We've been hearing rumblings of an impending update for Hangouts, bringing it to version 5.0 and coming "soon." The update will allegedly resolve lots of lag issues, but it will apparently fix at least one other problem: GIFs.
In Hangouts 4, GIFs appear to send as static images, which kinda ruins the fun. Hangouts 5 appears to send GIFs as they were meant to be enjoyed, though - as you might expect - GIFs sent from Hangouts 4 to Hangouts 5 still won't work. Read More
Ready for the new Nexus phone announcements next week? Google is, and apparently they're preparing for a launch soon after that. A device that's without a doubt the LG Nexus 5X has arrived at the Federal Communications Commission for documentation and certification, an essential step in selling any wireless device in the United States (and a frequent source for gadget leaks to hungry nerds). This particular phone uses the model number LG-H790, presumably the carrier-agnostic version for the United States, while the international version leaked by an Amazon India listing yesterday is the LG-H791. The LG-H791 has also been listed in the FCC database. Read More
Have you noticed an improvement in your phone's voice search or voice dictation capability in the last few days, especially in noisy environments? You can thank the Google Speech Team. They've implemented a new system for automated listening to human voices. Adding recurring neural network functionality to the system has allowed it to more accurately identify complete words instead of individual snippets of sound. From the Google Research Blog: Read More
The rollout for Google Play services v8.1 is complete and now it's time to open the floodgates for developers to begin working with some of the changes. When new versions come out, it's fairly common for Google to hold back a few extra details to be announced after the rollout has completed. This time around, there are improvements for the Maps API, Nearby API, and App Invites. The previously announced Play Games Play Stats API has been added, and Google has advice on properly handling Android 6.0 permissions. There are also a couple of minor breaking changes that have to be dealt with too. Read More
According to my Steam statistics, I've played approximately 162 hours of Just Cause 2, a significant portion of which was spent grappling members of the Panauan armed forces to lit fuel containers to make them zoom away like man-sized Roman candles. Avalanche Studios' open-world magnum opus seems to nail what larger franchises like Grand Theft Auto forgot years ago: the most fun you can get from a sandbox game is in blowing large parts of said sandbox to smithereens.
So it's no wonder that the sequel, Just Cause 3, is making waves months before its release. In addition to the standard shooting/driving setup and the unique parachute/grapple hook mechanic of the previous game, the third entry will give players infinite batches of C4 explosives and a wingsuit for even more ways to traverse the massive game world. Read More
Instead of one new Nexus device, this year we're getting two: the Nexus 5x and the Nexus 6p. But as usual, what's perhaps more exciting than the release of a new Nexus device is the software that comes with it. When Google shows off the devices, which we expect to happen on September 29th, they will show off the final version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Read More
Now that we've gotten a good look at the Nexus 5X and 6P, you can maybe decide if you want to jump on the last gen Nexus train before it leaves the station. The Nexus 6's price has been dropping like a rock lately, and now the 64GB version is on sale through Expansys USA for a mere $369.99. That's $30 less than Amazon's price. Read More
In version 39, Chrome for Android learned an awesome trick: using a simple HTML tag, any webpage could tell Chrome to theme its UI (and your device's status bar) with a specified color. The downside to this feature was that it only worked if tabs and apps were "merged," meaning your Chrome tabs would show up inline with your recent apps, rather than relying on Chrome's own in-app tab switcher.
Today, a Chrome for Android developer at Google let Reddit know that the theme-color attribute will soon make Chrome snazzy even if you don't have tabs and apps merged. Right now the flag (chrome://flags/#enable-theme-color-in-tabbed-mode) will only work in Chrome Dev 47.0.2516.0 (available from the Play Store or APK Mirror), and support isn't complete yet - the flag won't allow Chrome to theme your status bar and swiping across the toolbar to switch tabs is a little glitchy, for instance. Read More