One of Android's differentiating features has been the ability to multitask, especially by allowing apps to coexist on one screen or to show elements on top of each other. Although the concept of floating apps was prevalent for years on the platform, Facebook Messenger popularized the idea of less intrusive bubbles, which simply put round icons at the edges of your screen to allow quick access to your chats and contacts. Link Bubble further pushed the envelop on that approach, taking the bubbles and making them work for you in the background.
Pintasking is another step in the bubble's story on Android.
Periscrope is Twitter's app for broadcasting live streams. Something's happening. You pull out your phone, you turn on the camera, and you show the world what's going on. Or at least the people who come across your account.
Since launch, the app has only supported vertical videos. But enough people have scoffed at this idea that the team is now introducing the option to turn your phone sideways. Landscape recording is making its way into the latest Android and iOS versions of the app.
Other additions include showing a list of mutual followers to pick from when you start a private video stream.
Google's new editor borrows from Search and Maps, where details pop up on a card from the bottom of the screen. You now have the ability to not just designate specific hours of operation, but to show if you're open 24 hours.
Because there's been such tremendous confusion about what cards Android Pay does and does not support, we decided to reach out to Google for some clarification. Basically, we were wondering if cards you have in Google Wallet with tap-and-pay that are not supported in Android Pay will still work once Android Pay arrives. The answer is: yes. But, there are caveats. Let's break this down as a Q&A.
If I have cards in my Google Wallet that aren't on the supported card list for Android Pay, can I keep using tap-and-pay for those cards on Android Pay? Yes.
To do this, you will need to open Android Pay and add these cards, then accept the Bancorp virtual card agreement.
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.