Today is the day that Hangouts finally loses SMS support. We were warned by Google about it months ago when Hangouts started showing a warning that it would no longer support the feature. But, as of today, it's finally set to happen. For anyone who isn't on Project Fi or Google Voice — both of which will continue to support SMS in Hangouts — this is the end of an era. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so.
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Paralign - Aligning Thoughts
Today's roundup is presented by Paralign - Aligning Thoughts from Paralign.me. Finding like-minded individuals can often be a difficult task. This is especially true when you want to reach out, but are wary of the judgment of your peers. Read More
Google spent much of the I/O 2017 keynote talking about machine learning. In fact, we heard the phrase "AI first" as a description of Google's current plans. You probably have a little sliver of Google's AI capabilities in your pocket right now—Google Assistant. There's one place in particular Google really wants Assistant to live, and that's in your car.
Voice commands in general are extremely well-suited to the car, so it should come as no surprise that Google had two Assistant-infused "Android Automotive" demos on-hand at I/O—one from Volvo (above) and another from Audi. It's more clear now than ever that Google wants to be the smart interface for your car, and it plans to do it with Assistant. Read More
We might have previously thought that it was an April Fools' joke, given the timing, but Amazon's Echo Look is quite real. The device, with its camera and fancy machine learning skills, is meant to add some fashion sense to Amazon's personal assistant. It is able to judge contemporary styling between a pair of outfits and even allows you to save your favorites. Today Amazon released the companion app for the Echo Look on Android, so now users of our favorite operating system can see on their phone which headband went better with that Blue Steel look. Read More
ROLI's modular BLOCKS studio has gained popularity recently, as a way to easily create music. Taps and gestures on the BLOCKS turn into musical rhythms when paired to the iOS 'NOISE' app. Now ROLI is making the NOISE app available for Android as well, but it has some limitations. Read More
A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming. Read More
Rovio's ever popular Angry Birds has become something of a phenomenon, with multiple games spanning different genres and billions of downloads. The franchise shows no signs of slowing down either. With movie tie-ins and spin-offs aplenty, the Finnish company continues to find new ways to push the series. It's been a long time coming, but the next evolution (ahem) of the game on Android is almost ready for primetime. Angry Birds Evolution will be released in the US next month and you can now pre-register for it, with a free starter pack worth $7.99 up for grabs for anyone who does so today. Read More
What happens when you take an iconic Breakout-style block-breaker and collide it with a classic alien shooter? Arkanoid vs Space Invaders is what, and Square Enix has just released the game on the Play Store. Both retro games were arcade champions of their time, with Space Invaders hitting machines in the late 1970s and Arkanoid coming later in the mid-1980s. Both are sure to have a great deal of loyal, nostalgic fans who may find this mashup of interest. Read More
Smartwatches have been available for a few years, but I'm not sure we have yet found a really legitimate and indispensable use for them. I have been wearing one for nearly three years, but I rarely interact with it and I forget it's there most days. Yet, it has become a necessity for me as I keep my phone silent to avoid the deluge of WhatsApp, Slack, Gmail, and more notifications while working in the serious and quiet environment of a pharmacy. Nothing is more distracting than continuous beeps and boops while you're trying to counsel a patient, so the watch helps me know what is crucial to attend to and what can wait until the patient has left. Read More
Yesterday at I/O Google had an interesting talk called Background Check and Other Insights into the Android Operating System Framework. It's a long name, but really it's about improving battery life in Android. It went on at great length as to how, exactly, the team plans on doing that, and it's quite worth a watch. We have the video here, but if you don't have the half-hour to check it out, then you are welcome to read below. Read More