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Android holiday ornaments from Dead Zebra are back, for a limited time (Update: Silver's back)

Andrew Bell has sold various Android-themed figures, stickers, and other collectables for years under his company, Dead Zebra. If you're looking to add a little bit of Android fun to your Christmas tree, the ornament figures sold last year have returned for a limited time.

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Google celebrates Independence Day with a baseball doodle game and fireworks in search

Google likes to mark occasions with search Easter eggs (like the Thanos gag for the release of Avengers: Endgame a couple months back) and doodles, and for the Fourth of July this year, it's done both. Searching "fireworks" will fill your screen with a light show, and a baseball-themed Google doodle leads to a fun minigame.

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Weekend poll: Are you giving someone an Android device for the holidays?

Finding the right gift for someone this time of year can be tricky. But if there's one thing we're apt to recommend here at Android Police, it's an Android device.

Ripping open that wrapping paper to find a phone or tablet is an excellent way to cap off your holiday. It's better to give than to receive, though, and with all the recent sales, it doesn't have to be a very costly proposition. So are you planning on giving anyone an Android device this holiday season?

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Google Maps v9.63 beta gets ready to launch new commuting features, hints at increased points for long reviews and new badges [APK Teardown]

A new update to Google Maps began rolling out late last night to members of the beta channel. This one is arguably light on notable changes, except that there is one feature that may go live in the next few days: Commuting. It was at least briefly live before being disabled remotely. There are also several new topics for a teardown, including more points for longer reviews, new badges, and more.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • Commuting (coming soon?)
  • Another notification channel for timeline notifications (fixed in 9.63.1)

Commuting: It was is live

Commuting appears to be live

At least as of October 9th, the Commute settings appear to be live again.

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Google is making it easier to find a good deal for your next vacation

In its quest to make our lives easier, Google has recently taken on the travel industry by giving us search tools for flights and hotels, as well as an app to help us plan and organize trips we've already booked. Google Search already shows when a slight adjustment to travel dates can save us money, but now it's adding more robust tools for people whose travel dates are more flexible.

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Google Assistant can track Santa, tell holiday jokes, and spin the dreidel

Google has added a few entertaining Easter eggs to Google Assistant since its release, including fully interactive quiz games. In the spirit of the season, a few new holiday-related commands have made their way to Google Assistant.

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[Let It Snow] Skype App Gets Holiday-Themed Update With Video Cards And Christmas Emoji

Christmas is coming, but many family members won't get to spend this time face to face. Millions will be placing phone calls, and another large number will be hopping on Skype. The latest update adds more ways to integrate Skype into your holiday plans.

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Facebook Messenger Gets Photo Magic Sharing, Chat Customizations, And Some Festive Decorations

You've decorated your house, you've put on a festive watch face, you can't help but see red and green Christmas stuff everywhere you go, so what about decorating your phone's messenger app? After all, this is probably the thing you look at most during the day, so adding some jolly good spirit would go a long way in making the holiday charm follow you all the time. Facebook agrees and so it has updated its Messenger application with lots of customization options and some end-of-year themed options.

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[Update: And Kelly Clarkson] Deal Alert: Celebrate Christmas With Two Free Albums By Mariah Carey And Blake Shelton From Google Play

Christmas is coming. You can sit around next to a paper calendar, crossing out the days, or you can put on a seasonal album and start moving.

Don't have any Christmas albums? I know, it's not exactly what comes to mind for many of us during the rest of the year (hey, not everyone has the urge to play Jingle Bells in July). Fortunately Google is looking out for you. You can currently download two merry albums for free on Google Play.

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Facebook Messenger Lets You Celebrate The New Year With A Themed Selfie

There's little going on in the world of Android at the moment, and the holidays are why. Today many of us are celebrating New Year's Eve, so instead of major software updates, we get themed selfies. People firing up the Facebook Messenger app are seeing the option to celebrate the new year with a photo pop up at the top of their screens. Clicking the banner activates the front-facing camera and applies a festive overlay.

December 31, 2014 82304 AM PST Screenshot_2014-12-31-08-21-17

That's right, the news is so slow today that you get a post about Facebook Messenger and selfies. Android nerds are scoffing so hard right now that I can hear them through my computer (including my co-workers).

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