I'll be honest here. We don't know what's exactly happening with the Android N Dev Preview 2's Downloads and Files situation. There are lots of nitty gritty changes happening and we obviously can't tell if these are forgotten missteps in this release or if this is the way things will be from now on. I've been going back and forth between each screenshot of Android N Dev Preview 1 and its equivalent on Dev Preview 2 trying to understand the rationale behind some of these changes, but I haven't made sense of it all.
Here is what we know though and I guarantee that it's confusing, so I'll try to make it as clear as possible and hope you can follow along. Read More
The default dialer app that comes with the latest Android N Developer Preview has a small but significant change.
When you fire up the Google Phone app, an indicator now appears alongside the middle tab showing how many calls you've missed. Read More
By now, you'll probably have heard that Prince died yesterday in his home in Minnesota at the age of 57. Today, Google is paying tribute to him with a 'Purple Rain' Google Doodle and by colouring Google Play Music's usually orange branding purple for the day.
Purple Rain was Prince's sixth studio album, as well as the last song on the record and also his debut film. Ever since, purple has been associated with Prince (he painted his rented house purple in 2006), so it is very fitting that Google has chosen to honor him in this way. It's a pity the Android version of Play Music hasn't gone purple for the day, though - the Android app surely gets more usage than the web version. Read More
Google is on a crusade against search bars. Or so it seems to us at least. Late last year, the Play Store received an interface revamp that dumped the green search bar in favor of an overlaid grey bar with a hamburger menu, a voice search icon, and the words Google Play in grey that disappeared as soon as you started typing. Then a few days ago, it changed Play Books' search bar to a look that sits somewhere in the middle, with the blue bar switching into the grey one when you tapped to search.
Now it's Play Music's turn. Read More
Google's in-house Project Fi has a great app compared to what you get from other carriers. Not that it would be hard to make that happen, but it is pretty good. It's getting even better today with an update (version I.2.1) that adds a new widget and better control over call forwarding. Read More
Years back, pressing the guide button on your remote and browse through TV listings was a luxury. It meant being able to see what was playing without channel surfing or purchasing a physical TV guide. But these days, the idea of scanning through even a digital guide strikes many of us as downright tedious.
We search online instead. And pretty soon, Google will start displaying live TV listings at the top of search results when you look for a show. Read More
Google is apparently reaching out to Maps explorers with word of a new app heading down the pipeline.
The email invite calls on recipients to be the first to try a new app for travelers. There isn't much in the way of details, other than the availability for both Android and iOS. But given the recent launch of Google Destinations, travel is clearly an area of interest for the company. Read More
Google has just published the official schedule for I/O 2016 - you can see it right here. This year's I/O is at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, near Google's own headquarters. Day one kicks off with a 10AM keynote that will go a full two hours (!), but there are lots of other interesting sessions, here are a few.
- 6 Degree of Freedom Gaming in Android with Project Tango
- What's new in Android (our favorite)
- Introducing Project Tango Area Learning
- Android battery and memory optimizations (new battery optimizations in N, supposedly)
- Android Auto for everyone
- What's New with Project Tango
- VR & Cinema
- Google's Vision for VR
- Android high-performance audio
Seven sessions feature "VR" as one of the tags, so I would not be surprised if more VR-related sessions (and hopefully, news) are added as we get close to the conference. Read More
Of all the countries that get to enjoy Google Play Music access, only a select few have support for Play Music gifts. That means that there's a limited number of users who can send each other the gift of music, but that number is getting a bit larger now: Brazil, Mexico, and Switzerland have been added to the list of countries with access to Music gifts.
They join Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States in letting users purchase music subscriptions for their friends, family members, or maybe distant acquaintances (we won't judge). Prices are the same for a gifted subscription as a personally purchased one, but at least you can now get others hooked on the service even if they were reticent to try it out in the first place. Read More
Chrome 50 landed this week (though it's still in beta on Android), and Google is celebrating.
How? By highlighting 1 billion active users on mobile, 771 billion pages loaded, 2 million gigabytes of data saved, and other favorable metrics. All of them have been neatly compiled in this lengthy infographic. Read More