A new update to the Google Play Store app with version 4.1.10 is rolling out following the big 4.1.6 refresh from two weeks ago, just before I/O. As far as I can tell from a quick teardown and playing around, this is a minor update. All the important changes happened in the previous release, so 4.1.10 is likely a bug fixer. That said, if you see something I missed, please drop a line in the comments.
Verizon may not be the fastest carrier when it comes to sending out over-the-air updates, but it looks like it's finally getting around to pushing a fairly sizable 129.1MB update to its version of the Galaxy S III. The OTA brings many small improvements, as well as a slew of Samsung-specific customizations along for the ride.
Generally speaking, once Verizon updates its support page, updates tend to start rolling out within a few days (if they haven't already).
The ASUS Transformer AiO is a strange sort of beast – it's half desktop computer, half massive Android tablet. Here's the thing, though: it's surprisingly cool. I've been using one for the last week or so (review coming soon), and have been extremely surprised at the amount of utility I've found in this mix-n-match device, as well as how well thought-out it is. But I'm getting ahead of myself here – you'll have to wait for the review for the full skinny.
Following the release of beta features to Chrome stable yesterday, the beta channel of Chrome for Android was promoted to version 28 today.
The update brings a number of desired additions and improvements, all of which I will break down for you below. Here's the relatively incomplete list the Chrome team posted on its blog:
Google is going a little nuts with the card UI updates today – first Drive, and now Play Magazines. Today's update brings Google's magazine-reader to version 2.0, and makes it overall easier to use and nicer to look at – both welcome additions to an already-good app. Besides the new Card UI that replaced the terrible rolodex style called StackView, Magazines followed suit and adopted the new slide-out navigation drawer that we first saw in Google Earth and Shopper.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you are probably aware of the recent improvements and updates to the Google+ experience, both on the web and in mobile apps. While Auto Awesome, Auto Enhance, Auto Highlight, Auto Backup, and other widely discussed features are certainly exciting, one subtle nicety managed to fly under our radar until a post by Google's +Tor Norbye pointed out just how awesome it is.
The feature I'm talking about is visual recognition in Google+ photo search.
The new activity recognition features introduced in the latest Google Play services update are just two days old, but SmarterApps has already released an AutomateIt update in the Play Store that takes advantage of the new functionality. The latest version touts the ability to make your phone smart enough to automate different tasks depending on if you're walking, running, biking, or driving.
The new sync adapter brought in via Wednesday's Google Play services update introduces a location reporting API, a task that previously was performed within apps themselves locally.
There is no arguing that the new Hangouts Android app, which replaces Google Talk and aims to unify several communication methods, has had a rough start. One of the main issues we've run into from the very beginning was wonky tablet support. In fact, most people couldn't install it at all because instead of the Update button, only a lone "Open" button would show up on tablets. Dan Morrill, one of our favorite Android engineers (HOLOYOLO!
Google officially announced the not-so-secretly-kept Play Games this morning, which brings game sync, leaderboards, achievements, and more to Android. Naturally, the first question on many users' minds is do any games already support it? In fact, several developers have already updated their games to add this new feature. Here's a look at what we've found so far:
- World of Goo by 2D BOY
- Osmos HD from Hemisphere Games
- Eufloria HD from Omni Systems
- Riptide GP from Vector Unit
- Beach Buggy Blitz from Vector Unit
- Shine Runner from Vector Unit
- Modern Combat 4 from Gameloft
- Dungeon Hunter 4 from Gameloft (update coming soon)
- Asphalt 7 from Gameloft (update coming soon)
- Eternity Warriors 2 by Glu
- PBA Bowling Challenge from Concrete Software
- Townsmen from HandyGames
- Save the Puppies from HandyGames
- Farm Invasion USA from HandyGames
- Rocket Island from HandyGames
- Triple Town by Spry Fox LLC (temporarily pulled due to crashes)
- Chip Chain by AppAbove Games LLC
- Super Stickman Golf 2 by Noodlecake
- Wind-up Knight by Robot Invader
- Plague Inc.
Let it be not be said that Google neglected the Google TV platform today at I/O. Though it wasn't mentioned during this morning's 3 hour-plus keynote, the company rolled out a new version of the YouTube app for TV during the presentation.
Specifically, the updated application brings a simplified UI, enhanced video playback controls, and support for paid channels. The video discovery and subscription tabs now show playlists with blown-up video thumbnails and bolded titles for easier browsing.