A new update to Google's Maps application is out, but the wait for offline navigation must go on. This is a relatively minor version bump, so we're not going to see the big features mentioned at I/O, but that doesn't mean there aren't still some pretty good things in this release. We now get to enjoy a new photo gallery view, car rental bookings will be shown, and there are a few pleasant improvements in Settings. Read More
While you might file this one under "really? We weren't doing this already?" if you're a security expert, Google has added stricter validation of APKs in Android "M" that should prevent what I guess you could call tinkering by omission.
Previously, APK validation checks looked at the SHA-1 signature for every file in said APK against those stored in the app's manifest.mf file, which is automatically generated during the signing process. If any of the files were modified, the APK would fail validation, and then fail to install or launch. This is an obvious security measure, designed to prevent people from loading up malicious software or otherwise doing nefarious things with legitimate APKs. Read More
Last week, Google added several long-wanted features to Inbox by Gmail, like signatures and swipe-to-delete. That server-side update also brought along trip bundles, which will group all the emails you get about a single stretch of travel into one place to help you keep track of things. Today, Google was kind enough to give a formal walk-through for those of us who haven't received any qualifying emails since the update rolled out.
The featured image of this post shows how a trip bundle will look from the default view of your inbox. And as the time for your flight (if there is one) approaches, it will change to give you Google Now-esque updates on flight times:
When you tap on the bundle card, it expands into a list of emails just like any other category of emails. Read More
WordPress went material in version 3.5. Now in 4.1, the app has undergone what may be an even larger design change. Say goodbye to the navigation menu you're used to sliding out from the side of the screen. Now everything you need is tucked away inside four tabs spread along the action bar at the top.
The first tab, which also serves as the landing screen, provides just about everything you'd expect in the side menu. From here you can view your site and open posts. When you click the back button, it takes you back to this page.
The second tab shows posts from Freshly Pressed, WordPress's blog. Read More
One billion is a big number. It comes with nine zeroes. Nine. It's the amount Facebook paid for Instagram, and now, it's how many times Play Books has appeared on an Android device. Google's app for reading ebooks has passed the one billion installs mark.
Since this is a Google app, the accomplishment isn't as impressive as it was for WhatsApp, as Play Books comes pre-installed on probably the majority of devices it's on. People don't go to the Play Store looking to install this app. They find it a couple icons over when they open their app drawers for the first time. Read More
If you've not been watching Apple's WWDC 2015 keynote, I can't blame you (it's really long), but news just dropped that Apple's upcoming streaming music service - Apple Music - will be coming to Android. Eventually.
The press release for Apple Music says the service will launch at the end of June on iOS, OS X, and PC, but Android support won't arrive till an unspecified time in the fall of this year. So, some time between mid-September and the end of the year, basically.
Apple Music will cost $9.99 a month for an individual plan, but everybody gets a free 3-month trial to start. Read More
Automating your Android device can be done in various ways, but at some point something is going to plug into Tasker. It's just an unavoidable outcome of the process. This one app has roughly a zillion triggers and settings, and it's getting even more today with the v4.7 update. Seriously, the changelog is about 100 items long. Read More
Android's default video capabilities leave a lot to be desired, so the Play Store has a small but thriving industry of third-party video players. MX Player has been one of the most dependable among them, and the latest update fixes a few bugs on Android 5.0+ devices and adds a few new features. The most notable is probably the new ability to upload and download subtitle files from the web. That's a big deal if you often watch videos in a language you can't speak - anime fans, ahem, accessing unavailable shows come to mind.
The default function uses the language from your phone to search opensubtitles.org, either with the name of the video file or with a separate manual text search. Read More
Android users in general like widgets. Android "advocates" (which I suppose includes all of us here at Android Police) remember when it was one of the biggest differentiators between Google's mobile operating system and iOS, back when people were trying to convince us that we didn't really need copy and paste support. So when Nokia's Z Launcher homescreen replacement app launched without widgets, a considerable number of users couldn't switch over because of this lack.
Now the developers have alleviated this problem, so it's a good time to give Z Launcher another chance. Version 1.2 adds basic widget support: swipe to the blank screen on the left side of the main launcher and long-press to add them. Read More