During Alphabet's first earnings call this afternoon, Google CEO Sundar Pichai commented that as of this month, Gmail now officially has one billion monthly active users. That's a lot of Gmail.
The Gmail app for Android, by comparison, hit one billion installs a little over 20 months ago, back in May of 2014. And that was two years after Gmail became the most popular email service on the planet. When that occurred in 2012, Google reported around 425 million MAUs for Gmail, meaning the service has grown its active user base twice over in around three-and-a-half years. Read More
Love the idea of cloud storage providers but don't want to trust your data with the big guys? One more of your options is about to go away. Copy, the cloud storage service from Barracuda, is shutting down on May 1st, 2016. Read More
Twilight aims to make your phone screen less damaging to your sleep cycle, operating on the idea that blue-shifted light screws up your circadian rhythms. There's some evidence behind this, but you could only put it to the test on your phone. Now you can take advantage of the sleep-friendly screen Twilight filters on your watch and TV as well. Read More
Microsoft's Cortana has been available on Android for about 2 months, but shortly after its launch, it got an update to remove the Hey Cortana hotword (though that remained functional in Cyanogen OS) because of potential conflicts with Google's own Ok Google. That dampened a bit the app's utility as it became slightly more difficult to launch when in a hurry.
This update to version 1.4.0 tries to circumvent the issue by adding a homescreen widget. It has a big Ask Cortana button that launches voice searches immediately, a list of your upcoming events and reminders, and another button to add a reminder. Read More
It's no secret that we at Android Police are huge fans of AirDroid. A big part of that is because the developer is constantly updating the app with new features. So it is with the latest version, 3.2, which adds a handful of new goodies to the remote management tool. Some of these require use with an updated version of the dedicated desktop app (instead of the more popular browser version).
The coolest addition to the program is the ability to type directly into input fields on your phone with your computer's keyboard, which is now the best possible solution for typing on Android until someone releases a mechanical keyboard five inches wide. Read More
Well, it was nice while it lasted. A few months ago prolific Android developer Chainfire introduced a method of rooting Android devices without modifying the /System partition. It had the added and extremely welcome benefit of getting around SafetyNet detection for applications that were intentionally disabled on rooted phones, like Android Pay. But it looks like Google has caught on: starting this weekend (as reported on the /r/Android subreddit ), Android Pay and other SafetyNet apps no longer work with the roundabout root method. Bummer.
Google's system uses a server-side update, so at the moment there's no way to get around the check even with older versions of Android Pay, Google Play Services, et cetera. Read More
You have ample choices when it comes to music streaming on Android, and SomaFM has been among them for a long time. However, it's always been a paid app. Now, it's suddenly free, and in the Play Store, that means it's free forever. It's not clear what this means for SomaFM's business model, but hey, free stuff is cool. Read More
Some of you may think of Cerberus as a three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hell. Others may think of a service that can track down your phone and lock it as necessary. One of the two has decided to embrace material design. Read More