quite a bit nicer. (You can check out the old one here.)
When you get to the site, you're hit with a splash of color, some "tap. pay. xxxxx." text, and a Nexus 6P or 5X demonstrating these actions (oddly, they didn't go with the Pixel or Pixel XL for this). Some of the 5Xes have curiously small bottom bezels. Read More
Chrome Remote Desktop is a rather obscure Google product, but that doesn't mean it's not useful. Once the desktop application is installed, you can control it from any Android device, iOS device, or computer (with Chrome). In my testing, it actually works extremely well, often with a lower latency than popular remote access applications like TeamViewer.
The latest update, Chrome Remote Desktop 53, finally brings remote sound support. Read More
The first-generation Galaxy Tab S hails from a time when Samsung was still using swipe-based fingerprint scanners - yeah, it's that old. Just look at that stock wallpaper; Galaxy S5 flashbacks, anyone? Around three weeks ago, Verizon updated its 10.5" Tab S to Marshmallow, and now AT&T is doing the same. The Death Star is also throwing in support for NumberSync. Read More
We're still tearing down all the applications from the Pixel system dump, and the included Google Phone 5.1 app is certainly worth talking about. Without further ado, let's dive in!
New call UI
The first major change is the brand new Call UI, which is now a translucent blue shade over your wallpaper. The new interface looks a bit like the iOS dialer, with large buttons and a circular Caller ID icon at the top. Read More
Google has been working to bring more and more functionality directly into search results, without the user having to visit a seperate site. You can now find your IP address, run a speed test, convert units, and more all from Search. Following that trend, now Google has added an RGB to Hex converter.
If you're unfamiliar, RGB and Hex are both color spaces used to identify colors. For example, #000000 in Hex and (0,0,0) in RGB both refer to Black. Searching 'RGB to Hex' brings up a simple color picker that shows results in RGB and Hex. You can search any Hex or RGB value, and it will show the color in both formats. Read More
Google Screen Search, formally known as Google Now on Tap, is a feature I don't use often - but it's incredibly helpful when I need it. If you're unfamiliar, it provides information to you based on the text on your screen, and works on any Android 6.0+ device with the Google app. For example, a few days ago I received a text message confirming an appointment, and Screen Search created a calendar event from the message contents. Read More