Facebook appears to be testing a new option in its Android app among some users that will make the app use less of your precious geebees. However, it doesn't appear to be anything beyond a simple photo resolution switcheroo, reducing the size of images that appear in your News Feed so that downloading them consumes less data. Interestingly, the toggle for the feature is positioned directly at the top of Facebook's labyrinthine sidebar menu, which is prime real estate. It's possible a wide rollout implementation would see this feature nested down in the settings area, though, and that this current placement is simply an attempt to maximize engagement with the toggle among users with whom it is being tested. Read More
Google+ is hitting v8.0. But don't let this major version jump trick you into thinking that you should expect big changes in the app. It's still the same Google+ you've grown to know since it was last redesigned, but with a few small changes here and there. Even Google's own Luke Wroblewski is quick to downplay the modifications.
So what should you expect in version 8.0? The usual fixes and general improvements along with three new features. First, you'll start to see a prompt to make a new post at the top of your home feed, encouraging you to contribute your own musings to the site. Read More
Direct Reply, which was introduced in Android N, aims to help you act on some notifications right away, without having to head into the app first. Its benefit is easily felt in communication apps and we've seen it so far implemented in Hangouts and a couple of other messaging apps. It's now making its first appearance in Facebook's own Messenger, in version 22.214.171.124.65 which is only available to beta testers of the app (or through APK Mirror).
If you're on this latest beta, you'll see a Reply button right beneath the notification, allowing you to type and send an answer to your contacts instantly without having to switch to the app. Read More
Hangouts for Android version 10.0 is now available for download - the big feature add? Direct share support, allowing you to share content directly to your commonly-used Hangouts contacts straight from the share menu. For big Hangouts users, this is a huge convenience when sending things like photos, videos, or even just simple links.
The version 10.0 APK doesn't contain any other major changes that we've yet found. We did notice, as in the right-hand side image, that the send button now has a drop-shadow when it's grayed out. So that's something. But direct share appears to be the big update for now, with Hangouts for iOS also having been updated to v10 today. Read More
Google's Keep had humble and simple beginnings, but it's become one of my go-to tools for organizing my life (such as it is). Today the web and desktop extension version of the service gets a revamp, with a new interface that takes more than a few hints from the Inbox layout. There's a brand new left pane to the UI that includes quick links to Notes, Reminders, user-set labels, the archive, and trashed items. It's dynamic, too: resize the window and it will hide in a pop-out dock, mobile app style. Read More
Inbox has proven itself to be an invaluable tool for people that haven't got the time or patience (or a crazy set of filters) to deal with a constant barrage of incoming mail. Not only that, but it has been progressively gaining features that make it reasonably competent as a to-do list and time management tool. In the latest update to Inbox, there's evidence that Google is about to take this another step in this direction by adding an "assistant" to help with keeping emails and tasks readily available.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
Are you there WordPress? It's me, Michael. Look, I've been trudging through your serviceable interface on seven different websites, day in and day out, for half a decade now. And while I think that it's really cool that you're adding the ability to update my Gravatar icon from the mobile app, we need to have a serious discussion about your image tools. Specifically, about the mind-numbing, head-bashing, eye-gouging awfulness of your image tools. No? We're going to talk about passwords instead? Ugh. Fine. Read More
Notifications are the bread and butter of our Android experience. Something happens, we get a notification. It could be as urgent as a new email from our boss telling us that we missed a comma in a post (stuff like that has been known to happen when your boss is Artem) or as ordinary as a new Twitter mention or a shipping status change on an order or a new episode available of your favorite series. The difference between how you act on these notifications is huge. You can instantly tap to check a notification or, if you're on Android N, directly reply to it, you can dismiss it without a second look because it's not something you care about all that much, or you can leave it hanging in your notification shade as a reminder to check later. Read More
Koush has really kicked Vysor development into high gear after MPEG-LA came calling to demand its pound of flesh, and that's good for anyone who needs to manage a mess of test devices. Vysor now has a Share All feature, which makes it a snap to set up a device farm for testing. Yes, this is part of the paid version of the app, but it's cheaper than enterprise plans at a cloud testing service. Read More
Apps are getting big - that's one thing no one will deny. With some games reaching more than a gigabyte of space - LEGO Star Wars on my Nexus 6P is 1.17GB - it's becoming an issue for phones with less storage capacity than the more high-end offerings. To that end, Google is introducing an uninstall manager to the Play Store, nine months after Cody discovered its existence in an APK teardown.
We don't know how long this has been live - Google could have just flicked the switch on it, or maybe others have seen it in the past as well. Read More