After hitting the beta channel back in April, Chrome version 51 has just been pushed to Stable with a new API that allows sites to interact with the browser's credential manager and some under-the-hood changes that should improve the scrolling experience and power consumption on both mobile and desktop. It also entirely removes the option to have Chrome tabs show up in the recent apps view on Android, which was introduced in Lollipop.
The Credential Management API is a new tool proposed by the W3C group which aims to make it easier and more streamlined to sign in to sites and webpages. Read More
There is no shortage of choice when you start thinking about following your favorite sports and teams on your phone. Google already has a pretty sweet set of cards in Google Now for a couple of sports, but there's also a lot of benefit in having a dedicated app that has specialized news and commentary, live scores, analysis, and more. ESPN is one of the most popular apps in that category — after all, that's the network's expertise and it's transmitted through the app.
With version 5.0, ESPN's app is getting a couple of major improvements that make it even more relevant. Read More
Chainfire's FlashFire is a very handy tool for anyone who likes to flash their phone. Provided the device is rooted, it enables the flashing of OTA files, ZIPs, and full firmware packages, all without needing a custom recovery. Previously, the app had been available in Google Play's beta program, but as of version 0.50, it is now open to all. Read More
Google Maps is now accepting beta testers through the Play Store, and it's probably no coincidence that there's already an update to v9.27 to go along with the news. The latest version doesn't appear to have any mind-blowing features, but it's not without a few changes to be found on the screen and buried in the apk. There are new notification settings, a new splash screen for Android Wear, and a few hints from a teardown. We're still looking around for more, so let us know if you stumble across any cool changes.
Unofficial Changelog: (stuff we found)
- New Notification Settings: "Show pending contributions notification" and "Driving notifications"
- Splash screen on Android Wear
More Notification Settings
Just a few days ago I commented on how the Notifications screen had grown quite a bit over the last few months, and with the brand new beta, two more settings join the list. Read More
Around two years ago, we published an article saying that despite the claimed existence of a single, 15-minute app refund windows (now 2 hours), Google Play actually had multiple refund windows available to customers that were automated up to around 48 hours after the purchase of an app. Specifically, from a period of 15 minutes (again, now 2 hours) to up to 48 hours after an app or game was purchased, simply submitting a refund request would generally result in a refund being issued automatically, without regard to reason.
At the time, we actually confirmed some of this with Google's PR, though they declined to state that the 48-hour refund windows was fully automated, likely to discourage abuse of the system. Read More
Motorola has long had the worst camera app of any mainstream OEM, which is a bummer as the 2015 Moto X Pure had a decent sensor finally. Now, Moto has posted a revamped camera app in the Play Store, but you probably can't use it yet. It's only for use with the company's 2016 devices like the Moto G4 and upcoming Moto X refresh. Read More
There's a Google Maps beta channel on the Play Store now, and you can sign up for it at this link. You can also download the new APK, version 9.27, directly from APK Mirror if you prefer, right here.
We're still rooting around in the app to see if there's anything new, so let us know if you find anything! (Remember, Maps was also updated last week to v9.26.1, so anything from that update is not new). Also remember that if you're running the Android N preview, you already have Maps 9.30, and so this 9.27 APK will not install over your existing app, as it's a newer version. Read More
It has been a few weeks since Play Music formally launched its take on podcasts, so it goes without saying that there are probably a few things left to be done. An update to version 6.9 takes care of one of the bigger gaps in the functionality by putting podcasts onto its Android Auto interface. Also on the list for this update are some small-to-medium visual tweaks. As usual, the apk is available for download at the bottom of this post if you're interested in jumping ahead of the normal rollout. Read More
According to a new dialogue on the mobile Facebook website, the company will soon be forcing users of the service to download the native Android Facebook Messenger app in order to even view conversations.
The mobile site has been pushing users to download Messenger for some time, but it in the last few days, Facebook has begun much more aggressively shuffling mobile web users who go to the chat (messages) tab over to the Messenger app. Simply tapping the "messages" tab on the mobile web UI will immediately send you through to the Play Store listing for Messenger without any warning whatsoever. Read More
Facebook appears to be testing a new option in its Android app among some users that will make the app use less of your precious geebees. However, it doesn't appear to be anything beyond a simple photo resolution switcheroo, reducing the size of images that appear in your News Feed so that downloading them consumes less data. Interestingly, the toggle for the feature is positioned directly at the top of Facebook's labyrinthine sidebar menu, which is prime real estate. It's possible a wide rollout implementation would see this feature nested down in the settings area, though, and that this current placement is simply an attempt to maximize engagement with the toggle among users with whom it is being tested. Read More