When you get a text message in Google Messenger, you don't have to open the app to initiate a reply. You just tap the buttons that appear in the notification. This capability appeared years sooner in apps like Gmail, which allowed you to reply, archive, and delete messages.
It turns out this feature is available in the latest Android version of Skype. When an incoming notification appears in your notification shade, you will have the option to call the person or reply via text. These heads up notifications will also appear on top of your current app, so you don't have to swipe down the notification drawer to read them. Read More
Earlier this month, Google surprised us with OnHub, a $200 WiFi router made in partnership with TP-Link that looks great and packs in some smart technology (even if it only has one ethernet port). We knew Google planned to release an app to pair with and control the OnHub, and today Google On hit the Play Store.
The app appears to be super straight-forward, guiding users through initial setup with a variety of simple, pleasing illustrations, and - after that - allowing for easy troubleshooting, speed testing, and network sharing. Users can also rename their network or change the password, and the app even has a feature to "remotely provide or receive help from friends and family." On's interface relies on shades of blue and teal that should be familiar to OnHub customers, matching the device's body and glowing light (assuming you went for the blue version). Read More
Android Pay has been a hot topic in the last weeks after a series of memos and promotional materials turned up with the supposed August 26th launch date. As it turns out, Google hadn't yet distributed the necessary software to enable Android Pay for use on phones. That changes with version 8.1 of the Play services apk, which began rolling out Friday afternoon. A look around inside of the app also suggests there has been a bit more progress on the long-anticipated Kid Accounts. As of this release, there is also an important change to the convention Google uses for identifying Play services apk variants for different devices. Read More
If you use Google Play Music on your Chromecast on a regular basis, you may have noticed a few issues lately. According to this Google support forum thread, casting Play Music to a nearby Chromecast has been broken for about three weeks for at least some users. Once the music playback begins on the television it reports an error shortly thereafter. Multiple users began reporting the same problem and similar issues.
It doesn't seem to be universal - trying out the casting feature in Google Play Music on my Nexus 6 and SHIELD TV doesn't appear to be broken - but enough people are experiencing it that it's beginning to gain notice. Read More
QuickPic is a nice little Android photo gallery-slash-viewer. Over several years it has gained a comfortable userbase thanks to steady updates, excellent communication with users, plenty of extra features, and an impressive adherence to Android design standards. So when QuickPic fans discovered that the app had been sold and re-published by Cheetah Mobile, they were, to put it mildly, pissed. They began flooding the app's Play Store page under the new developer "Cheetah Mobile Cloud (NYSE:CMCM)" with disparaging reviews almost immediately. Read More
Those who are always on the lookout for a good buy probably have some experience with Slickdeals. The web's most popular location for bargain hunting isn't new to Android, but the experience on mobile has always been a little bit lacking. As Slickdeal's current app has gotten fairly stale, they have not been sitting on their hands. Now in beta, an update to v3.0 features a completely revamped look with better spacing, tabs instead of a hamburger menu, and a smoother overall experience.
While some might call it blasphemy, this update arguably becomes better in spite of being a departure from Material Design. Read More
The number of people activating Android devices continues to grow, because this summer we've watched as a number of Android apps have passed the billion installs milestone. The latest app to hit this goal is Play Music. This makes it the fifteenth to get on the list.
Google has made numerous additions to Play Music since launching the service in 2011. Users went from storing their personal collections online and buying individual albums to streaming whatever they wanted using All Access subscriptions. These days you can start personalized radio stations that suit your mood. You can also sign-up to stream music for free. Read More