Google Keep received a seemingly minor update this week, bringing the version number up from v3.2.354 to v3.2.415. There aren't any visible new features or even any particularly notable changes, but that doesn't mean the only changes are bug fixes. A teardown shows that Keep is due to receive its own built-in drawing mode so users can easily record their own doodles, scribbles, and sketches. Additionally, users will be able to annotate imported images like photos and screenshots.
We already knew that Apple is working on an Android app for its new Apple Music service (the descendant of Beats Music, which Apple acquired along with the headphone maker last year). We've also heard that it's due sometime this fall. If screenshots posted by German site MobileGeeks can be believed, work on the Android version of the Apple Music app is progressing nicely. We can't verify the shots, but they seem to line up with Apple Music on iOS.
According to the screenshots, Apple Music on Android will feature the same dynamic radio stations as the current Beats app, plus individual music downloads and curated playlists.
Right now there are three Android phones and four Android tablets within arm's reach of my desk, and another half dozen or so in my closet. (It's OK, I don't have a problem. This is my job.) If you're in a similar situation, you can put some of those gadgets to use: they work great as remotes for set-top boxes like Android TV or Roku, or you can cobble them together into a sort of poor man's Sonos multi-room speaker system. Here's one more option: turn it into a home security camera.
Starting on October 28th, YouTube Red will let folks in the US start watching all the movie trailers, phone reviews, music videos, epic fails, adorable babies, cat clips, and rants they've been consuming for years, sans ads. In exchange, viewers hand over $9.99 a month instead, or $15 if they have a Play Music family plan.
Unless, it turns out, you're one of the early Play Music subscribers. Google is sending out emails to folks who hopped on board in the early summer of 2013 to inform them that when they are transferred to YouTube Red, they will get to keep their discounted $7.99 rate.
One tool that I personally have always wanted on Android but have never actually seen is a live color picker. A floating tool that could grab pixel-specific color values from your screen without the need for screenshots or any other complication. Today it looks like my wish has been granted by embermitre with the release of Pixolor to the Play Store.
Pixolor is basically a floating eyedropper controlled by a persistent notification. You can hide or show the picker, zoom with it, and drag it around to get the hex value for the exact color you see on screen. It will also provide the nearest color from the material design palette and - inside the app - an entire palette based on that color.
Are you a fan of cartoons produced, owned, and distributed by Fox Broadcasting Company? Hey, then it's your lucky day—well, unless you don't like pinball. Zen Pinball now has tables based on Bob's Burgers, Archer, Family Guy, and American Dad.
Browsers are a core part of the mobile phone experience, but I don't find them particularly exciting. I do with my browser largely what I did ten years ago: open it up, go to a URL, and scroll through the page that appears. I don't really use bookmarks or search predictions, though combining the search and location bars together was pretty nice. Custom search engines are fun too.
Prune is a game about planting trees, and I'm sure you think that sounds super-duper boring, but it's really not. With a swipe you can plant a tree and watch it grow toward the light. Only with your careful pruning can it grow large enough to sprout flowers and unlock the next botanical challenge.
GIFs are nothing new, but these days, they're mainstream and everywhere. That has driven big tech companies to come up with their own approaches for awkwardly animating pictures. Google automatically strings together several similar images and lets you export them as GIFs. Apple doesn't call them GIFs―they're Live Photos. Now Instagram is introducing Boomerangs, which you create using its new app called Boomerang.