While most of Google's core apps have gone through some pretty monumental changes in their adoption of Google's Material Theme, many of the other apps have been slower to take on a new look. In some cases, like the latest Play Movies & TV app, the changes are also much gentler, spanning over the course of a few versions. Read More
Google made some big changes back in May with the launch of Google News, bringing both Play Magazines and the News & Weather app together in a new format and completely redesigned app. A few months later, Google announced several new automatic features for the Google News app that would make it even more data-efficient. Unfortunately, something went wrong and many users found that the app had taken to downloading multiple gigabytes of data over cellular connections and racking up huge overages. While those bugs seem to have been fixed, the latest update includes signs that Google may be putting countermeasures in place to help prevent similar bugs in the future. Read More
The latest update to the Gboard app is now out, but it doesn't appear to be adding any features in this update, or at least not yet. A teardown points to some enhancements to some features we've either seen in the past or expect to go live in the near future, including tweaks to the Clipboard Manager, an option to delete search history, follow-ups related to voice typing, and of course, a ton of new languages and localized keyboards. Read More
A new update for Google Photos is rolling out, and this one is taking aim at making backups possible in regions where data connections are generally slow and expensive. A new Express backup mode is in the works that automatically downscales images and video for more timely and less costly transmission to the cloud. There will also be a new setting that allows users to set daily limits on how much data to spend on performing backups. Read More
Now that we're deep into the holiday season, plenty of people will be talking with their families, even if they can't necessarily travel long distances to reunite in person. Video calls will be skyrocketing for the next few weeks, and for many people, that will be happening with Google Duo. The latest update to v44 is now out, and while it doesn't appear to bring any new features immediately upon installation, there are a few things spotted in a teardown that will be pretty useful when they do come to life. Read More
Pulled from the Play Store two months ago, Sam Ruston's much-loved indie weather app Weather Timeline has reappeared, sort of - with a different developer listed as the publisher (the listing still isn't visible if you never installed the app, so you can't get it if you never had it).
The new publisher, ACME AtronOmatic, is the developer behind two other apps on the Play Store - one a basic weather radar viewer (the free version has 4.4 stars with over 10 million downloads), the other an obscure flight tracking app. ACME processes its own weather radar data, which would make it significantly more capable of absorbing the costs of running a weather data aggregator, costs that eventually led Ruston to remove his app from the store. Read More
Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes. Read More