NVIDIA is taking advantage of the excitement around Google I/O to announce some improvements to its own Android hardware. The SHIELD TV is getting some interesting new capabilities with its next update, version 3.2. Specifically, it will be the first Android TV hardware to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video - that's something that's coming to Android N later, but NVIDIA wants to get a jump on the competition. Read More
Today at I/O 2016, Google announced two new messaging and communication apps: Allo, a messaging app which hooks into your phone number, and Duo, a video calling app. You might assume that means Hangouts would be quietly canned (or as quietly as possible, anyway), right? Not so.
Google has confirmed to Android Police that the company will continue to invest in Hangouts and it will remain a separate product. In a way, this does make sense: as Allo requires a phone number, it might be aimed as a WhatsApp competitor, while Hangouts remains as a Facebook Messenger competitor. On the other hand, would it not be better to have one singular product focused on messaging? Read More
Hangouts is Google's unified messaging app, but there's something completely new on the way. At I/O 2016, Google just announced Allo. It's a messaging client that's connected to your phone number rather than an email (like WhatsApp). Google has included various smart prediction features, Google Assistant, and of course, stickers (yay). Read More
Sometimes content is just best accessed in its native app. But just as often, we have no need for that app beyond a single specific instance. To deal with this inefficiency, Google is introducing Android Instant Apps. For content that is deep-linked into participating apps, the app will seamlessly download and install to let you use it in that very moment.
The key to this working out, said Google's Ellie Powers, is having participating apps be built with modules. Read More
Everyone's favorite online Photo management tool, Google Photos, is pretty popular. At the company's annual developer conference, I/O, Google just announced that Photos has over 200 million monthly active users, with over 2 trillion labels automatically applied to a variety of different photos. CEO Sundar Pichai said a lot of these were labelling selfies, which is mind-boggling when you think just how many selfies must be taken every day.
These usage statistics are pretty cool, especially for a product which only launched at last year's I/O. I personally use Google Photos for all my photo management, and can attest to how well thought out I find the entire product. Read More
We knew it was coming eventually, but just before the Google I/O keynote began, Google updated its developer documentation with more details about Family Library. Most important, we have a launch date of sorts: July 2nd. That date marks when app purchases will be shared in the Family Library by default unless the developer opts out.
For those who aren't familiar, Family Library will be a way for trusted family members to share Play Store purchases among one another. We have seen bits and pieces popping up in our APK teardowns for a while now. When it comes to video purchases, for instance, we can tell that you will be restricted to streaming the same title on only one device at a time. Read More
Android has seen no shortage of Assassin's Creed companion apps. But games based on the franchise that were built explicitly for mobile devices? Those are rare. So rare, in fact, that 2014's Assassin's Creed Pirates has thus far been the only one. And to be fair, that game was hardly your typical AC experience.
Assassin's Creed Identity is different. Read More
Yo dawg. Google heard you like apps, so it made an app for tracking your apps. Specifically, there's now an app version of the Google Play Developer Console. It just went live in the Play Store, but it'll really only do you any good if you develop apps. Read More
Yahoo Mail might not be the trendiest web mail service on the planet, but it's still used by hundreds of millions of accounts (if not necessarily that many actual people). And somehow, the official Yahoo Mail app for Android has neglected to sync contact information with the operating system before now. That's been rectified, according to the Mail blog on the Yahoo-owned Tumblr. The latest version of the app in the Play Store, 5.5.3, confirms it in the changelog. Read More
WhatsApp is doing something not so cool, but maybe a bit understandable in its latest beta version 2.16.86. When you start WhatsApp Web, you'll get a new notification telling you that the web client is currently active.
The notification seems semi-permanent. You can't manually dismiss it, but it disappears when you don't use the web client for a while, only to re-appear when you switch back to that tab in your browser. I kind of understand the rationale behind it: safety and privacy. Maybe you forgot WhatsApp Web running on a computer that you're not using or maybe you've stepped away from your computer, but someone else has opened your tab and started checking your conversations. Read More