To be honest, I never really expected to have anything to say about a teardown of the Drive companion apps, but here we are. Google uses Docs, Sheets, and Slides to give Android a mostly seamless editing experience for each of Drive's primary document types. They've gone through a steady set of improvements since launching in April and June of last year, either keeping pace or progressively catching up with the features offered by their web counterparts.
Wallet has to be pretty frustrating for Google. They beat Apple to the punch by quite a long time, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus basically introduced the lay public to mobile payments. How did this happen? Insert the tired cliches about Apple's control over hardware and software here. More interesting is what Google will do, considering how much they still have to gain by getting more adoption of their Apple Pay competitor.
Bubblesoft, the developers of the popular BubbleUPnP app, have published a server equivalent for Android. Previously, you could run a BubbleUPnP Server on Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, or a NAS. Then you could use the player app on Android to access or share your local media. Now your Android devices can also be used as a server, but with several important caveats.
Owners of Tegra-powered devices know those chips are capable of some fantastic graphical feats. There isn't another hardware platform out there that can play Half-Life 2 and Portal in their original forms. So what is Pure Pool doing with all that power? It's rendering really, really shiny billiard balls.
Android 5.1 is in the wild on Android One devices, but it's still not totally official yet. Google has yet to announce it and there's no changelog available. As more people get their hands on 5.1, though, we're bound to learn some things about it. Like, for example, the quick settings changes and these neat little animations in the 5.1 clock app.
Spotimote for Spotify. Does that sound like an app created by Spotify to you? Do you think it is Spotify? Well, Spotify's complaint thinks that you'll make that mistake. In reaction, the app's developer changed the name to just Spotimote. Also, look at this post's thumbnail; do you see that and feel like Spotify must have made that graphic? Again, that's what Spotify claims you'll think.
After months of silence between the developer of Spotimote and Spotify's legal team, Google suddenly removed the premium version from the app store.
When Google launched Inbox last year, it was offered exclusively to users who received an invite to their personal Gmail account. Google Apps for Business (or Education) users weren't allowed in on the fun, which seemed rather weird but understandable. After all, the new email organization and interaction paradigm was built with productivity in mind, and business users are the ones that would benefit the most from that. However, since this was an entirely new app and system, it was judicious of Google to test it out with a less demanding crowd first.
Google has revealed their intention to roll out a new YouTube app just for kids, starting next week. It will be aptly named YouTube Kids and is geared towards those 10 years old or younger. Perhaps most interesting for non-children is that the app, at least initially, will be released exclusively on Android.
Image by USA Today
It features a fairly dumbed-down user interface that will leverage Google's voice recognition rather than rely on the spelling abilities of young children.
Trello is a virtual whiteboard of sorts that you can use to organize projects of all shapes and sizes. The latest version of its Android app contains a couple label-related enhancements to help out with that. For starters, you can now create an unlimited number of them.
While you're at it, you can assign each label a different color, including four new ones. Make that five, if you count the addition of a new color-less one.
Update Wednesday went by with merely a whisper this week, barely registering more than a handful of fresh versions. Out of the group, we did get bumps for each of the Google Drive companion apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. All three received minor interface adjustments, the more notable changes went solely to Docs, which also gained rich editing support in Office Compatibility Mode and the ability to insert links into Google Documents.