It's been more than two months since we first reported the Gmail synchronization woes that many users were facing. The issue itself had been submitted to the Nexus Help Forums even before that, in November, and to the AOSP bug tracker in January.
Everyone affected reported a long delay or lack of notifications from the Gmail app on Android. The circumstances weren't very clear-cut: some had it on Marshmallow but a few reported it on Lollipop (and are now mentioning it on N), some had it on Nexuses but others said it affected other brands of devices too, some only saw the issue with Gmail while others had it across several apps. Read More
Developers, we know you work hard on your apps. So does Google. But they also know that sometimes it's hard to make apps easy to use when you're elbow deep in their design. To that end, the new Accessibility Scanner app allows you to check other apps for potential problems or possible improvements in terms of accessibility. It's a free download in the Play Store, but at the moment it looks like it's limited to Android 6.0 devices. Read More
Remember when the Nexus 5X came out and everyone thought it was just a little too expensive? Well, you can't say that anymore. This phone is getting so cheap it's crazy not to buy one if you need a new device (or maybe even a spare). The latest deal on eBay has the 32GB Nexus 5X selling for $249.99. Note: this appears to be the international version of the phone. Mind the LTE bands. Read More
We've been getting tips about this for months, but now it's finally happening. Google has announced on the official Android blog that Android Pay is coming to the UK, with major bank and retail support in tow. The post says, "in the next few months Android smartphones will become even more useful with the launch of Android Pay," meaning we don't know exactly when it's coming. But be assured it is. In fact, various people have been reporting that Nationwide cards have worked for payment since the start of this month, although we can't verify this.
The major banks mentioned include Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Nationwide, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland (although not Royal Bank of Scotland). Read More
In the wake of the tragic events in Brussels today and the recent violence and bombings in Turkey, Google has made calls to both countries free via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice. Calls to people on Belgium's biggest carriers — Lycamobile, Mobistar, Proximus, and Telenet — are free, along with calls to all landlines in Turkey. Google's announcement follows earlier news of all major U.S. mobile carriers offering similar free calling and texting to Belgium (Turkey was not mentioned).
In addition, for the Brussels area, Google has been publishing Google Now cards with transit updates, keeping the public informed and up-to-date, plus a direct link to the Government Crisis Centre. Read More
Google Photos already has some "smart" features that try to make your photos easier to manage, and today it's getting another one. Google is rolling out "smarter albums" to the app. From now on, when you take pictures while on a trip or attending an event, Google Photos will automatically assemble your best shots into albums for easy sharing. Read More
If you're looking for a mid-range smartphone with the stock Android experience, you can't do much better than the LG Nexus 5X. It packs a zippy hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor clocked at 1.4GHZ, 2GB of RAM, a sharp 12.3MP rear camera with dual LED flash and laser autofocus, and a vivid 5.2” display. Since it's a recent Nexus phone, you can guarantee it's running an untainted version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Read More
The ever-evolving Google Photos has another new feature hidden in the recent 1.16 update: the app will now share slow-motion videos to other apps, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote and not mess up the timing. Videos have of course been exportable and shareable through Photos since the start, but this marks the first time a video with slow-mo frames can be exported without the whole video being converted into slow-motion, rather than just a section. In the same way, you have long been able to edit a video to slow either a portion of the video, or the entire thing, down to 120 frames-per-second, the standard slow-motion video framerate. Read More
Google is on a roll with the app-less updates this week. After trialing a new homescreen weather shortcut for a small amount of users a few days ago, users have been noticing that there is a new feature in Google Now to block any site from showing up in the 'Stories to read' section. Therefore, if you see a card you'd rather not see, it can now be banished and will go back to whence it came.
Blocking sites in Now has been around for a while, but only for select cards; namely the ones that specifically show up for sites you've visited before. As of the update, likely to be a server-side rollout, the blocking ability has been upgraded to apply to any card. Read More
Google Now's purpose is to give you useful information before you even think to ask, and additions continue to roll out that make the service better at its job.
A reader has reached out to us with a screenshot of a Refueling options card in Google Now. It shows the names of individual stations, how far away they are, and how long they're open. Interestingly, as mentioned at the bottom of the card, this information is appearing because the recipient has to return a rental car to the area. It's also worth noting that the reader was using Google to manage his travel itinerary. Read More