We haven't heard a lot from Pushbullet lately, but it's still out there mirroring notifications and flinging data between devices. It almost had to stop, though. Google threatened to remove the Pushbullet extension from the Chrome Web Store, but it didn't explain why. As a result, the developers had to scramble to address Google's concerns... whatever those were. After a little helpful prodding, Google has accepted Pushbullet's updated extension.
You know these notifications you tap and then nothing happens until a minute or two have passed? Twitter used to be guilty of this, but there are still tons of apps out there that exhibit this behavior. Google is looking to make this a thing of the past on Android 12, forbidding apps from using so-called notification trampolines. That should effectively banish slowly loading notifications, and the change is already having an effect on apps on Android 12 today — and we learned that Google apps are among the worst offenders.
Family Link is Google's solution for giving children under the age of 13 access to its services. Parents have to set up their kids' accounts and are responsible for what they do on the web and their phones. There are also control instruments that allow parents to impose restrictions like bedtime and daily app limit timers, and get an exact breakdown of what children are using their devices for. Needless to say, kids hate the service, and they're vocal about it: The Family Link app for kids has a staggering 1.4 rating average on the Play Store, as pointed out by our regular tipster Anthony (thanks!).
Google Cloud Print is an excellent tool for people who still own older printers that don't have a network connection of their own. It allows you to hook up your printer to your computer via USB and then use that computer as your printing server — no need to throw out a perfectly fine device. However, it looks like all good things must end when it comes to Google products, and the Cloud Print shutdown is already looming — the service is turning off its servers on January 1, 2021. Google has a list of recommended replacements, but almost all of these are aimed exclusively at businesses, except for one: PaperCut and its Mobility Print service.
After more than two years without a major update, Pushbullet rose from the dead last month with a ton of new features. The app received a new bottom navigation bar, adaptive icon support, and a dark mode (if you have Pushbullet Pro). Another update has now arrived, with even more long-requested features.
Pushbullet was one of the first apps that successfully made your Android notifications more accessible and useful. With Pushbullet, you can sync notifications to other devices, reply to messages on your PC, and so much more. Development of the app slowed down over the last couple of years, but Pushbullet comes roaring back today with a major update. There are various design changes based on material theming, easier navigation, new icons, and more.
If the name Maple Media doesn't ring a bell, it might be time to put the Californian company on your watchlist. Over the past few years, the startup has purchased many popular Indie Android apps like the podcast player Player FM, the photo collage maker Pic Stitch, and a whole bunch of games.
According to a TechCrunch investigation, the company's goal is to optimize existing IAP revenue streams and add its advertising network to its purchases, all while optimizing the apps thanks to shared code and developer expertise across the lineup. It looks like the latest product to become part of Maple Media's portfolio is Klinker Apps' PulseSMS, a Pushbullet competitor focused on cross-platform text message synchronization.
Android and macOS have never been the biggest friends. While Android app development is an easy feat for Apple's desktop OS, the situation is much different for simple file transfers. There is Google's Android File Transfer application, but the program is hopelessly outdated, finicky, and prone to crashes when you transfer a lot of data at a time. You don't have to rely on Google's tool for transfers, though — there are a ton of third-party apps that solve moving files between Android and macOS much better.
Kiwi Browser showed signs of life last week, but it's not the only browser getting some fresh love. In new updates to the desktop and Android clients, Opera is adding a slew of features and improvements, including QR-code syncing and expanded availability of Flow to let users securely message themselves.
Here at Android Police, we live and breathe in our desktop browsers. Almost everything we do from writing, researching, and communicating happens within the confines of our computer screens (or on our phones, naturally). Over the years, we found quite a few ways to make our lives easier with extensions, both for our jobs and our personal lives. For this collection, we want to share all of the extensions with you that help us manage our lives and our workday.