At Google IO this past June we saw the launch of many new products from Google, including Android M, Android Pay, and Project Brillo. The tech giant also launched Google Photos as its own service, which was previously tied down to Google+. Today we're going to dive into every corner of Google Photos and my experiences with it over the last few months.
Intro & tests
Over the last eight years I have used iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom, and Photos on Mac to organize my photos. While each worked for a period of time, I never truly felt like my photos were properly organized. Read More
In case you aren't getting enough Google Now inside the normal interface, it looks like the Google app is bumping out into some users' notification trays with new, richer, higher priority notifications.
While it's hard to say when the rollout began, some users on version 188.8.131.52 of the Google app (myself included) have begun noticing new notification settings in the Google app, toggling notifications for "substantial changes in weather condition," sports, places, and "stories and videos." Other users' settings lists still stop at "priority notifications."
So far we've only seen weather notifications - which offer temperature changes or other condition changes expected for the next day - and sports notifications in person. Read More
We gave Play Store version 5.9 the teardown treatment a few days ago, but it turns out we missed something. The latest release no longer automatically downloads app screenshots when you're not connected to Wi-Fi or LTE. Read More
Google has always encouraged developers to design their app icons with a "unique silhouette." This gives designers the freedom to come up with neat stuff, but there are drawbacks. For example, icons that are just weird sizes and look out of place on your device. Well, there's a new Nova Launcher feature coming that could fix that. "Icon normalization" is in private alpha now, and it's coming to the beta channel very soon. Read More
Shhhh. I'm trying to set up an anonymous phone number, and this is a very delicate process.
Oh, what's that? It's not? Hushed? You hush! Oh... I should check out Hushed. Read More
The saga of once-beloved gallery app QuickPic continues as Cheetah Mobile asserts its control over the app. QuickPic is getting its first major update since the acquisition, and it's tempting you with free storage. You want that free storage? Just sign up. What could go wrong?
The Android Pay APK is out there, available for public consumption. Getting it is as simple as heading over to APK Mirror (and making sure you have the right version of Google Play Services installed). Just don't have the Android Marshmallow developer preview flashed to your device. That will bring everything to a screeching halt.
We already knew that you could not set up Android Pay on a rooted device, as this interferes with the app's verification process (though you can re-root shortly after with some success). But we and many other experimental types have found that attempting to launch the Android Pay app on Android Marshmallow brings up a similar error, regardless of whether the device is rooted. Read More
One of Android's differentiating features has been the ability to multitask, especially by allowing apps to coexist on one screen or to show elements on top of each other. Although the concept of floating apps was prevalent for years on the platform, Facebook Messenger popularized the idea of less intrusive bubbles, which simply put round icons at the edges of your screen to allow quick access to your chats and contacts. Link Bubble further pushed the envelop on that approach, taking the bubbles and making them work for you in the background.
Pintasking is another step in the bubble's story on Android. Read More
Periscrope is Twitter's app for broadcasting live streams. Something's happening. You pull out your phone, you turn on the camera, and you show the world what's going on. Or at least the people who come across your account.
Since launch, the app has only supported vertical videos. But enough people have scoffed at this idea that the team is now introducing the option to turn your phone sideways. Landscape recording is making its way into the latest Android and iOS versions of the app.
Other additions include showing a list of mutual followers to pick from when you start a private video stream. Read More
There aren't many apps where the name is also a sentence, but Google My Business tells you precisely what users want their customers to do. The app gives you control over some of the information that appears when people go searching for your fine establishment, and the latest release impacts the interface that appears when you go about updating that information.
Google's new editor borrows from Search and Maps, where details pop up on a card from the bottom of the screen. You now have the ability to not just designate specific hours of operation, but to show if you're open 24 hours. Read More