If your home or business is keeping wireless devices connected through a Google Wifi, you'll be getting an update to the companion app today. The new version brings a pair of app shortcuts for those of us using it on Android 7.1 or above, but that's about it for visible changes. A teardown adds to the subject with hints of a new batch testing feature and settings for something called "port opening." Read More
Google Translate is getting an update today, but it looks pretty light on features. The main changes appear to center around properly labeling languages. Nine dialects are getting proper names, and it seems the term 'dialect' is going out of style, so Translate is now saying 'region' everywhere. A look through the APK also shows that we can look forward to app shortcuts in the future. Read More
Most updates to the Google+ app tend to fit the "bug fixes and performance improvements" theme, but last month's release of v9.20 did bring custom notification channels for Android 8.0 Oreo – but maybe not the ones we needed. Today's bump to v9.23 makes a similarly subtle addition with support for a slightly older OS feature: App Shortcuts. If you're running on 7.1 Nougat or above, or using a custom launcher with support for static app shortcuts, you'll now have the option to quickly start a few different types of Google+ posts directly from your launcher. Read More
It took nearly a year, but WhatsApp has just added launcher app shortcuts on Android Nougat (or Marshmallow if you use a compatible launcher like Nova and Action). Thing is, the functions that WhatsApp decided to elevate to shortcut status are... kind of useless.
You get a shortcut to launch the Camera, because WhatsApp is all about the new Status feature even though out of my 500+ contacts, I only see 12 new status shares every day. Read More
Chris Lacy's Action Launcher got a massive update recently, introducing new branding, more free features, an animated Android O style clock widget, and more. Together with its already useful feature set, including shutters and covers, it's cemented its place as one of Android's best launchers. The latest Beta is now available, as announced by Lacy on his blog, and it includes a number of features that Google has added to the Pixel Launcher in Android O, such as notification dots and a new UI for app shortcuts and widgets. Read More
An update to Google Fit began rolling out to both phones and Android Wear this week. In terms of changes, watches took the lead on this release with a short list of fairly significant additions, including audio alerts during runs, updates to the workout mode, a new screen for workout history, and even automatic heart rate tracking for some recent models. While phones weren't left out entirely, the only notable addition is a new app shortcut for handsets running Nougat and above. Read More