The design of Samsung's system UI hasn't changed much in the last few years, except when it comes to cosmetic things like icons and colors. There's a whole theme store that can alter that stuff. In the Galaxy Apps store, there's a new app called Good Lock that goes further by enabling an "advanced system UI" on the Galaxy S7. It's really bonkers. Read More
An update to the Google Photos app just rolled out, bringing the current version number up to v1.17. This release is pretty straightforward with just one notable change: photos can now be edited in a non-destructive fashion. In other words, you can make changes to a picture and still return to the original version if you like. That feature alone is certainly enough to make this a worthy upgrade, but a teardown provides some good clues about features that are probably coming in the next couple of releases, assuming they're not already here. Read More
When Android 6.0 landed, it brought a big new battery-saving feature called Doze mode. While it was great at reining in known troublemakers like social network apps and misbehaving games, Doze had a bad habit of knocking out apps with genuinely important roles to play. One such app was Android Wear. Today, a new update to the Wear companion app adds awareness of Doze Mode and prompts users to add it to the protected list.
Doze Mode Support
When the Android Wear app starts up for the first time after updating to v1.5, it will have a bright blue notice on the screen to let you know that your watch may not remain connected unless the Wear app is allowed to run in the background. Read More
The Google Admin app is the go-to mobile tool for managing Google for Work accounts. This piece of software provides system administrators with the ability to add or remove users, change their passwords, and perform other puppet master-like tasks. If you're a person with such responsibilities, the latest update puts a few more tricks in that bag of yours. Read More
If you listen to a lot of podcasts, you probably spend at least ten hours or more every week getting through them. A common feature of podcast playback tools is the option to speed up playback, allowing at least some users to get through these almost entirely spoken-word programs more quickly. Popular Android podcast manager Stitcher now includes this option... but oddly, only for devices running Android 6.0 or later. The tool can speed up playback to 1.25x, 1.5x, or 2x (which is insanely fast). It can also slow playback by half.
Other changes in this version (3.5.5 on my Nexus 6) are mostly bug fixes, notably including a major bug for Wi-Fi detection on Marshmallow phones and tablets. Read More
You might have heard about that new Batman vs. Superman movie over the weekend. The word is that it's not very good, but the new Batcave designed for the film is really impressive. You can now explore Batman's lair in Google Maps Street View, and in 3D with Google Cardboard. Read More
Anyone who's been hanging around Android Police knows that AirDroid is one of our very favorite tools. And a big part of what makes it so great is that the developers are constantly improving both the core file transfer functions and adding brand new stuff more or less constantly. The latest additional goodie is a photo backup system, more or less like the ones featured in Dropbox or Google Drive and their imitators, but minus the online cloud storage element. Read More
Today is Easter Sunday in many countries, and though humble tech bloggers don't really get fancy luxuries like "vacations" or "religious holidays" or "time to sleep," it seems appropriate to point out an Android Easter egg that's apparently been lying in wait for quite a while. The folks at Ausdroid spotted this one, a simple nod to British sitcom The IT Crowd (also known as "that show that's kind of like The Big Bang Theory without all the sucking"). Read More
YouTube Music, the app built specifically for the YouTube Red music subscription service, is still somewhat in its infancy. There's plenty of room for improvement, and version 1.16 adds a couple of small but notable changes to better the listening experience. First, the standard Watch page (the one with the actual video on it) now has a "More from..." button, with the ellipses replaced with the relevant artist for each video. It allows users to find more music from that specific artist. Makes sense. To see the button you may need to expand the viewer in portrait mode. Read More