Filed in the category of "things we just noticed" is a pretty strange interface element discovered in the "help" interface of Google Settings. When opening an article, users can tap a "full screen exit" icon in the toolbar to trigger the little floating window seen above.
The window is reminiscent of the one found in YouTube, where users can collapse a video and keep browsing, but this window can be moved up to the top of the screen as well. Sliding it to either side will dismiss the mini-window. Here's a quick video demo:
There's no doubt this element seems a little out of place in Google Settings, but my first guess is that, functionally, it would serve a similar purpose to YouTube's mini player - if a user is following step-by-step instructions in a help article, they may want a fast way to switch between the steps and the app that they're dealing with.
One of Samsung's claims to fame is a feature meant to improve productivity on mobile devices. One that users of stock Android and manufacturer skins alike have been yearning for for a while. That feature is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps on the screen at once, dragging and dropping between the two.
The problem is no one has been able to get it right yet. A company in the mobile space - in this writer's opinion - has yet to perfect the balance between utility and intuition when it comes to multi-window functionality on tablets (or phones, though I haven't used the Note 4 yet), but a post to Android Internals in March confirmed that Google had been working on the programmatic side of multi-window in stock Android.
Between a bevy of leaks and no small amount of official previews, LG won't have much to tell us at its press conference next week that we don't already know. The latest official glimpse at the upcoming G3 flagship is the video below, which shows off the "QuickCircle" case, the latest incarnation of a flip case with a touch-through preview window. The idea isn't new, but the shape is: the QuickCircle case uses a large radial display area for basic phone functions.
We've even seen a glimpse of this circular case before: LG's official teaser video showed hints of a circular display, and Evleaks showed off some screenshots of the phone running in "case mode." Like the S-View cases from Samsung and other, similar case-phone interactions, the QuickCircle case will let you perform standard functions like music control or accepting and rejecting calls without "opening" the phone and powering on the full screen.
With the number of options that are out there, our smartphones have gradually become more useful for in-car navigation than dedicated GPS units. Unfortunately, holding a phone in your hand isn't the safest (or most legal) driving habit, and mounting your device to the dashboard doesn't work as gracefully as many accessories out there claim. Yet Scosche might be on to something with its latest products, the magicMOUNT magnetic mounts.
Scosche is offering magicMOUNT in multiple formats, so users can mount devices to dashboards, windshields, tabletops, or walls. Each variation works the same. Users install a "MagicPlate" on the back of their phone or tablet, inside the battery cover, or within a case.
If your device hasn't gotten the YouTube v5 update today yet, and you're just itching to see the new navigation and UI, and experience the in-app multitasking first hand, we have your fix down below. Simply flash this verified APK to your phone or tablet, and your YouTube app will suddenly look better than ever before.
Google has started rolling out a staged YouTube for Android update, and it's probably the biggest redesign the app has seen yet. We've gotten a hold of the APK with exact version 5.0.21 (the previous version is 4.5.17), and after playing with it for about 30 minutes so far, I can definitively say that it's hugely improved.
The biggest new features I've spotted so far are:
A brand new card-based UI - the app looks better than ever before. It's like Matias Duarte has reached down from the sky and graced it with his magic touch.
Seeking damages for California residents who have purchased defective Android apps and were disallowed a refund, Android users Dodd Harris and Stephen Sabatino are suing Google under the pretext that the search giant's 15-minute refund window is unfair.
The pair claim that Google's pocketing of a 30% commission on defective apps and denying a refund after 15 minutes is wrong, using the practices of other app stores (those run by Amazon and Apple) to illustrate their point. This may not be the best comparison, however, as Apple's store has a "vetting process," meaning not all sellers are allowed to provide their wares to the public, whereas Google's Play Store is an open market.
Well, this is an interesting turn of events for the Android Market's universally-despised 15-minute app return window. According to the Taipei Times, the Taipei City Government was recently alerted to Google's Android Market return policies - policies that violate Taiwanese consumer protection laws requiring any product bought over the internet to have at least a 7-day "trial period."
Earlier this month, the Taiwanese government gave Google a 15-day ultimatum to revise its app return policies to include the mandatory 7-day trial period, but Google refused to comply. Faced with a $1 million fine for non-compliance, Google, after negotiations with the government broke down, decided yesterday to remove all access to paid apps for Android devices in Taiwan.