Google is busy this week updating most of its apps before the holidays and one update we were anticipating is Chrome Beta 48. The Chromium Blog had announced the update last week but we didn't see it on the Play Store until today.
So what does Beta 48 bring? A few interesting additions. Developers can now use the Presentation API to present to Google Cast devices, making it possible to send sites and their content to your Chromecast devices right from your mobile browser.
Here's a good news / bad news kind of situation with the latest Android 6.0.1 update. In 2013, KitKat was supposed to link Bluetooth and System media controls allowing headsets, speakers, and car stereos to manage volume loudness on your phone. That never happened. Up until Android 6.0, if you were listening to audio through a Bluetooth-connected accessory, you had to control volume from your phone and the accessory separately. You could lower one, but the other would stay high, resulting in a medium volume. In order to completely lower or raise the volume, you had to do so from both, which wasn't practical at all.
A new version of YouTube's Gaming offspring has been rolling out on the Play Store with a long list of interface improvements and new features that's sure to make any gamer happy.
For new users, YouTube Gaming now has an on-boarding setup that first recommends six games to follow, probably based on your previous YouTube watching history, and then automatically imports the gaming channels you have subscribed to on YouTube.
Say what you will about the Pixel C, but it's an interesting piece of hardware and Google appears to be determined to give it the right treatment. During yesterday's Reddit AMA, the product team behind the premium tablet was asked if it would receive factory images in the same style as other Nexus devices. The answer was a definite yes. Today we see the team sticking to its word as the Android 6.0.1 factory images are now available, and despite the different product names, they appear on the same page as the Nexus lineup.
Since the Pixel C only hit the Google Store two days ago, it's safe to assume there won't be too many people putting the factory images to good use quite yet, but it's good to see they're available.
Google announced family plans for Play Music (and YouTube Red) back in September alongside this year's Nexus lineup. The very competitively priced group subscription was made official yesterday and can be activated through the Play Music app. As it turns out, this isn't just a regular standalone subscription, but it's actually part of Google's new Family Groups that will ultimately bring app and media sharing to the Play Store.
Yes, sharing your music subscription means you're also sharing a credit card.
A pair of APK Teardowns from both the store and Play services gave away most of the details about how this system will eventually work. Read More
Yesterday was such a big update Wednesday that it's bleeding into Thursday with the likes of Snapseed. The v2.2 update is rolling out, and proponents of RAW photography on mobile will be happy to hear (and see) that it improves the editing process. There are a few other tweaks too.
Google announced that multi-room audio is finally available for the Chromecast Audio dongle today, after several months of waiting. The new feature allows you to simultaneously cast the same audio to as many CC Audios as you have on your network. You can create groups of dongles specifically, too, which then appear on the Chromecast app for any compatible device.
The update also adds support for 96KHz/24-bit lossless audio playback, which is important for those in the audio community concerned with larger, higher numbers that are ostensibly significant in terms of quality. If you don't know what those numbers really mean, trust me - you don't need to care.
The Google Photos app had some cool sharing features when it was released back in May, but now it's getting even better at sharing. Google has announced the addition of shared albums to Photos (announced a few months ago), and it's available today on Android, iOS, and web.
Google is on an update spree for most of its apps, probably getting everything as ready as it could before the end of the year holidays. An update to Google+ rolled out yesterday, bringing the app up to version 6.9 and updating the look of the Notifications tab.
Previously, this tab was a slide-out from the right side of the screen, and it only covered about three quarters letting other content show beneath it.