Google pushed a new version of its Text-to-Speech app a few days ago, and it actually removed a feature. Updates usually add new things, so what's the deal? You can no longer download the high-quality voice models on your device. However, Google has updated the changelog to explain that you don't need them anymore. The regular voice is even better now.
Google has pushed out a number of tweaks to its suite of mobile office apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Even Drive, the place where edited documents are stored, hasn't gone untouched. Some of these features are nice to see, so let's dive in.
Update: Docs, Sheets, and Slides all have full hamburger menu icons now.
In Docs, an option to select line spacing has appeared in the "Paragraph" section of the app.
Do you remember the end of 2012? Android still ran Jelly Bean (no make that Jelly Bean, or was it Jelly Bean?). A 5.5-inch screen was as big as phone's got, and the mere promise of the Pebble had people virtually throwing money at their screens. Then in December, Instagram introduced a couple of new filters into its mobile app.
Two years later, devices are getting updated to Lollipop, a 5.5-inch screen is dangerously close to being considered average, the Pebble is looking a little dated next to the new kid on the block, and Instagram has finally introduced five more filters.
Most apps should work just fine on new versions of Android. That is, if you have a forgiving definition of the words "most" and "just fine." Sky PLC's Sky Go streaming app for the United Kingdom and Ireland was one of a few that ceased to function on devices that came with Lollipop or received a subsequent software update. The latest version of Sky Go works with Android 5.0, at least according to the "What's New" text for version 4.1.2.
SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet owners, mosey on over to the Play Store for your latest app update. NVIDIA has pushed a 4.0 upgrade for its SHIELD Hub app (previously called Tegra Zone), which ties into most of the unique gaming-related software on the devices. The new version has a Material Design upgrade to make it play nice with the Lollipop build on the Tablet itself, though it uses NVIDIA's usual green-on-grey color scheme, so you'll have to look closely for the changes to the animation and layout.
Google Maps is one of those apps that will always have an enormous number of potential new features, so it's interesting to see the things Google is focusing on with each new release. We just saw an update to v9.2 with new navigation settings and auto-correct for searches, but there are plenty of other really interesting additions in the works. Let's take a look at some of the features we might have to look forward to.
Business owners already keep up with Yelp, as reviews can make or break sales. But at the end of the day, the mobile app remains a consumer-facing piece of software, encouraging users to check out which establishments are hot and leave their own feedback.
While Yelp isn't changing its main app, it has released a separate one that acknowledges how much attention the people running restaurants and stores pay to the service.
Fans of the classic SimCity franchise, today is... no, wait. EA has the license for SimCity, don't they? And this is an EA mobile game? Yeeeeeaaaaah, maybe you folks should just track down an old Pentium 4 machine and load up SimCity 2000 instead.
If Electronic Arts' terrible track record of reviving classic franchises for mobile doesn't dissuade you, then SimCity BuildIt is now available internationally from the Play Store. As with most EA games, it has had a brief period of geographically-restricted testing, but now it looks like most territories with access to the Play Store have access to the game.
The developers at Pushbullet seem to have some kind of strange compulsion that forces them to add cool new stuff to their Android-desktop syncing and notification app on a regular basis. Not that we're complaining - PushBullet is a personal favorite of many of us here at Android Police. Today it gets a little better still: the latest update to the Android app and various browser extensions adds the action buttons from Rich Notifications to the mirrored alerts on the desktop.