While maybe not the biggest change in Android N, Google announced a few interface changes to app switching that were particularly well-received during the I/O keynote. A couple of them had already popped up in the Developer Previews, but the keynote serves as confirmation that they will make it to the final builds. A change that is new to all of us is that there will be a reduction in the number of apps shown in the recent apps UI. Anything that hasn't been used "in a while" will be hidden from the user.
This, Google says, is because their user research showed that over 99% of users never accessed an app further back than 7 in the recent apps UI. Read More
Google handed out the first Cardboard viewers at I/O two years ago, which was a nice casual take on VR. With Android N, Google will start taking VR seriously. Daydream is the name for Google's new VR platform, which will include specifications for phones that properly support VR, headset reference designs, and a revamped VR interface/store. Read More
A new version of Android is on the way, but Google isn't announcing a name at Google I/O. All throughout the keynote, the next release continues to go by Android N.
That's set to change in the fall when the update starts appearing on new devices. But before then, Google needs to come up with a name. Read More
Everyone's favorite online Photo management tool, Google Photos, is pretty popular. At the company's annual developer conference, I/O, Google just announced that Photos has over 200 million monthly active users, with over 2 trillion labels automatically applied to a variety of different photos. CEO Sundar Pichai said a lot of these were labelling selfies, which is mind-boggling when you think just how many selfies must be taken every day.
These usage statistics are pretty cool, especially for a product which only launched at last year's I/O. I personally use Google Photos for all my photo management, and can attest to how well thought out I find the entire product. Read More
Amazon Echo is about to have company. As the New York Times reported, Google has a competing device in the works, and it has the full weight of the search giant's natural language processing behind it. If you haven't already heard the name, you could probably take a guess. It's Google Home. Read More
We knew it was coming eventually, but just before the Google I/O keynote began, Google updated its developer documentation with more details about Family Library. Most important, we have a launch date of sorts: July 2nd. That date marks when app purchases will be shared in the Family Library by default unless the developer opts out.
For those who aren't familiar, Family Library will be a way for trusted family members to share Play Store purchases among one another. We have seen bits and pieces popping up in our APK teardowns for a while now. When it comes to video purchases, for instance, we can tell that you will be restricted to streaming the same title on only one device at a time. Read More
It seems that when Artem complains, things get done. Recently, our esteemed leader posted on his personal account about the mentions feature of Google+ and how awful he found it. Less than a fortnight later and Googler Luke Wroblewski has announced a new update for the Web Preview, which includes improvements to mentions, along with a new feature - polls.
- 79 bug fixes
- 8 accessibility issues addressed
- Ability to create polls
- Ongoing improvements to +mentions (more coming)
- About information always visible on Communities on small screens
Neither Artem nor I have the update yet, so the improved mentions cannot be tested, but they can't be worse than when Artem posted earlier this month. Read More
I reviewed Aukey's lineup of chargers a couple months ago and overall, I liked them. They are solid, affordable, and work well. My only qualm with them was that they were not capable of rapid charging my Nexus 6P. Well, Aukey has some new chargers out now that solve that issue. They sent me three to check out and I'm happy to report that they work great with QC devices and the new crop of Nexus phones alike.
All three chargers sport one USB Type-C port that is compatible with Nexus phones and QC 3.0 devices, the other ports are 2.4A adaptive ports that will work just fine to juice up your other gear. Read More
Yo dawg. Google heard you like apps, so it made an app for tracking your apps. Specifically, there's now an app version of the Google Play Developer Console. It just went live in the Play Store, but it'll really only do you any good if you develop apps. Read More
Do you like Android device porn? We sure do. We love it when phones and tablets shed their outer shells and splatter all their naughty bits for us to gawk at and drool over. It's innocent fun and we learn a thing or two about smartphone anatomy that they don't teach us at school. The most educational gadget porn providers are iFixit: they don't just show you what's lodged inside your favorite gadgets, they also teach you how to get to the important bits in case you need to fix them. They're like the physiology professors of techies.
The latest device to pass under iFixit's scalpel is the Pixel C, Google's most recent and most awesome tablet. Read More