Google Play's branded Music app has had Pandora-style thumbs up and thumbs down controls, applicable to your local and cloud music as well as streaming radio stations, for quite a while. But they're not all that easy to get to: aside from the "now playing" screen and the homescreen widget, the functionality isn't all that obvious. The latest update to the app puts those recommendation tools front and center, right on the notification and lockscreen controls.
We're actually looking at two Google Play Music updates here: version 6.2.2220U.2476962 and the slightly newer 6.2.2221U.2480853. Both of them are nearly identical with one notable exception. Read More
T-Mobile customers may or may not be using the company's official Android app, which allows users to view remaining minutes and data, pay bills, and manage their accounts - since the company has been attracting so many "bring your own device" customers lately, they might not even be aware of it. But the My Account app is due for a substantial update very soon, at least if a newly-leaked APK file is anything to go by. After an employee tipped the new app for a December 10th launch (which obviously didn't happen), posters at the T-Mobile Reddit page have been dissecting a leaked version; that's where the screenshots below came from. Read More
Taking screenshots has officially become a little easier for those of us who have a device running Android 6.0. An update has begun to roll out to the Google App that adds a share button to Google Now on tap, which takes a screenshot and allows you to immediately share it. This is great news for some who have been having issues taking screenshots on their 6P while using certain cases, and for those who have trouble pressing multiple buttons at once. Let's take a quick look at how this works, and how it compares to the regular way of doing things. Read More
Google is busy this week updating most of its apps before the holidays and one update we were anticipating is Chrome Beta 48. The Chromium Blog had announced the update last week but we didn't see it on the Play Store until today.
So what does Beta 48 bring? A few interesting additions. Developers can now use the Presentation API to present to Google Cast devices, making it possible to send sites and their content to your Chromecast devices right from your mobile browser. The site notifications that were introduced with version 42 are getting an interesting update with actionable buttons so developers can add custom options that are easy to accomplish from the notification pop-up. Read More
Yahoo Mail received a pretty big update a couple of months ago with an interface revamp to Material Design (or Yahoo's interpretation of it), Account Key to sign in on your mobile device without having to input your password, and support for other mail providers like Outlook, Hotmail, and AOL. You may have noticed that Gmail wasn't present in that list, but that changes today.
Yahoo! is rolling out an update to version 5.1 of Mail that adds Gmail support so you can start checking your Googly inbox from Yahoo's app. I don't know why you'd want to do that, but I'm sure there are valid reasons why such a feature would be important. Read More
AmpMe is a make-shift surround speaker system based on your devices. It turns all of your phones and tablets (and your friends' phones and tablets) into speakers for the same song, synchronizes playback across all of them, and lets the party starter choose which tracks get streamed for everyone. When it was released in October, I reviewed the app and concluded that it was good, but that it was neck-to-neck with SoundSeeder, another alternative on Android. It all depended on what you wanted: AmpMe has SoundCloud support, a better interface, and an iOS app; SoundSeeder has local music and Google Play Music playback, queue management, and more options. Read More
A new version of YouTube's Gaming offspring has been rolling out on the Play Store with a long list of interface improvements and new features that's sure to make any gamer happy.
For new users, YouTube Gaming now has an on-boarding setup that first recommends six games to follow, probably based on your previous YouTube watching history, and then automatically imports the gaming channels you have subscribed to on YouTube. Read More
Wednesday was packed with an onslaught of app updates, many of which came with at least a few notable features. While a bit on the quiet side, the Play Movies & TV app came with some worthwhile new features of its own. Most of the new features are hidden under the Settings screen, including a toggle to finally shut off binge-watching on phones and tablets and a pair of options to enable notifications for new TV shows and when things on your Wishlist become available or drop in price. There are also a few other subtle differences behind the scenes.
Here's the official changelog for Play Movies & TV v3.10:
- Wishlist any movie that's not yet available for purchase and receive notifications when it's available to buy or rent
- More reliable playback
- Settings improvements
- Play Movies & TV channel in Android TV Live Channels app
An update back in early October brought binge-watching, which filled in a popular feature for serious TV watchers. Read More
Google removed the watch battery stats from the Wear app some time ago, but it wasn't really much of a loss. They were borderline useless at the time anyway. In the latest version of Wear (220.127.116.110307.gms), the battery stats appear to have returned. As to whether or not they're still junk, I cannot say yet.