A beta update to the Google app has been making the rounds. As usual, there's not much new to see after installing this release, but many changes are awaiting Google to flip a switch before going live. Also following the usual pattern, there's a teardown of the APK that provides plenty of hints about what's to come. Version 7.24 reveals plans for a floating bubble with current sports scores that remains visible on top of other apps, an effect for the Google search box, a mysterious new project called Valyrian, assorted follow-ups for the Pixel Buds, home automation, and more.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
GIFs and emojis are everywhere. You can't even start a conversation nowadays without some form of graphic popping up in the first 5 exchanged messages. But finding and inserting them isn't always the most seamless of experiences. Whether it's scrolling through endless lists of emojis with the complexity of dealing with different sets and their weird emoji orders and designs, or trying to figure out how each app you're using deals with GIFs, it can take anywhere between a few seconds and a couple of minutes to find the perfect visual to convey your message.
That's where Dango swoops in to provide a better approach.
Floating Music Widget, despite the name, isn't really a widget. It's an app that launches a floating window granting quick access to your currently playing song. The app takes the music widget that usually resides on your lock screen and lets you use it anywhere. It isn't rich with features, but it's a convenient way of bouncing back and forward between tracks. Yet despite doing exactly what it promises, it probably won't replace other means of managing music for most people.
Floating Music Widget Just Works
This app clearly isn't a commercial product. Those typically come with branding, features, or polish that somewhat slow them down.
Facebook must've known what it was doing with the launch of Chat Heads, but that feature has been duplicated in everything from custom ROMs to apps attempting to clone the feature. The newest app to take note of Facebook's chat application is Floating Touch (not, it's not that floating touch), an app that makes basically any toggle, navigation shortcut, or app just a tap away.
The concept behind Floating Touch is simple: a small, customizable floating toggle resides wherever you place it on the screen. Tapping that toggle launches a dial chock-full of useful shortcuts – it's sort of like Acer's "Ring," but far more customizable.
We generally have a rule at Android Police HQ: we don't post about Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects at least until they've been funded. Too often things turn into vaporware and people's money ends up wrapped up in things like Diaspora that never take off. Today, we're making a rare exception to talk about Minuum, because this video starts off as "Oh, that's kinda cool," and quickly shifts to "Holy crap, that's amazeballs!"
As you can see in the beginning of the video, the concept is fairly simple. It's yet another predictive text input algorithm that allows you to be less accurate when typing.
Some apps don't need much explanation. Sidewalk Buddy is one of those apps... but I'm going to explain it anyway. So, as everyone knows, attempting to chat or text on your phone as you walk on a busy city street is a great way to make people hate you. It's also a great way to bump into someone and drop your phone. But a lot of us still do it from time to time, because it seems like a good idea - and it's so efficient! I personally give up on either the walking or texting part after the first pedestrian-on-pedestrian collision, but Sidewalk Buddy may finally be the solution we've all been looking for.
Here at Android Police, we love floating apps. Love, love, love, love, love 'em. And here's yet another one that we're adding to the list of floating apps we love: Hovernote. It's simply a note app that hovers over whatever you're doing. In a world where it's necessary to launch a full-screen app on a ten inch device to jot down three words, Hovernote is a godsend.
As you can see from the screenshots above, you can have multiple notes open, copy, paste and share from them, and even use the app on phones.