Play Newsstand is one of those apps that I really like, but I don't find myself launching nearly as often as I probably "should." Not sure why, but I really only use it for magazines, and I often forget that it even does the news thing. Oops.
Now, however, I have a new reason to tap that little blue icon: Google added support for scores and news about athletic teams. Seeing as how I'm a die-hard Chicago Bulls fan, I love the idea of having access to something aside from Bleacher Report's Team Stream app to get all the latest on what's happening with my boys in the windy city.
Man, this Twitch thing - I still find it intriguing that people like to watch other people play video games instead of actually playing themselves. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it (I'm actually guilty of getting caught up in watching other people's games when I open the app, too), it's just something I never thought would be a thing, you know?
Anyway, that's not the point. This is about Twitch 4.4, which brings a couple of new features to the app. First and foremost, it brings push notifications for broadcasters that you're already following, so you'll know when something's going down.
Now that Niantic Labs has left Google behind, we've all been wondering what its next big game will be. Ingress has managed more than 12 million downloads, but dare I say the just announced Pokémon GO will have even more. This game (coming in 2016) will have a similar augmented reality premise to Ingress, but instead of capturing portals you're capturing Pokémon.
It seems like all hands are on deck to get Google's apps to conform on the new workmark. In all of the rush, a minor snafu occurred yesterday. A dogfood version (generally intended for internal testing) of the News & Weather app was uploaded to the Play Store, adorned with the cute little paw print badge. Well, the accident has been cleaned up and the proper version has been uploaded to the Play Store today. Let's just hope nobody had their noses rubbed anywhere.
Left: Old launcher icon. Center: Dogfood icon. Right: New launcher icon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
We know that Android Pay is going to drop any day now, and that means Google Wallet is changing too. The Wallet app will no longer be used for paying in stores, but it will be used to send money. The new Wallet app is now live in the Play Store as a different listing than the existing Wallet app.
There's a new version of Hangouts rolling out to devices today, and it's a big jump from 4.0 to 4.2. I know that you're wondering. Does it fix that thing that you personally hate about Hangouts? Nope, that thing (whatever it is) is unaffected. This update is laying the groundwork for Android 6.0.