There may be a major trade show happening this week, but it's still Update Wednesday. Google has updated its 'Google' app (formerly known as Search) to version 4.1. We are still digging around for new features, but we've already found a few goodies and put the APK up for your enjoyment.
First up, there's a new space in settings called "Now Cards," which - as the name suggests - gives you control over the cards Google presents to you. Read More
Sprint is rolling out an over-the-air update to customers who own a Galaxy Note II that applies a security patch or two from Google. What vulnerability this update addresses isn't detailed, but it's the first OTA Sprint has sent out since the big KitKat update last May.
Once the goods arrive, they will leave your Note II running software version L900VPUCNK2. There's nothing else on the changelog, so don't go digging around looking for anything exciting. Read More
The SoundCloud Android app has received a slight visual touch-up in the latest update, version 14.12.18-43. Users will now see a slightly more spacious action bar, rounded menus, and Lollipop notifications. These tweaks sit on top of previous user interface changes that still look bright, colorful, and clean.
Another change takes effect only when you pause music. The changelog says that the background album art gets blurred, but on my Nexus 7, I only noticed dimming. Read More
AT&T U-Verse customers can use the Android companion app to watch live channels on a phone or tablet, turn their handset into a TV remote, and manage DVR. The user interface hasn't looked particularly holo over the last several years, but after the latest updates, it now looks kind of ready for KitKat just in time for everything else to go material. Hey, at least it's something.
If you've used U-Verse on a tablet before, then this interface probably won't look particularly new. Read More
Now that most of the critical issues have been worked out of Android 5.0 Lollipop, most of the releases are going to center around cleaning up less pressing oversights and taking care of bugs. However, it seems that we're still not quite through with the device-specific fixes as an update is now rolling out to the 2012 Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi), codenamed Grouper. No official changelog has been posted, but Al Sutton has compiled a list from the AOSP commits, giving us a pretty good insight into what's new. Read More
According to Wayne Piekarski, senior developer advocate for Android, Wear, and Glass, the rollout of OTA updates to Android Wear 5.0 is complete now, meaning all users should have - by this point - had the opportunity to download and install the update if their watch is paired with a phone.
Piekarski reminds watch face makers that time is ticking to migrate their faces to the official Watch Face API. Google says watch faces not using the official API will have support dropped after January 31, 2015. Read More
If you've noticed a few changes around the Play Store on a desktop browser, you're not alone. Some Chrome users spotted a new layout for app pages on Google Play starting this yesterday evening. It isn't universal, and it seems to be a minority for the moment - only one Android Police staff member saw the updated layout, and even then, only in the latest beta for Chrome (40.0.2214.45).
The change modifies the full-width view that we've grown used to into a more narrow, three-column view. Read More
It appears Google really doesn't want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to easing its own apps into material design (no matter how long it may take). The latest to get an incremental refresh is Google Opinion Rewards - the app has been updated with a revised launcher icon (seen in the thumbnail for this post), and a new toolbar inside the app. The icon is a bit closer to material, but doesn't carry the exact same use of shadows as Google's other recent updates. Read More
Trello for Android, a popular task management app that describes itself as "a whiteboard with super powers," got a big update today, introducing the app's "first foray into material design." The update comes with revamped layouts, new navigation paradigms, and tons of aesthetic improvements.
In a post to the Trello blog, Dan Lew explains that the revamp was "a ton of work," noting that not a single corner of the interface went unnoticed - the entire interface was given close inspection with Google's new design philosophies in mind, but Lew stresses that the core experience remains the same. Read More