At South by Southwest, Aparna Chennapragada, Director of Product Management for Google Now offered a glimpse into the future of the feature which has become the heart of the search experience on Android. According to Chennapragada, the company plans to have a full API for Google Now cards ready soon. This will expand on the previously announced pilot program consisting of apps like Pandora, Lyft, and others.
Niantic Labs is mostly known for the game Ingress, and now the Google internal startup has announced its next project. The upcoming Endgame: Proving Ground is another immersive alternative reality experience, but this time it's part of a larger fictional world. This game will take place in the Endgame universe created with the help of author James Frey.
Square's app for ordering food and drinks ahead of time won't be helping people consume meals much longer. Square has removed the app from the Google Play, and it plans to shut down the service in just a matter of days.
Well, there's a minor caveat. While users won't be able to place orders from a mobile app, they will still have the ability to order items for pickup through Square on restaurants' websites.
Just in case you were getting comfortable with the YouTube app's latest design, it looks like there may be more changes in store. It seems a number of users are encountering a new YouTube interface, apparently triggered server-side without an app update.
The change sees YouTube's hamburger menu flipping right out of the interface, going the way of Google+ in discarding the left-side navigation drawer. Instead, users are given four primary tabs - Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and your profile. Interestingly, a couple of these tabs seem to have bars underneath to switch from, say, all videos to music on the home tab, or from uploads to channels on the subscription tab.
Because there clearly weren't enough apps that help you count your steps and/or compare them with your friends, HTC has filled the imperceptible void. Fun Fit is a social fitness app where you and your participating Facebook friends (there are sure to be many!) pick "cute avatars" and compete in the time-honored contest of taking the most steps.
Despite their recent partnership with Under Armour, this would not seem to be a product of it. Rather than UA's more-serious-than-necessary aesthetic, Fun Fit tends toward the overly cheesy. As a product of HTC Research, it probably won't be part of the standard pre-loaded apps on future HTC phones, like the M9.
Along with site notifications, the latest Chrome Beta v42 has another new feature for improving the web app experience. The ability to add a website to your home screen from Chrome has been there for a while now, but not all web pages are created equal in this regard. These shortcuts work best for fully-fledged web apps and now Chrome will let you know when you have visited a good candidate for home screen placement.
To get an idea of how it works, check out this GIF from HTML5 Rocks:
Perhaps the most important aspect of this feature is that it will not appear every time you visit a qualifying site.
Google is rolling out a new version of Messenger with a few features you might care about. It's a big jump to v1.2 from 1.0, which was the previous Play Store version. There was a v1.1 build floating around, but that was only released on Android One handsets. This one's available to everyone—eventually, or right now if you get the APK below.
The GoneMAD music player has recently (stop me if you've heard this one before) gone mad for material design in its big jump to version 2.0. The app isn't the glossiest or prettiest of the bunch, but it's a fresh upgrade that has spent the better part of a year in development.
The material theme provided out of the box is kind of basic, but the developers have seen fit to throw in over 1,000 themes to choose from. Some are material. Some are holo. Surely you can find something that pleases your aesthetic taste buds.
I'm an American, and all of the people I know who are into cricket are immigrants. I would let them tell you all about the sport, but they're not the ones writing for AP, so I'll do what I can.
Basically, cricket is a sport that involves gloves and bats that isn't baseball.
Okay, now that we've gone over the basics, let's talk about Stick Cricket 2, the latest release in a very popular series of sports titles. Long story short, it's out (alright, it was never much of a long story to begin with). The new version is prettier, and it's packed with new gameplay even as the core mechanics remain familiar.
We spotted some references to 360-degree videos in a YouTube APK Teardown last month, and now it's live. Google has highlighted several channels that have already published the first 360-degree videos, which are essentially moving Photospheres. They work on desktop Chrome and in the Android app. Check out the playlist below.