This weekend, I watched a clip of The Verge’s podcast featuring one of Google’s product managers for the Pixel 4, Isaac Reynolds, discussing the decision to omit 4K 60FPS (and 4K 24FPS) video recording from the phone. In and of itself, I don’t think it’s a very interesting topic, and I don’t believe anyone thinks Google made the “right” call in excluding it. But Reynolds’ answer regarding that decision hinges on an argument Google has abused for years: 80% of people will never use this feature.
I suspect the 80% rule (which I'm guessing is also the 85/90/95% rule, depending on who you ask) is an unspoken philosophy at Google. Read More
At a private briefing during MWC (that evidently wasn't all that private), TCL showed us some concepts of foldable screens and devices it's been working on. The devices don't have names, release dates, or even really a considered use case - they're just explorations of form factor and engineering, not reflections of upcoming product designs. They're neat to look at, but that's really all you can say about them at this point. Well, almost.
The one part of them that does have a name is TCL's "Dragon Hinge," which uses a complex system of gears to facilitate the folding motion of these concept devices. Read More
We had a chance to go hands-on with some Samsung test devices running the company's new One UI - the latest in a long line of TouchWiz rebrands - and the feature likely to generate the most attention is almost certainly the new "Night theme" option. Basically, night theme sets nearly every stock app, along with the launcher and lockscreen, to an all-blacked-out look - something Android enthusiasts have been asking of device makers for years. My initial take is that Samsung's done this pretty well, and essentially every stock app on the test device had a dark theme. Here's a quick look at some of those apps in a gallery. Read More
Earlier today, Google started rolling out a major update to Google+ for Android. Together with our readers, we've examined every corner of the app and found a whole bunch of things that are new to this version 4.2 but haven't been mentioned in the official announcement. You should definitely read through the list if you haven't yet.
However, one new feature that I found fascinating managed to fly completely below the radar because it's located not within the app itself but rather in the widget menu. That feature is a brand new widget called User Locations.
As you have probably guessed from its name, User Locations shows you your contacts' locations. Read More
Earlier today at a livestreamed event in San Francisco, Google's SVP of Engineering Vic Gundotra announced a slew of new features slated for Google+ and Hangouts.
While we're still waiting for the Hangouts update that will enable SMS support, animated GIFs, and location sharing to hit the Play Store, which should happen in a few days, the Google+ update 4.2 is already live.
G+ Photos is now Photos
After playing around with this version for a bit, I'm glad to report that the annoying and superfluous G+ Photos shortcut is now gone.
Update: Doh, G+ Photos is now just Photos, so you still have two shortcuts. Read More
Now that the insane week of Google app updates has passed (gotta love those Rollout Wednesdays, right?), I've had some time to dig into the APKs and have found a number of interesting things in some of them.
We'll start with Gmail, which received a fairly significant Card UI update with version 4.6.
Ads are coming to Gmail
The most significant under-the-hood and probably not active yet addition to Gmail 4.6 is ads. Yup, ads are most definitely coming to Gmail for Android which managed to stay ad-free all this time, unlike its web counterpart.
If you remember, Gmail on the web contains multiple ads along with the new format that looks like email messages in the Promotions folder. Read More
Google Play Movies & TV received an update to version 2.7.15 today (or yesterday, but I haven't seen anyone with an APK until today), and while
the changelog is still missing, we have noticed a number of new things.
The previous version was v2.6.9, so these line up with a point release - nothing too significant, but still more than just bug fixes.
Update: I just realized that the changelog, which Google updated on September 18th, is actually current - they just never released the update until now. The changelog, which is incomplete, says:
- Browse by TV show in "My TV Shows".
Google started a staged update to Google Drive earlier today with version 1.2.352.9 and a completely useless changelog that just said "Bug fixes and other improvements."
As it turns out, these fixes and improvements are actually kind of significant compared to the previous version 184.108.40.206. In this post, I will show you what's really new in Drive v1.2.352.9.
Since the rollout is staged, some of you may not see the update in the Play Store yet - in that case, you can find manual APK download links at the bottom of this post.
Holo Dark UI is now Holo Light
The new Drive is using Holo Light instead of Holo Dark and looks a lot less gloomy. Read More