The YouTube Gaming app has been flying under the radar for a while as most of the updates have been focused on fixing bugs or making fairly minor changes–there haven't even been any new easter eggs since v1.97. Yesterday's update shows a little bit more activity as both cosmetic and functional changes were made. A revamped app icon and splash screen bring a little freshness to the look, and the always familiar autoplay feature from the core YouTube app is now available so you can put on an endless stream of game reviews or let's plays. Read More
Google Text-to-speech may not be the sexiest app out there, but it's a particularly useful one for many people, especially those who make use of accessibility options such as Talkback on Android phones. The last meaningful update to it came back in April (v3.11) with a few new languages (Bangla (India), Czech, Khmer, Nepali, Sinhala, and Ukrainian) as well as improvements to voices and better number processing.
The latest update brings the app up to version 3.13.3 and includes support for two more languages: Filipino and Greek. There's also a new setting for language detection on devices running Oreo and a few more improvements to how the voices sound. Read More
Outside of Samsung's yearly announcement of a new Galaxy Note, it's rare to see anything interesting happening with a stylus. However, the latest update to Google Play Books comes with some new behavior that makes a stylus much more useful with things like college textbooks and other reference material. Now when you drag a stylus over some text, it instantly switches into selection mode and pops up the action menu as soon as the selection is done. Read More
If you've ever sampled the BBC's excellent radio output, there's one app you really need in your life: BBC iPlayer Radio. It's a one-stop shop for all BBC radio shows, from sport to comedy to current affairs, and while the app may have its quirks, it's still a mostly good experience on Android.
The latest update to the app includes support for Google's in-car OS Android Auto (as well as Apple CarPlay), so you can more easily and safely listen to your favorite shows while you're behind the wheel. According to the BBC, 22 million people listen to its radio shows when driving, and a good number of those are likely to have Android Auto installed in their cars, so this will be good news for many. Read More
The Play Music app on Android TV has remained mostly unchanged since the platform launched three years ago. If you've grown tired of the wall of orange and all of the completely original Material Design components that were used when Android TV first launched, you'll be happy to see that Play Music is now sporting a new look. A new Android TV-specific variant of the Play Music app is rolling out through the Play Store with a completely redesigned look. Read More
When Google released the final version of Android Oreo in late August, one of the most useful new features was the new Autofill API. This is essentially a system-wide solution similar to the way autofill works in Chrome, and that's something that can save us all a lot of time.
Developers need to get their apps ready for the new API, and password manager LastPass was one of the first to come out and say it was in the works. A public beta was opened up, but it seems this maybe wasn't the best testing solution given the beta app has now been given its own listing on the Play Store. Read More
A new version of the Google app began circulating in the beta channel late last night. This one brings a small addition that makes it easy to remove your account from a linked Android TV unit with Assistant. It's not too exciting, but it is important to have available. The more interesting details are found in the teardown, where we finally see a sign that Assistant is coming to tablets soon, the 'Recents' screen is going to get a bit more versatile with more types of content, and more. Read More
The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for kids. Many routers these days have some sort of parental control settings to help block access to nefarious or unsavory websites. Google's Wifi system is joining the party with the latest update. There's more stuff to be had here, but site blocking is certainly the highlight. Read More
Most updates to the Google+ app tend to fit the "bug fixes and performance improvements" theme, but last month's release of v9.20 did bring custom notification channels for Android 8.0 Oreo – but maybe not the ones we needed. Today's bump to v9.23 makes a similarly subtle addition with support for a slightly older OS feature: App Shortcuts. If you're running on 7.1 Nougat or above, or using a custom launcher with support for static app shortcuts, you'll now have the option to quickly start a few different types of Google+ posts directly from your launcher. Read More