Facebook announced an all-new layout for its Messenger app today (presumably for Android and iOS, though only iOS screenshots were provided). The new "home" area in Messenger is designed to make the app more than just a dumb message hub, and much more of a "Facebook people I care about" hub. Instead of simply being a list of chats, Messenger will now show you your favorite contacts, upcoming birthdays (because Facebook), and who's online now. Recent chats will still sit at the top of the "home" area in the app, there just won't be as many living there anymore. Read More
SwiftKey was snapped up by Microsoft recently, but the company isn't giving up on making its app better like so many other companies have post-acquisition. A new version of the SwiftKey Beta is out today with a much-requested feature—a clipboard manager. It temporarily saves everything you copy, lets you add new items manually, and more. Read More
When Google announced its new chat app Allo, the first thing many people did was go to the Play Store and search for the term "Allo." To their surprise, perhaps, there was a shockingly on-point result: a chat app named Allo Group Voice Chat. This seemed... problematic for Google's new chat platform trademark, to say the least. We asked both Google and [not-Google-]Allo what was being done about this and we haven't heard anything since late May. Read More
Let me just start this article with the following caveats: one, Google makes it more than clear that not everything will work in a Developer Preview Android build, or in the new beta system in general. Two, Android Pay is hardly an essential service - suddenly losing access to it doesn't make your credit or debit cards stop working. Three, it's easy enough to get it back by flashing an older Developer Preview or stock build on any Nexus device that's likely to run into this particular problem. Read More
A couple of months ago, Google's Calendar app received an update that allowed users with an Apps or Edu account to schedule meetings with multiple people based on when everyone was available. While Google Apps users are often last on the pecking order, this time it was regular users who didn't have access to the new "Find a time" feature, likely due to privacy concerns (it's one thing to share your work calendar with your coworkers, but entirely another to share your personal calendar with anyone with your email address).
The newest version of the Google Calendar app doesn't yet let regular users resolve schedule conflicts with other people, but it does the next best thing by solving conflicts with yourself. Read More
If you have tried the Play Movies & TV app on Android TV and weren't in love with its player controls, it might be time to give it a new try. A fresh update to v3.15 started rolling out to set-top boxes and televisions yesterday. There are a couple of cosmetic changes, most notably the banner on the launcher screen, but the big change comes in the form of updated player controls that are faster and easier to use.
- New launcher banner
- Updated player controls
New Launcher Banner
Left: old. Right: new.
After the latest visual rebranding of Google Play, most of the primary apps were updated to the new icons within about a week. Read More
Last month Nintendo started a closed beta program for Pokémon GO, the augmented reality catch-em-all game that the company has been working on with Niantic. It looks like we're very close to a public release, at least according to Nintendo's presentation at the massive E3 gaming convention. As reported by Polygon, Nintendo announced that the game will be released on smartphones sometime in July. Read More
Fans of the Fleksy keyboard started to reach out recently to see if we knew why the company had seemingly gone quiet. Support emails were going unanswered, the website was down, and the Twitter account had no updates. All very suspicious, but the most we could get out of the company's PR was that more information would be available later. Well, it's later, and the information is that Fleksy has been acquired... by Pinterest, for some reason. Read More
The next update to the SHIELD TV firmware will come with a built-in Plex media server. This is a big deal, as it will let people who own this Android TV box use something other than an always-on PC to store their media library.
Now the Plex Media Server app has found its way into the Play Store ahead of the firmware update. Read More