Most of us don't want to think of Android without Google Play services. There's a good reason for that, without all of the tools Google offers, we would miss out on features like push notifications, integrated maps, and even newer things like Google Fit. Developers keep asking for more and Google is answering that call. With the latest release of Google Play services, new features are coming to Fit, Maps, Drive, And Wallet.
Anybody who owns an ADT-1 has noticed the inexplicable absence of a Play Music app, something that became even more apparent after the Nexus Player began shipping with it. Well, the wait is finally over! An update to the Play Music app began rolling out earlier today, and it includes a banner on the Leanback Launcher for those of us with Google's development hardware. If you've got a Nexus Player, you haven't been left out with this update.
The web browser version of Google Play Music isn't exactly full-featured - it pales in comparison even to built-in tools like Windows Media Player or iTunes. But now it has one more tool that's bringing it a little closer: a visualizer. A visualizer is an overlay that presets a visual accompaniment to a musical track. Some of them get pretty elaborate, some of them aren't much more than a graphic equalizer.
When Google announced YouTube Music Key, we had a few questions, most of which revolved around how this would affect Google Play Music All Access subscribers. Music Key's inclusion of All Access was part of the announcement, but it wasn't stated whether or not AA subscribers would automatically get access to Music Key, or if they'd have to sign up for the service all over again. Of course, that would be a really stupid way to handle things, so thankfully Google isn't doing that.
Shortly after the release of Samsung's Galaxy Note 4, owners were dismayed to learn their new phone was unable to mirror its screen to a Chromecast. No other Google Cast apps were affected, but plenty of people still wanted screen casting. Well, it took about a month, but this oversight has finally been remedied. The Note 4 has been officially added to Google's list of devices with support for screen casting.
Update: It looks like the Tango tablet is available to purchase if you signed up to be on the list to buy one at Google I/O. The rest of you will, presumably, have to wait.
It looks like Google's Project Tango AR / sensor-beast tablet is headed to the Play Store soon, packing an NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor and a boatload of sensors. Not to mention 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, for some reason.
Google Cloud Print has recently received a material redesign of its own. You would be forgiven for thinking that the printing service wasn't its own app, given how it's tucked away with your device's other settings. But when you do go to "add a printer," you are, in fact, kicked out to a different app.
It just doesn't look like it.
Cloud Print has gone Material. Everything's bright white, the sidebar slides out on top of the action bar, and the new color palette matches the settings menu in Android 5.0.
The advertising for the latest round of Android software and devices has been pretty catchy. Have you seen the "party" ad? Nice. Google just posted four more short 45-second spots to the official Android account on YouTube, so you can expect to see these pop up on American television over the next few weeks. All of them star the cartoony Androidify figures, presumably including at least some created by users of the official app.
When you're using a social network, getting tagged in messages is par for the course. Unfortunately Google hasn't always made it easy to find all the times you've been mentioned. Sure, you could look back over all of your notifications, but that list gets cluttered quickly with comments on your posts, +1's, and follows.
Thankfully, Google has added a "Mentions" tab. It's situated between the "More" and "Explore" sections on the right-hand side.