A little over a week ago, we first detected several less-than-subtle hints of Rich Communication Services, more commonly known as RCS, in Google Messenger 2.0's code. In case you don't know what RCS is, it essentially adds some useful features to SMS that are similar to what you'll find in Apple's iMessage. Now, for a select few, Google has flipped a server-side switch for RCS.
Google's initiative to make RCS more commonplace isn't new, though; last year, the Mountain View-based company purchased Jibe Mobile, a startup with an RCS platform. Allo was expected to receive RCS support, but since that didn't pan out, Messenger is the very first Google app to support it. Read More
If the people in your home get regular use of a Chromecast, you're probably more than aware of just how inconvenient it is when the Casting device isn't handy. Sure, you can always pick up your phone or tablet and track down the Google Home app (formerly named Google Cast), but that takes a lot of taps – and most people don't have it installed or even realize it has player controls. The latest update to Google Play services takes care of this little issue by adding a long overdue and oft-requested feature: it pops up a notification with player controls anytime a Cast session is active. Read More
Earlier this month, Google removed a number of products from the virtual shelves of the Google Store, most notably the Nexus 5X and 6P. Today the Google Store has begun selling a few new Android Wear wearables and the Philips Hue Color A19 Starter Kit. Read More
The YouTube comments section - you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Part of the reason comments can be so unbearable at times is the dreadful moderation tools, but YouTube is seeking to fix that. Today on their Creator Blog, they announced a number of changes to how comments can be moderated.
YouTube creators can now blacklist certain words or phrases, with comments violating the list requiring manual approval. In addition, creators can now opt-in to YouTube's almighty algorithm determining which comments are "potentially inappropriate," and holding them for approval.
There are some public-facing changes to YouTube comments as well. Read More
We like reporting on the tiny, minuscule improvements to the Android and Google platforms here at Android Police, so we were delighted to find that in the Google Play Store, older devices have disappeared on the list of 'My Devices.' This is pretty small and insignificant to most, but it's something that will have bothered many hardcore Android fans, so it's good to see it fixed.
Previously, every device you have ever owned would be listed, right from the first Android device you used (mine was a Nexus One) to the most recent. There is still no function to manually remove a device - it still has to be told not to appear in menus - and it still shows when it was registered and last used. Read More
After approximately 62 false starts, Google and Capital One have worked everything out and made Capital One cards functional in Android Pay. Caveats... there are some. Not all cards are supported, and the verification process is kind of a mess. Read More
Google's $129 smart speaker, the Google Home, was first announced back at Google I/O earlier this year. Featuring the shiny new Google Assistant coupled with a great speaker, the Home is part of Google's march into the smart home market. Pre-orders finally started last month, and now they are finally shipping to customers. Read More
Material is the name of the game at the moment, with apps left, right, and centre adopting the new(ish) design standards and animations. While the Wallet Android app has been material for a while now, the web app has just been updated to adopt the desktop version of material design.
Generally speaking, the new web interface looks much like the Android app. There is a part to send or request money, a navigation drawer with options in it, including choosing what card to pay with and settings. There are a few things on one platform that are not on the other - Activity on the Android app and 'Cash Out' on the web app - but mostly they look the same on either, which is the aim of material design. Read More
Sometimes, it's the little things that count. In Chrome 55, when you visit a direct link to an image, it was always displayed in the top left corner. This can make zooming and panning on the image difficult, as it is constantly locked to the corner of the screen. This was a minor annoyance at most, but Chrome 56 finally rectifies this issue. Read More
Earlier today a well-known community tester of USB devices reported that the 5" version of Google's Pixel phones was not able to pull more than 15 watts of power off the stock 18W USB-PD charger, despite Google's specification site for the Pixels implying heavily that both devices were capable of 18W charging.
USB Type-C™ 18W adaptor with USB-PD
We reached out to Google, and it turns out this was just a marketing materials mistake: the official specification page for the Pixel has been updated to correctly state that the phones support USB-PD charging from 15-18 watts, as opposed to simply 18 watts. Read More