If you've perused the Google Play Store on the web in the last few days, you may have noticed something missing: the Action Bar, wherein you usually find the drop-down links to app categories, top charts, the Play Store settings menu, and other important stuff. We've noticed it too, and we've got no explanation. In addition to making it impossible to browse apps by category or popularity on the web, it's blocking access to the links to My Orders, Settings, and the Android Device Manager, at least from the main Play Store page.
The bug is cross-browser, though I've noticed that the "collapse" behavior seems to take a little longer in Internet Explorer than in Chrome.
A lot of little things got the axe in Google's latest redesign of the Play Store website. Most don't seem to be coming back (oh how we miss you, 30-day download chart!) but one of the most useful ones for browsing has been resurrected. You can now narrow search for apps based on their free or paid status: just click the drop-down menu next to "Android Apps," which is set to "All prices" by default.
You can search for free apps, paid apps, or both, but unfortunately there's no means of filtering them beyond that - no ascending or descending lists, for example.
Google just updated the web Play Store with a completely new UI that was teased back at I/O 2013, and it immediately caused a whirlwind of mixed reactions. We have a separate post coming up on all the differences as well as the features that didn't make it into the redesign (there are, unfortunately, a lot - even more than went missing in Maps v7), but right now I want to commend Google and address one aspect that immediately stood out to me within the first few seconds - speed.
There are two massive improvements at play here simultaneously for users of supported browsers, though, unfortunately, one of them does not apply unless you use Chrome, Opera, or Maxthon.
If you're eager to test out Google's shiny new Maps interface on the web, but aren't so eager to wait for Google to invite you into their tender fullscreen embrace, then Android Police reader William Pickering has a trick to show you. All you need is Chrome (or another browser with the ability to manually set cookies), a free extension, and about a minute of time.
Step one: install a web cookie editor extension (like this one) from the Chrome Web Store.
Step two: head to maps.google.com. Ignore the "get the new Google Maps" message, and click the button for your new extension instead.
Most college kids are at home this time of the year, celebrating the end of finals and/or nursing hangovers. But the ROM's scene's number one destination is hosting classes all year round at the the new XDA University site. XDA-Developers has been working on the extension of the main site as a destination for newcomers to the world of root, custom ROMs, and other Android modifications, as well as a place to learn about more serious Android development. The site is live now at XDA-University.com.
What is XDA University? Well, it's somewhere between a textbook (the introductory page even describes itself as "this book") and a limited wiki.
As of today, all the problems I ran into before are resolved. Removing and re-adding an account on my Nexus 7 now syncs the contact photos in full resolution, whereas before they would either disappear altogether or end up washed out.
Getting CyanogenMod builds onto an Android device has always been easy as pie, but who is going to say no to yet another, even simpler method? While redesigning the CyanogenMod Downloads page, the CM team recently added a really subtle ability to send downloads straight from the web right into ROM Manager - all with just one click, a-la Chrome to phone or Amazon's 1-click purchasing.
In fact, the change to the site was so subtle that it went unnoticed by us for a week until Koush posted this video to his YouTube account:
Brilliantly simple, isn't it? Even if you don't flash builds often, you should still find this option handy.
This contest is now over. Here are our winners, selected at random:
Congratulations, guys - all of you will be contacted for your information in the near future!
BOLT Browser, which touted tabbed browsing and high speeds in an effort to provide a capable replacement for Android's stock browser, has been discontinued due to economic circumstances, according to the app's website:
The news came earlier today as BOLT's listing in the Android Market vanished, and the app's website closed down, leaving only the above note. While BOLT may not have been the most robust browser solution for Android, it's always a little sad to see an app go like this, especially considering the fact that BOLT debuted only a couple of months ago.
That being said, there are plenty of other alternatives available for users who want a little more from their mobile web experience, and BOLT users won't have a hard time filling the gap.
Looks like the new Email Developer feature that the web Android Market received on Friday was just the icing on the cake! While it was nice to finally have the ability to contact developers without having to go through the device Market, it was still a pretty minor addition. Don't fret - Google was nowhere near being done - you can now:
filter user reviews by device model, currently limited to All and individual devices registered to your account.
filter user reviews by app version, currently limited to All or Latest
filter user reviews by specific star rating
Here, have a look (the sample app I used was Christmas HD, if you are curious):
The beauty is - you can combine filters and, for example, narrow down to only 1-star reviews made by users of HTC EVO 3D that used the latest version of the app.