Even with a major infusion of horsepower with devices like the NVIDIA SHIELD and Razer Forge TV, the biggest thing holding back the Android TV platform is a scarcity of apps compared to more mature alternatives like Roku. It looks like Google is quickly trying to close the gap: in addition to the announcement of HBO Now (currently exclusive to Apple hardware) at Google I/O, a handful of high-profile and formerly unavailable apps are also making their way to Android TV in the near future.
A couple weeks back, we reported on a widespread problem with OK Google "From any screen" (AKA "OK Google Everywhere") on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Namely, it was gone. While the hotword still worked from the Google Now Launcher and other third party launchers with such functionality hacked in, most S6 and S6 Edge owners were unable to use the "from any screen" functionality because the option simply disappeared.
The folders in Google's stock Google Now Launcher are currently restricted to just 16 entries (four rows of four). That's going to change very soon. The version of GNL that ships with the Android M preview has folders that automatically paginate when you add more than 16 apps. How many pages can you have? I'm not sure as I have yet to hit the limit.
The new APK for the clock app from the Android M Developer Preview doesn't look very different from the one you'll find in Lollipop - most of the functions (alarms, world clock, timer, and countdown) are in the same place and operate in the same way. But there's one tiny change that a small amount of users will be extremely happy to see. The Clock app can now "start" your week on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.
This is one of those little formatting questions that has never really been properly resolved by society. Most western calendars "start" the week on Sunday, but a majority of people with what you might call a normal job go to work on Monday and consider Sunday the "end" of their week.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got several PC and console pilgrims including Hotline Miami, War Thunder, and Always Sometimes Monsters, a new Portal-inspired Zen Pinball table, a mashup of tactic, RPG, and city-building, and standard platformers and puzzlers.
Almost a year ago, Google announced the Gmail API. Today, they're adding push notification support, meaning you no longer have to poll Gmail constantly for new messages if you're a developer or service utilizing that API, which is going to make the 3rd party Gmail app experience much better.
If you want to know about implementation, you can read about it on the Google developers site here, and it sounds like it's going to be a pretty simple switch.
Gmail offers both IMAP and its own native API for use by third-party developers, but only the official Gmail API supports features like threaded replies, drafts, specific permissions, native search, and more.
If you're not getting enough intrigue and treachery from HBO's Game of Thrones series on Sunday nights, TellTale is still pumping out new episodes in its licensed adventure game. Episode 4, Sons of Winter, is now available as a $5 in-app purchase for those who have played through the first three portions of the game. There are six episodes in total, so the first "season" of the adventure game should be wrapping up in two or three more months.
Game of Thrones takes place at the same fictional time as the third season of the television show, so you'll have to remember the various twists and turns of Westeros from a couple of years ago.
If you were distracted by tons of Google I/O coverage or our NVIDIA SHIELD review yesterday, there's a slim chance that you missed the even bigger news: Kung Fury is now on YouTube. Stop reading this and go watch it now. Then come back here and read about the official mobile game for the indie movie, Kung Fury: Street Rage.
The mobile game recreates Kung Fury's extended hand-to-hand fight scene, in which the titular lone wolf cop/martial arts master/time traveler single-handedly attacks Hitler's Nazi army. Unfortunately it's not quite as complex as the original Streets of Rage beat-em-up: you only get two on-screen buttons, left and right.
Since debuting at last year's I/O, Google's Cardboard effort hasn't slowed down. Google has been making it easier and easier for manufacturers and developers to hop on board with its vision of virtual reality, and the project got some major updates yesterday. On stage, Google showed off a new Cardboard viewer that accommodates bigger phones (including those running iOS), 360 degree videos, and expeditions for classrooms.
Just last month, Google announced its "Works with Cardboard" program, along with new design guidelines and today Google has released an app that will make those guidelines tangible for VR developers and designers - Cardboard Design Lab.