It's Update Wednesday, and you know what that means. Yes, time to sideload some APKs, because staged rollouts are lame. First on your to-do list is the new My Tracks update, which runners will be happy to see has a new map option. You can now see your path with an "Earth" overlay.
Left: Old, Right three: New Read More
Frequent travelers know Google Maps all too well. It's one of the most widely used apps on Android for a reason. A brand new update to version 9.8 just turned up, and there are a few notable changes to take a look at. This release appears to be dedicated to fine-tuning different parts of the interface, so there aren't any big changes here. Read More
The Chrome blog has announced that version 43.0.2357.38 of the browser is being released to the beta channel on the Play Store. This update introduces the usual panoply of bug fixes and performance improvements — which seem to be quite effective this time around — along with a new feature. When purchasing an item, the process of filling checkout forms should be more streamlined and secure thanks to data from Google Wallet. Read More
Google Keep was one of the first apps to add support for the Android Wear platform, giving users a quick, simple, and mostly effortless way to record short notes without reaching for a smartphone. Since then, the main application has seen several updates, but the Wear-specific companion app has gone mostly unchanged. With the latest update, the tables have been turned, and it's time for the Wear app to go through a moderately sizeable refresh. Read More
Google hasn't updated Chrome Remote Desktop on Android for a while, but today it's jumping from v39 to v43 to match the latest Chrome release. The good news is the app no longer looks like a relic from the holo age, but I'm not seeing any feature additions as of yet.
Left: Old, Right: New Read More
Google let the cat out of the bag yesterday with a blog post detailing just what we should expect in the next major version to Android Wear. An upcoming software update will be adding Wi-Fi support, always-on apps, and a few other interesting options. While we wait for new firmwares to hit our wrist-bound hardware, the Android Wear app just received its own update to prepare for the new features. This isn't just a small maintenance release to add configuration screens, there are some major visual and organizational improvements, and a few new features. Read More
Roman Nurik, a Design Advocate at Google, launched the DashClock Widget back in early 2013. It's an extremely versatile, modular widget that - by default - supports things like time, weather, unread Gmail messages, and alarms. But its modular nature is the real selling point. Users can add extensions for apps they're already using, allowing a lot of information from disparate and unrelated apps to be displayed in one handy widget. Read More
Google Play services made a rather lofty jump from 7.0 to 7.3 a few days ago. While there don't appear to be any big API changes for developers, a couple of pretty obnoxious issues were cleared up for regular users. It looks like the Home address in Trusted Places is not only working again, but there may be an improved UI that makes it even easier to set up safe zones (if you didn't already have it). Read More
The second of the two currently-available CyanogenMod phones is receiving its 12S update today in a staged rollout. The Yu Yureka, a Micromax phone, comes just days after the OnePlus One also received Cyanogen's first release to be based on Google's Android 5.0 Lollipop platform.
If you have a Yureka but haven't been able to get the update over the air, a ZIP file with the firmware can be downloaded here (mirror), though it's quite large - nearly 650MB. Read More