Google is pushing out an update to the Play Store's Android interface that replaces the action bar with a standard search bar. Inside are the words "Google play," which, when tapped, show off the hamburger flip animation and pull up recent Play Store searches. Kirill Grouchnikov, one of the company's user interface engineers, teased the featurein GIFs on Google+.
The Play Store's home screen now behaves similarly to the Now page of the Google Now Launcher, with the search bar disappearing when you scroll down and reappearing as you go back up.
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.
A few weeks ago, WhatsApp's Call feature made a small appearance for a few users, but at the time almost no one was able to trigger it reliably and keep it activated. The company appears to have flipped a few switches in its servers and the function is confirmed to work for those running version 2.11.528 from the Play Store, or 2.11.531 from WhatsApp's website (also uploaded to APKMirror).
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.
As we all know, your first line of defense when a giant reptilian monster emerges from the sea is an army of fighting robots a la Pacific Rim. If fighting robots are not available, sheep make a good substitute. At least that's the premise of Monster vs Sheep.
There are a legion of retro fighting games out there just waiting to be ported to Android, but few of them have probably aged as well as Garou: Mark of the Wolves from SNK Playmore. This game was released in Japan in 1999 as an arcade cabinet, eventually appearing on NeoGeo, PS2, and Xbox Live Arcade. Now it's on Android and can be yours for a mere $3.99.