Back in the day, switching to a new phone meant you'd lose most of your local data. Over time, it became easier to transfer your files, settings, and contacts, provided you'd stay on the same ecosystem. For instance, if you get a new Android phone, your WhatsApp conversations and media would automatically be restored thanks to an online Google Drive backup. However, in case you decide to get an iPhone, there is no official way to restore your conversations and media from your Android phone. WhatsApp is reportedly working on fixing this caveat, thanks to a native solution to automatically transfer your chat history across platforms.
YouTube Kids has proven to be a popular way for parents to give their children access to a limited collection of YouTube content, even if that collection occasionally includes videos depicting suicide and cannibalism (oops!). The service has slowly been expanding its global reach, and now Google has added 11 more nations to the availability list.
Google would be very happy if you used its Chat application, so pleased that it's pushing it beyond the boundaries of its actual app. Last month the tool became available to regular users (who don't pay for access to Google Workspace), and now its integration with Gmail is available to them, too. But it isn't turned on by default, so if you'd like to use it, you have to go digging in the settings menu.
About eight months ago Google opened the door to a wider variety of apps that would integrate directly with Android Auto. The new categories were navigation apps (alternative to Android Auto's standard Google Maps), parking assists and locators, and databases for electric vehicle charging stations. Now those apps can roll out to users, no beta testing required.
Since late last year, Google Photos has been using a streamlined, but powerful algorithm to generate bunches of themed slideshows from users' libraries of photos and videos — including some back-of-the-catalog deep cuts. These collections of so-called Memories have been popping up from time to time and we've been keeping track of them as they've appeared.
Welcome to Monday, everyone. It looks like it was a slow weekend for sales, though I still have a few standouts to share with everyone. First up is Age of History II, an enjoyable strategy wargame all about worldwide domination. Next up is Runic Curse, a solid Metroidvania title. Last but not least is Space Grunts, a quality roguelike shooter that offers hours of fun. As always, I've highlighted all of the interesting titles in bold green text in order to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 29 temporarily free and 40 on-sale apps and games for the beginning of the week.
I use the Google Home app pretty often to control my lights and various other smart home gadgets, but I must admit I had entirely forgotten about the second tab in the app's bottom navigation. It's a feed that alerts you to certain events across your home, such as the addition or removal of devices or Wi-Fi status updates. Google has just rolled out a new settings menu you allowing you to customize the types of notifications in this feed.
As of this weekend, several different users and our own testing are showing that the long-dormant shuffle button is working when casting music from the YouTube Music interface. The repeat button is still present as we reported earlier, but for ourselves and apparently many other users, remains broken.
Google Translate is one of the oldest apps in its category but has been constantly improved over time with new features and a simplified interface. These investments have paid off, as the app just passed one billion downloads on the Play Store.
Users of Samsung Galaxy Note devices (or any Android device, since it's available on the Play Store for any phone) should be seeing a new version of the Penup app now. The refreshed sketch app is mostly the same as it was before, but it now has support for multiple layers, a welcome pro move for a drawing app with a surprisingly active community.