Yesterday brought a brand new update to the Play Store, bringing the version up to 5.10.29. There are some new UI elements, even if most of us aren't allowed to see them yet, and we can now copy text from the what's new and description sections. Naturally, Google included a few hidden tricks and treats just waiting to be discovered. We can expect to see books organized by series, apps described with size, and some friendlier welcome and exploration messages.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
Every once in a while, we get a sneak peek into the new technology that companies are creating that will ultimately make something better, faster, or [adjective here]. Swiftkey recently launched the latest project from Swiftkey Greenhouse: Swiftkey Neural Alpha. This is the first keyboard on a smartphone that uses artificial neural networks to fix mistakes and predict words. Swiftkey currently utilizes n-gram technology to do this by looking for patterns and common phrases.
Neural Network Clusters
While n-gram technology does use context to create predictions, this new neural network-based engine goes one step further toward truly understanding what you mean. Swiftkey's blog post has a full rundown of how the technology works, and there are many videos explaining neural networks and machine learning.
Synology will sell you network attached storage, and it will give you no shortage of Android apps to access it with. Recently the company has updated several of those mobile bits of software with support for DiskStation Manager 6.0 Beta. This is the latest version of the operating system you can install to one of those aforementioned NAS boxes, which you're welcome to download if you have the right hardware.
Google Calendar 5.x is quite the visual experience. Sure, the relatively unorthodox way it goes about listing events rather than showing you a grid of dates may not feel as Calendar-y out of the box, but boy is it pretty. And now it's prettier. Google has added new illustration to accompany more of your events.
Google never really promoted Wallet in all the years it existed and was capable of NFC payments, but at least it's trying with Android Pay. If you've got a Jamba Juice nearby, you can (maybe) get a free Android mini figurine if you pay with Android Pay. If you like Android and could go for a smoothy, it's a win-win.
iPlayer is a treat from the BBC to its viewers in the UK. The broadcasting network produces content, and it lets locals view them from the comfort of their mobile devices. Think of it as the relationship seemingly every other popular Internet streaming service has with the US, at least initially.
Now folks living on that small little island across the pond can also stream content to their Android TV, as long as it's a SHIELD box. NVIDIA has made an app, with the BBC's permission, exclusively for SHIELD Android TV.
Yup, it's an app that you can only use in a certain country on a particular device.
In Cloud Chasers, you must travel across a vast desert to reach the promised land beyond, but it won't be an easy journey. This steampunk-style world is filled with rough terrain and hostile robots, not to mention deserts are pretty inhospitable to begin with. This game also has a socially motivated message, but it's handled gently.
Yahoo Mail remains one of the company's biggest properties, and it's going all out with the release of version 5.0. This isn't just about a visual design, which we detailed when we got our hands on the beta. There are new features that can be found both in the app and on the web.
This release comes with the Yahoo Account Key, a way to sign-in without having to re-enter your password. Instead, it relies on push notifications sent to your mobile device. Just tap the button to get in. Hopefully someone else doesn't have your phone at the time.
Gmail gained the ability to handle non-Google email accounts in Lollipop, but most OEMs still make their own stock email client. Motorola is no different, and now it's added that app to the Play Store so it can be updated regularly. As an added bonus, the screenshots of the updated app were apparently taken on a Droid Maxx 2, which hasn't been announced yet. Very subtle, guys.