Last year, a fresh new look for the Google Account page buried in Settings on most Android phones rolled out, bringing with it a new centered layout and updated fonts. More recently, we've received a few reports that the even more basic "Google" section in Settings is being updated to match it. Although we don't all see the new design, it appears to be in testing or rolling out as we speak. Read More
Google knows a whole lot of things about you, from the apps you use to the searches you make, emails you get, and more. So the company has been working for a while to make it easier for you to check all your Google data and manage it from one place. When the new Google account interface launched last year, it even added a voice command to display it without having to dig through settings or remember a URL. Simply saying "Show me my Google account" would open the page and get you started.
It looks like a few more voice commands have been added since then. Read More
In the past few versions of Android, you could access your Google account-related settings via an app icon in your app drawer, like the one used in the featured image in this article. From there, you could opt out of ad tracking, look at apps connected to your account, and a variety of other things. In Android M, these have migrated to the system settings menu.
The "old" method was never very intuitive, so this change makes sense. Given that Google services are so thoroughly integrated into the system, it isn't as if these settings are out of place in the system menus. Read More
Google just announced all of the great new APIs developers would be able to play with from the Google Play services, and now we've got some apks to check out. As usual, there aren't a lot of user-facing features in the GMS package, so don't expect to see any huge changes immediately after installation. However, there are at least a couple of interesting bits and pieces that stand out in a side-by-side comparison.
The only immediately obvious difference (that actually does something) is a relocation of the security code generator. This is a simple little tool Google occasionally uses for creating verification codes for emergency authorizations. Read More
After getting a sneak preview last week, it's time for Google to unleash another update to its Play Services package. There usually aren't very many highly visible changes in these updates, and this version is no exception. The APK Teardown already gave a pretty solid indication that this version will be responsible for scheduling firmware updates on Android One devices, and it contains an experimental Smart Unlock method based on Activity Recognition; but most of us probably won't see either of these for a while. The only change that seems to stand out is in the Google Settings app, which has been broken up into two categories: Account and Services. Read More
Do not freak out. Yes, a big green icon has magically popped up in your app drawer; no, it isn't bad; and yes, it is pretty much useless.
If you caught the announcement of Google Play Services 3.0, aka "Google+ Sign-In," you're already halfway up to speed on this. Google Play Services is an APK that many of Google's apps rely on to hook into Google+ and, just like the Play Store, Google has the ability to silently update it. Recently, they started rolling out an update for it, and along with a bunch of new app integration stuff, it came packing this superfluous "Google Settings" app. Read More