The Pixel 4 and Android 10 brought us a new approach to biometric unlocks in the form of face recognition. To implement that technology, Google had to introduce a biometrics API that isn't compatible with the fingerprint interface of old. That's why all apps that have previously supported biometric fingerprint authentication have to be updated to work with the new API, which seems to be a painfully slow process. The latest app to add biometric face unlock is Discover's banking app. Read More
A long time ago (prior to 2018, to be specific), Google Assistant's settings came without the now-familiar tabbed interface. Much like the system settings, different sections were accessible via top-level entries. It looks like Google is experimenting with a return to something akin to that old interface. A current A/B test spotted by 9to5Google puts a search bar at the top of the settings and gets rid of the tabs. Read More
While some of us spend very little time on the phone, it's still very important that we can make and respond to calls in the most intuitive ways possible. That might involve knowing where buttons are and what direction to swipe, what to look for on a screen, or how some things will react to gestures and button presses. The latest update to the Google Phone app reveals it's about to get a popular feature for muting call ringers by simply flipping the phone over. Read More
When it comes to killing unsuccessful projects, Google is ruthless. The company got rid of its dying social media platform Google+ and its beloved but superfluous Gmail alternative Inbox, and it's in the process of killing Play Music. We feared Snapseed would meet the same fate, as the app hasn't seen a new release since 2018, but that has changed just today: The brand-new version 2.19.1 has surfaced on the Play Store, though it only brings along bug fixes. Read More
I find myself scrolling through Google Discover to pass some time more often than I'd like to admit, but thanks to Google's vast collection of my personal data, it's not surprising there's usually something interesting for me to be found. One thing has always annoyed me, though: You have to resort to blocking certain news sources because of misleading or sensationalist headlines, even when some of their articles aren't as bad as others. Google finally found an elegant solution for this problem, as it's now possible to report misleading, sensationalist, violent, and hateful or abusive content in the feed. Read More
Google Contacts is particularly useful if you want to sync your contacts to your Google account and ensure you never lose them, but until now it hasn't been able to back up information stored on a phone's internal storage. On many Android phones, this is where details end up being stored thanks to alternative apps included by OEMs, so Google has now added a feature that will capture these contacts. Read More
Much like Samsung, Xiaomi makes its own alternatives to various Google apps that are usually tied to its notoriously heavy MIUI Android skin. In the past couple of years, the Chinese company has moved apps like Mi Calculator and Mi FileExplorer to the Play Store for faster delivery of updates and to open them up even to non-Xiaomi phones. Joining that small list of apps is the redesigned Mi Browser that likely replaces Xiaomi’s Mint Browser, which debuted in late 2018.
Gmail is one of the longest lived projects to come out of Google after the success of Search. During its life, the development team has been working on countless projects to make sense of the deluge of incoming email and help users manage it. We've seen everything from smart spam filtering, intelligent interpretations of importance and priority, grouping and categorizing based on sources, and with Inbox, even things like smart bundling. The latest update appears to be surfacing a couple of those automatically detected email types so you don't have to remember any hidden tricks to use. Read More