Less than a week after we reported that Play Store reviews no longer require a Google+ account, it seems that Google has begun testing another change in the same arena - Top Features, a new element that aims to make determining what functionality an app has easier. In addition, the reviewing process has been tweaked. As of now, these changes do not appear to be rolling out to all devices; while I have the feature on my Nexus 6, it's nowhere to be seen on my HTC 10 that is running the same version of the Play Store.
Top Features' scrollable bar
Top Features is situated above Review Highlights and contains user feedback about certain abilities of the reviewed app. Read More
At the end of July, Microsoft took to its Enterprise security blog to announce it was combining its existing authenticator apps into a single Microsoft Authenticator app - that app is now available.
Previously, the tech giant had separate authentication apps for its consumer accounts and the enterprise Azure AD accounts. According to the blog post, this new app combines the best features from the Microsoft accounts and the Azure Authenticator apps into one application. It serves as an update to the current Azure Authenticator, while users of the old Microsoft account app will need to download it after being prompted to do so. Read More
If you're rocking the leaked Nexus Launcher on your device, you might have noticed at least one animation wasn't working. With the current release version of the Google Search APK, tapping on the search button brings up the search bar, but without the fluid animations we've come to expect from Material Design.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, "does one animation really matter?" And the answer is always yes. Reddit user /u/parentskeepfindingme noticed that in the latest Google App beta, there's actually an animation! Here's a capture we took of that new animation. Read More
Hecorat, the developer behind some cool apps we love like AZ Screen Recorder and EZ Package Disabler, has released a new app on the Play Store and this one solves an existential problem for all virtual reality fans who own Samsung's Gear VR but also want to try Cardboard apps and games: it lets them do exactly that which Samsung had tried its darndest to forbid.
The problem with Gear VR is that the moment you plug your Galaxy phone into the headset, the Oculus app launches and you can't use any other app until you unplug. This means that launching the Cardboard app, or any Cardboard compatible apps and games, is impossible. Read More
If you've been using Google Maps in the past couple of days, there are two changes that you may have noticed, or not depending on how lucky you are with server-side switches. The first one is purely cosmetic and the second is something Local Guides and sticklers for accuracy will enjoy.
The location indicator in Google Maps is seeing a small aesthetic change. Instead of the arrow pointer, some users are getting a widening gradient spray. It serves the same purpose, but might be more accurate in saying the general direction you're pointing at by broadening a little bit the field and not trying to pinpoint it precisely. Read More
There are a lot of factors playing into the success and failure of mobile payment systems. Perhaps the most challenging issue for Android Pay to overcome isn't the slow adoption of compatible payment terminals or the general lack of awareness about contactless payments, it's the confusion people experience once they decide to try it. While many users are nervous simply because they don't know what to expect, some others are confronted with an even bigger challenge: they have no idea where the NFC antenna is on their phone. The Android Pay app has been progressively adding more informative screens to help with educating users about tap-and-go payments, and now evidence from a teardown suggests Google will soon teach users what part of the phone to actually tap with. Read More
A smart home is every geek's dream, so it's great to see the idea becoming more and more of a reality, with Nest, Alexa, Google Assistant (soon), and Apple's HomeKit making our homes smarter and automated. Accessory maker Logitech, which already has the Harmony Remote, is adding to its range with the Logitech POP button and accompanying app.
The POP can control a lot of devices, from Phillips Hue lightbulbs to Sonos speakers, to door locks and blinds, plus of course the Harmony platform. Each button can be programmed with three individual commands which can then do a host of different things to control your home. Read More
I'm not an avid gamer: puzzles, math games, brain teasers, anything that requires a bit of thinking and doesn't involve plot twists, that's my jam. But I know a lot of people who are taken by games, whether classics or new releases, and I know that many of them are completely fascinated by the music and soundtracks that accompany these games.
That's the category of players that Spotify is catering to with its latest Gaming category addition. Showing up today in Browse on mobile, desktop, and web, Gaming will include plenty of curated playlists like Power Gaming, Rock Gaming, and even Catch 'Em All, as well as guest playlists from other Spotify listeners and avid gamers. Read More