So far there are only two devices that officially support Google's neat-o Project Tango spatial detection technology: the original developer kit (no longer being sold) and the shiny new Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. The latter is set to release next month, so Google is preparing the way with a new first-party app, simply called "Tango." It's available as a free download in the Play Store right now, but without access to either the tablet or the phone, you won't be able to play around with it. Read More
The SafetyNet API is the bane of root and custom ROM users everywhere. For those unfamiliar, it is part of the Google Play Services API that is designed to detect modified devices. If your system is tampered with in any way, be it rooted or a custom ROM, the SafetyNet check will fail. Android Pay, among other applications, uses this API and will fail to run if SafetyNet fails.
Reports are coming in from Reddit and our own tip box that SafetyNet appears to fail on some bootloader-unlocked devices, even if the device has not been modified in any other way. Devices confirmed to have issues include the Nexus 6P, OnePlus 3, and Nexus 6. Read More
A feature that we first associated with the Pixel Launcher was the wallpaper picker. And since the Pixel Launcher is exclusive to Pixel phones, you might have thought the same would go for its wallpaper feature. Well, in that case, you would be wrong. Google has broken it off into an app called Wallpapers and it is now in the Play Store, available for download on all manner of non-Pixel, non-Nexus devices. Read More
Google now has two launcher apps in the Play Store, but you probably can't install the new one. The Pixel Launcher is one of the selling points of the Pixel phones, and remains technically exclusive to them. But of course, we have the APK available for download. Read More
According to the Google Play developer content policy, Google wants to build "the world's most trusted store for apps and games." With this in mind, the company has updated the developer policy with examples of things that will get your app removed from the store, such as sexually explicit material, excessive graphic violence, or use of drugs, plus some 'metadata' app listing items which are now not allowed.
The listing is an important part of how an app is promoted to customers. With this update, Google presumably wants to try and take away some of the more 'clickbait' listings that it deems unsuitable, or in the case of wholly inappropriate content, which we've copied and pasted below, remove completely. Read More
The Android Pay landing site (android.com/pay) has just been revamped with some more eye-catching elements. I haven't heard anybody complain that Android Pay's landing site is too drab, but this new site definitely looks quite a bit nicer. (You can check out the old one here.)
When you get to the site, you're hit with a splash of color, some "tap. pay. xxxxx." text, and a Nexus 6P or 5X demonstrating these actions (oddly, they didn't go with the Pixel or Pixel XL for this). Some of the 5Xes have curiously small bottom bezels. Read More
Google hasn't been shy about ingratiating itself and its services with the people of India and similarly data-constrained markets – and it should take a bow because some competitors certainly aren't trying very hard to keep up. Last month Google announced a number of initiatives for the Indian market designed to cut down on unnecessary data costs. Among the announcements was a change to the News & Weather app adding a so-called "Lite Mode" that intelligently reduces the amount of text and images that ultimately reaches a phone. Now it looks like the Google app itself will be sporting the same options. Read More
Tech companies are not immune to the ebbs and flows of the tide of fashion. The latest fad among mega-corps is voice-controlled interfaces - Google has half a dozen or so with the latest being Assistant, to say nothing of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, or any number of other vaguely feminine "bots." Location specialist Foursquare wants into this party, and they've decided to go masculine with their interpretation: Marsbot. It was previously available on the iPhone, but as of today the Android version is on the Play Store. Read More
Google Chrome has traditionally been available in four 'channels' - Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary. Beta and Dev are progressively buggier and unfinished than Stable, and Canary is the definition of bleeding-edge. Canary builds are released automatically every day, with no manual testing, and are prone to more bugs than all the other channels.
Until now, the Canary channel has only been available for Windows and Mac (not even desktop Linux). Google has just published Chrome Canary onto the Play Store, starting with build 56.0.2891.8. There aren't any noticeable changes here as opposed to Dev, but in the future, this should be the first place to spot new features. Read More
Email can be overwhelming, so it's useful to get someone else to manage it for you. Failing that, a computer should be able to take over the task. Google's Inbox has been doing this for a while now, with cool features like bundles, smart replies, digests and snoozing until later. A new feature, Templates, has just appeared in the web version of Inbox, which makes email even easier.
Templates are basically preset text snippets that can be inserted into emails. The user manages these and can create or delete a template. For example, if you want a custom signature, or some blurb about confidentiality when emailing an attachment, you could use a template for either. Read More