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.
Using an app billed as "experimental" comes with its fair share of risks, including the chance that the developers may just give up on the project altogether. It seemed like Telegram X, the company's alternate client for testing out new features, was headed towards a quiet death following its last update in May, but the app has finally shown a new spark of life. After nearly a year of silence, a new beta version for Telegram X is finally available for download, including several bug fixes and some key features to help modernize the app.
For Android users looking to get a Pixel-like experience on their phones, the Lawnchair launcher is an easy way to do so. While development had stagnated, the new team at the helm has put its shoulder to the wheel and given us the first build of Lawnchair 11.
If you want to share a video with someone but need to get rid of the audio for whatever reason, you can do so with Google Photos or another gallery app. But let's say you get to the point of sharing in WhatsApp and you still need to remove some annoying sound — the chat app is rolling out a feature that makes that a piece of cake.
The Spotify Android app hasn't seen a major design overhaul for a few years now, but it does get incremental updates on a regular basis. The latest section of the app to get a new lick of paint is the library, which was last upgraded in 2019 to accommodate podcasts.
Samsung Notes has long been a staple of Samsung's software, and while it's available on most of the company's devices, it really shines when used with an S-Pen. I hardly used it until recently, but when I got an S-Pen with my Galaxy S21 Ultra, it became my main note-taking app. Thanks to its tight integration with One UI, it offers a seamless experience and it's gotten even better thanks to its latest update, which includes a slew of new features, templates, and improvements to folder organization.
If you're looking for a new restaurant to check out, a new hairdresser, or the nearest pharmacy with good reviews, Yelp is a great service that has everything you need to make that happen. Despite its redesign just last year, the app still looked dated in some places. The status bar, for example, would remain black in some menus, rather than coloring itself to match the content. This week, a redesigned Yelp app is rolling out to Android, focusing on your preferences and dietary needs.
At the Waze On virtual event held yesterday, a few interesting new features for the Google-owned navigation app were announced. Lane guidance, something many users have long been calling for, has been in beta since April and is now graduating to the stable version of the app. Trip suggestions and traffic notifications are among the other additions.
The Microsoft Launcher can give you more control over your home screen and help bridge the gap between a smartphone and computer, provide it runs Windows. Microsoft Launcher's "Feed" plugs you into numerous Microsoft apps and services you might already use on your computer, and it's getting a makeover. The new update also adds landscape support and various bug fixes. This update first appeared in the preview app, and now it's available in the main Play Store listing as a beta.
Zoom has understandably been one of the most popular apps around these last few months as people have had to forgo in-person meetings — both personal and business — for online video chats. The desktop client has had a dark mode for a little while now, but Android users have had to suffer blinding menu screens before jumping into late-night calls. With the latest update, Zoom for Android finally gets dark mode and a few others new features to boot.