The Play Store is officially on Chrome OS! Sort of. It’s out for one device - the ASUS Chromebook Flip - and only on the developer release channel, which means bugs. But I’ve been playing with it since last night and thought I’d share some of my thoughts and general experience with Android apps on Chrome as they’ve launched.
First, in response to your inevitable question “Does <app here> work?” let me lay out a simple set of preemptive answers.
- Does it require telephony (SMS/phone)? Then no.
- Does it require GPS? Then no.
- Does it require a rear camera? Then no.
Android N is making some changes to the notification shade, not least among them the addition of settings toggles at the top of the screen without opening quick settings. In previous preview builds these were toggles as you'd expect, but DP4 changes it up. Now, the WiFi and Bluetooth buttons open the full modal connection list screen. The response from users has not been positive. Read More
You know what's better than a Nexus phone? A cheap new Nexus phone. This is what we're here to talk about today. You should be familiar with the Nexus 5X by now. It's the lower-end of the two Nexus phones that were announced last year, but it's still quite a capable device. At launch, the 16GB version was priced at $379, but it has since fallen to $349 and we frequently see price drops here and there. However, it has very rarely gone as low as $229.
But today it is, at least on B&H. The seller is offering the new, unlocked, US variant of the phone for $229.95 as part of its DealZone deals. Read More
Have a Chromebook Flip? Get it on the developer channel ASAP - the Play Store update is rolling out now. I've had very little chance to mess with it, but the apps I have used (Hangouts, Maps, Search, the Play Store) all seem to run pretty well. Funnily, the Play Store still allowed to install Google Now Launcher... but you can't change the launcher, since the launcher is the windowed app mode.
I haven't tried any games yet, and a number of apps you might want - like Google+ or Talon for Twitter - are marked incompatible at this time. The developers will likely need to account for the hardware capabilities of the Flip and other Chromebooks (specifically, the things it lacks) and be sure to tailor their apps to devices without certain features down the road. Read More
A year ago today Google announced Android Security Rewards, an expansion of its Vulnerability Rewards Program. Find a vulnerability, tell Google about it, help them fix the issue, and take home money. That's the concept, and it's a common one in the tech industry.
Google handed out over half a million bucks to 82 individuals over the past year. This averaged out to $2,200 per reward. Researchers averaged higher payouts, at $6,700. One, @heisecode, received $75,750 for 26 vulnerability reports. 15 researchers received $10,000 or more. Read More
Google Fiber is high-speed internet the likes of which most of us can only dream of. For a handful of states, Google's effort to get people online faster is already a reality. Roughly six metros are set to get the experience at some point in the future. Another dozen are being considered, and today Google has announced Dallas as the latest city to make that list. Read More
A couple of months ago, while tearing down an updated APK, Cody found hints that Google Maps would be crowdsourcing to curate suggested edits to Places. The feature didn't appear to go live then, but it seems that it's been showing up for some users over the past couple of weeks.
If you're checking a place in Google Maps, you might start seeing notes in yellow below certain information telling you that someone has submitted an edit for said info. Tapping that surfaces a card which is very similar to the ones that Google Maps uses to ask you questions about Places. Read More
One of Chrome's biggest problems is speed. It's gone from being the fastest, best browser upon release to a RAM-hog that seems to be more of a platform than an internet browser nowadays. The internet has long been calling for Chrome to get some improvements, so it fares better against other faster, more modern browsers. It looks like Google has heard our calls, as the browser is about to get a lot faster.
Chrome 53, due for stable release in September, is going to see some big optimization work; there's up to 47% improvement across the board, mostly due to GPU raster, CSS and WebGL optimizations on OS X, resulting in percentages that are multiple times better than Chrome 51, the current stable release. Read More
You may have noticed that if you search for someone you know in the main Google Search app on Android, their name will automatically appear if they're already in your Google Contacts. Those search results might get a bit more useful soon: at least one user spotted some advanced quick shortcuts added to his contacts in the Search bar. As shared on Google+, James Scott Jr. saw links to call, text, or email some of his contacts right there in the search results. Read More