Android Police

Applications

15

IFTTT trades functionality for simplicity with new minimalist Android app

IFTTT is one of my favorite services around, and what's great about it is that once you've set up everything, you even forget it exists. For instance, I'm a big Wunderlist fan, and I don't want to switch to another provider to manage my to-do lists. Thanks to IFTTT, I've connected it to my Google Assistant so that my smart speaker can add my grocery items directly into my list. In fact, IFTTT is so transparent that you rarely need to use the app, unless you're setting up a new applet or checking your activity log. Nevertheless, the company isn't neglecting its users and is working on completely revamping its Android app with an interface that looks much smoother, but that's also a lot less functional.

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6

Google Maps will provide critical information to people in natural disaster areas

Soon, Google Maps will provide important information to people in or near areas affected by hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. Users will see what Google is calling crisis notification cards detailing the area of effect of the event, and presented options to share the information or their own location with others.

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33

Android Q Beta 4 turns your phone's power button into a wallet shortcut

Being a Samsung Pay user, I really appreciate how convenient it is to summon the app when I'm about to pay or need to show my membership card to the cashier. Indeed, a simple swipe up from the lock or home screen brings up my wallet. Apple and Google have taken a different approach, where their payment software is automatically launched when you place your device near an RFID reader. However, iOS users can also double tap the power button to bring up Apple Pay, which is — at least in my opinion — more convenient, as it lets you choose the card you want to pay with before completing the transaction.

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7

Android Q Beta 4 allows apps that can use overlays to launch background activities

In Android Q Beta 3, background activities were made the scourge of the kingdom. No background app could start a foreground task. Sure, it was meant to stop any malicious developers from doing some unwanted snooping on their users' devices, but it also cuts off automation apps like Tasker from triggering their jobs. Google does allow for exceptions to this ban, but none of them have suited those apps until the company introduced a new exception to the list with the release of Android Q Beta 4: SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW.

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3

Audm is a long-form news narration app now available for Android

Too much content to read but not enough time? Consider listening to it instead. Audm (pronounced 'autumn') is an app that gets professional voice actors to narrate long-form articles from the web. Previously iOS-exclusive, people have been asking for an Android version since 2016, and last year Audm hired a developer for the job. After a brief closed beta, the app is now publicly available for Android.

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7

22 temporarily free and 17 on-sale apps and games for Wednesday

Welcome back to Android Police's app sales. Today's list is pretty small, but it has Fenix 2 if you're interested in a great Twitter client. Otherwise, let's hope the next roundup is better.

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150

[Update: Old UI is back] Google rolls out new Material Play Store interface with bottom navigation bar

Last month we reported the Play Store was about to get a design overhaul, including a new navigation bar that moved to the bottom of the screen. Although this could only be activated by fiddling with feature flags when we published our initial post, Google is now widely rolling out the new interface to users.

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34

Firefox steps up privacy protections, now blocks tracking cookies by default

It's open season on email hackers, tracking cookies and Facebook shadow profiling as our favorite open-source software makers at Mozilla have released a series of updates for its Firefox web browser, Firefox Monitor service, and its Facebook Container, as well as rounding out a series of mobile password managers with a new extension called Firefox Lockwise.

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130

Google Maps gets an on-screen speedometer while driving

Just last week, we reported Google was finally rolling out essential Waze features to Maps, including speed limit indication and speed camera alerts. The company appears to be on an improvement spree, as some users are starting to see an option offering to display a speedometer while they drive.

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59

[Update: Rolling out] Google tests a more compact Discover feed design with no topic bubbles

It's been over a year since Google started testing topic bubbles in the then-called-Feed, and many months since that design rolled out as part of the rebranded Discover. In the time since, we haven't noticed any major changes in the interface and we had almost started believing that server-side tests may have stopped on the app. But no, they've been resurrected (perhaps they never even died?) and are back now thanks to a new Discover that sheds off its signature topic bubbles.

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