It's that time of the week again, namely Update Wednesday. With that in mind, there's a new update to Google+ which should bring a smile to many a person's face.
This release contains a bunch of bug fixes, as well as a few small, but nevertheless very welcome, new features:
10 bugs fixed
4 accessibility issues addressed
Ability to filter your notifications by All, Unread & Other
Several Community moderation tools
Delete multiple items in Activity Log at once
Hide the top bar when scrolling Collections & Communities
Even faster Web browsing on WiFi
In addition, search autocomplete has been re-enabled in this release. Read More
Google is rolling out the new version of Play Music, and it's not even Wednesday yet. This update jumps from 5.9 to 6.0, and it makes some significant changes, not the least of which is the addition of ad-supported streaming radio. Oh, and those ads, there are a lot of them.
The official Dropbox app took its first step into a material world several weeks ago with the v2.6 update. That was followed by v2.7, but both of these were beta releases. Now it's bumped up to v3.0 and is rolling out to everyone via the Play Store.
Google hasn't updated Chrome Remote Desktop on Android for a while, but today it's jumping from v39 to v43 to match the latest Chrome release. The good news is the app no longer looks like a relic from the holo age, but I'm not seeing any feature additions as of yet.
Left: Old, Right: New Read More
A fresh update to the Google App, formerly Google Search, just started rolling out. Don't get too excited yet, it looks like the only user-facing change today is that Nicknames has finally gone into wide release for the users that didn't already have it. The good news is that a quick teardown shows that Trusted Voice might be launching soon, possibly even with this version. There's also a new experiment in the works called Seamless Hotword.
If you were one of the many users that didn't already have a Nicknames in the Accounts & Privacy settings screen, this update probably enabled it. Read More
The Play Store is where you go to watch your other apps get updated, but occasionally it's nice to sit back and watch as the store gets its own renovation. Sometimes the changes are stark. Other times, there are just a few new lights here or there.
In version 5.4, it's not about what's been added, but what's been taken away. The notification bar has lost its color. Now Play Store pages appear with banner images that reach towards the top of the screen. The green strip doesn't return to the bar until you start to scroll down.
Left: Old, Right: New
The amount of chrome at the top of the screen has gradually eroded since 5.2. Read More
The News & Weather app is a bit of a dark horse among Google's lineup. It's also not as talked about as Google+, or as vital as Gmail; and it doesn't fit in with the Play-branded apps like Newsstand, which it is effectively a direct competitor to. For many people, News & Weather is just another widget that came pre-installed on a Nexus device, at least until it was made available on the Play Store, in late August. Since then, a few really big updates have drastically improved the once stale app. Read More
The team behind Google's document editor apps has been on a roll over the last few weeks as regular updates continue to refine the user experience. New versions of Docs, Sheets, and Slides made their way out over the last few days – and while not packing significant functional changes, there are some pleasant improvements to the interface. If you're eager to see the new changes for yourself, and you haven't received these updates through the Play Store yet, there are convenient download links posted below.
Left: old, Right: new
While there aren't any new features to speak of, one commonly used option is a little more accessible now. Read More
The Google Search app plays host to quite a few features and capabilities we take for granted on our phones, especially for anybody that makes extensive use of Google Now and the Google Launcher. An update just started rolling out that brings the app up to v4.3, but there aren't any immediately obvious changes in this release, at least not from a user-facing perspective. It's likely that this release is preparing for the soon to be open Cards API that will allow developers to insert their own content into the Google Now stream. The download link is available below for those that want to check it out right away. Read More