Like clockwork, the latest beta release of the Google app began rolling out just about the time the developers are headed out for the weekend. We've yet to see any live changes on this release, but there are some interesting additions to be found in a teardown. The floating sports tracker bubble appears to have some enhancements coming just in time for the Fall schedule, there are small additions to Collections and Google Assistant for Households, and a previously spotted General settings screen is growing larger
Firefox has been falling in marketshare for a number of years now, mostly due to increased competition from Google Chrome. Over the past year or so, Mozilla has been working on a number of massive fundamental changes to Firefox to make it faster and better than ever, and version 57 is the culmination of these efforts. The update was finally released today across all platforms, including Android.
Chrome 58 has graduated to beta status, moving one step closer to the stable channel. This time around, Google has been working on new features for Progressive Web Apps (and normal sites), improvements to Chrome Custom Tabs, and more.
A fresh version of the Android Support Library is now available to developers. This may be one of the biggest updates in quite a while, as some of the changes demand a few significant internal changes. On the plus side, there aren't very many changes that should break existing code, and most of the new features will make it worth the trouble. Here's a quick introduction to some of the new changes.
Vector Drawables and Animated Vector Drawables
Full vector support was first introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop, allowing developers to distribute apks with easily resizable vector drawings in place of multiple images at various sizes.
If you're running Chrome Beta or Dev editions, then today's changes probably seem like old hat to you. But for everyone else, the stable version of Chrome 45 is a pretty big deal, because it brings Custom Tabs to essentially everyone who's running Android today (on a modern handset, anyway).
For those who may not remember, Google first announced Custom Tabs at I/O back in May. Essentially, these are pop-out WebView tabs that apps can utilize without actually leaving the foreground, basically launching Chrome within the app. Custom Tabs are designed to be fast, efficient, and completely customizable (so they still feel very much native to the app experience).
Google announced an upcoming Chrome feature called Custom Tabs at I/O back in May. Today, that feature is finally launching on the Chrome Beta channel, and we've got the APK.
Custom Tabs are basically a pop-out web-view that apps can utilize to show users web pages in Chrome (where your passwords and other items are saved!) without actually fully leaving the app. This can make apps that require web-based authorization for sign-in or simply have lots of external web links a lot more convenient to use, and avoids having to use a full-on built-in webview mode that lacks all your synced Chrome information.