Google Now's purpose is to give you useful information before you even think to ask, and additions continue to roll out that make the service better at its job.
A reader has reached out to us with a screenshot of a Refueling options card in Google Now. It shows the names of individual stations, how far away they are, and how long they're open. Interestingly, as mentioned at the bottom of the card, this information is appearing because the recipient has to return a rental car to the area. It's also worth noting that the reader was using Google to manage his travel itinerary. Read More
If you routinely upload photos from your phone to Facebook, you have probably noticed that the end result is what you might call potato quality. Facebook compresses all uploads regardless of the source to ease the strain on their servers, but mobile uploads have gotten it worse than those done on desktops. A new setting rolling out, though, allows users to opt into higher quality uploads from the Android app.
I am using the latest version of Facebook pushed to me from the Play Store, 126.96.36.199.59. With that said, the toggle for HD uploads did not appear immediately after I updated, so there may be a server-side switch involved. Read More
Kodi is a popular name in media streaming circles, not least because it can run on pretty much anything. Last year, an Android app was released, which has gone to achieve over five million downloads. However, that's where it may stay, at least for the time being. In the last few days, the sole developer of the app, Chris Browet, a.k.a. Koying, has quit working on Kodi and resumed development on his forked version, Semper Media Center, or SPMC for short.
The reason he quit isn't entirely clear, but it seems to have resulted from creative and philosophical coding differences with the main Kodi developers. Read More
The system UI in Android has, for the most part, been sacrosanct. Apps can't just add new elements to the OS, but Android N looks to be loosening up that restriction a bit. We already posted about the ability to add Quick Settings tiles natively, and now it looks like Google is allowing developers to insert an app settings link in app info. Read More
A late-night update to the Google app turned up last night, bringing the current version up to v5.11. The changes in this release are pretty subtle, but there are a few good things to see if you know where to look. (And some commenters definitely knew where to look this morning.) There are UI and functional updates hidden in a few spots, particularly on the app drawer, but also in text selection and probably some other corners of the app. As always, there's a download link at the bottom.
App Drawer Changes
Left: previous version. Right: latest version.
The most visually distinct modification was made to the app drawer. Read More
Google's OnHub router offers an easy setup process and cool app management, but it's still working on getting all the features people expect from a $200 router. For example, the USB port still doesn't do anything. There's a new update rolling out, and while it does not address the USB port situation, it does make tracking your speeds and getting devices on the right band easier. Read More
There are plenty of reasons why you'd want the same app running twice on your phone. Prior to Facebook Messenger or Instagram adding multiple account support, many users had resorted to downloading modded APKs of the apps to be able to log in with different usernames on the same device. But many other apps still don't allow you to use multiple accounts simultaneously, like Facebook and Skype for example. There are also other reasons why you'd want another instance of an app: if you just want to test something without breaking the main app, if you want to have two different progresses of the same game, if a watchface application only allows one setting and you want an easy way to switch without fiddling with the preferences each time, and so on. Read More
Ever spent some time talking to your friends on Facebook Messenger about basketball and looked at that nice orange emoji and wished you could just swipe it across the screen and into the hoop? Ever yearned for a little bit of friendly competition between you and your friends inside a chat to pass those boring classes or long waits? Facebook Messenger has just the answer for your woes.
Inside the latest Messenger update is a new mini game of basketball. You can trigger it by sending the basketball emoji and then tapping it to launch into the game. It's as simple as mini games go: swipe the ball across the screen to try to get it into the hoop. Read More
Google has released a new app in the Play Store, but before you get too excited, it's not technically a new app. It's just new to the store. It's the Android TV Backdrop Daydream app. If you've got an Android TV device, it already has this app installed, but now that it's in the Play Store you should get automatic updates. Read More