Good afternoon, Aussie and Kiwi readers. If you've been drooling with envy at your American counterparts over the ad-free options in YouTube Red and bonus access to the YouTube Music app, you can stop it now. Both Google's support page and several Android Police readers report that the services are now live down under, available for anyone who'd like to sign up. It should be possible to begin a subscription from the web or the YouTube app. Read More
The Joneses have new things, so Google decided to jump on the bandwagon. At least, that's according to a report from The Information which says Google is hard at work developing a platform for chat bots in the same vein that Facebook and more recently Microsoft have done. Some, but perhaps not all, the details will be discussed at I/O this week. Details are thin in the report, but the backbone of the initiative seems to be developer tools.
We told you late last year about another rumor from the Wall Street Journal that Google was working on yet another messaging service—to build on their existing, smashing successes—that would be built with a focus on bots. Read More
The Google Cast app doesn't get much attention these days. It's the type of software that remains installed on our phones, but rarely opened since it is rarely needed any time other than to set up Wi-Fi on a Chromecast. Otherwise, it stays out of the way and doesn't need a lot of updates. Still, a seemingly minor version bump occurred last week and it might be giving away a couple of pretty interesting details about future plans for our favorite streaming dongles.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (application packages) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
There are no stats to back this up, but I'm pretty sure YouTube is one of the most popular apps for use with the Chromecast. To that end, the Chromecast video queue in the YouTube app has been substantially redesigned, using a bar that is drawn up from the bottom with a full queue.
Left: previous 'minimized' design. Right: new 'minimized' design.
Before, the Chromecast queue was only accessible from the inset video that is dragged up from the right hand side of the screen. With this redesign, the inset video disappears entirely and is replaced by a bar that fills the bottom of the screen, much like the now playing bar in Google Play Music. Read More
Google is no stranger to legal conflict in Europe: between accusations of monopolistic practices with Android and web search tools, to a forced implementation of the European Union's "right to be forgotten" laws, to butting heads with German privacy advocates over Street View data, it's safe to say that the company's relationship with the continent is... complicated. The latest complication comes from the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, which will reportedly hand down an unprecedented fine over Google's alleged violations of antitrust laws. Read More
Google posted at least some of the events and sessions for developers to check out at the Google I/O trade conference already. It looks like the Big G wasn't quite finished ironing out the details, because several new sessions have been added to the official website as of today. Here are a few of them that are particularly relevant to Android: Read More
Have you ever wanted to stream the videos you see on Facebook directly to your television? No? Well who could blame you, since most of them are either inane junk from your high school friends or comedy videos blatantly stolen from YouTube and then stickered to hell like a race car in a fire sale. But if for some awful reason you DO want to stream videos from Facebook to Chromecast, such as trying to get rid of all of your roommates really quickly, you'll soon be able to do so. Probably. Read More
As we reported yesterday, Google recently opened up the Google Dialer app to virtually all phones running Marshmallow. Great! Everyone was happy for a few hours, and then the other shoe dropped. It turns out this was not intentional on Google's part, and the Play Store listing no longer allows installing on non-Nexus phones. What's more, sideloading is blocked in the latest build. Read More
Dear international Android Police readers: thank you. Our staff is relatively small, so we can only be on the ground (so to speak) in a handful of countries... most of which are the US. So when a bunch of you from one particular place start telling us that something big is happening, we listen. The latest one is Google Now On Tap, the contextual screen-based search tool, which appears to be rolling out in Brazil right now. If you're in the country (and happen to be running Android M), give it a shot.
Update: Turns out Google Now on Tap is now enabled for the Portuguese locale rather than specific countries. Read More