Mixed in among the Pixels, Chromecast, and speaker yesterday was another important tidbit. Google is essentially rebranding Android TV to Google TV over the next few years. But "Google TV" is more than just a software skin, it's also the new name for Google Play Movies & TV. That's makes it the second Play-branded service to get the boot in the next month if you consider Play Music, and I don't think this change goes far enough. It's been eight years, and it's time for Google to kill the "Play" branding across the board. Read More
A new pause gesture for the Pixel 4's Motion Sense is rolling out as part of the Android 11 update. This change isn't intrinsically tied to Android 11, but the new Developer Preview does come with an updated version of the Motion Sense app (which controls the Soli radar-based gesture system on the Pixel 4), which allows you to pause and resume media with a "tapping" gesture in the air Motion Sense uses for gestures. Read More
The design of Google's Play apps is like a neverending story, although not a very interesting one. Play Games has seen less flux than the Play Store, at least, but Google still tweaks its interface more often that is probably necessary. The latest change to be tested moves some of the core navigation around. Read More
Earlier this month, Cody discovered evidence for a loyalty program in a teardown of the Google Play app, and now we're seeing the first official word about it. The rewards scheme is called Play Points and has gone live in Japan, according to a support page for the app. Read More
On the list of manufacturers with fun and quirky commercial spots, LG doesn't usually come near the top. As far as I can recall, it has always served functional videos, but that strategy wouldn't fly with the "Play" theme of the G5. So it was that Jason Statham, the badass actor who can make your heart drop to your knees with a frown, was cast as the face of the G5 and a sort of psychedelic commercial was born with Jason's face plastered across all the main characters and background actors.
The commercial, which premiered less than 2 months ago, got super popular. Read More
Earlier today, Kirill Grouchnikov, the face behind the Play Store Android app, detailed a set of relatively substantial design tweaks and RTL language support destined for an upcoming update. Unfortunately, the APK uploaded to APK Mirror shortly after did not seem to have the majority of these changes live just yet, but Kirill, who also announced his departure from the Google Play team, managed to sneak in one last parting gift.
And it's the best gift he could have possibly given us. Or at least me, considering I copy changelogs all day long for APKMirror.com. I think I now owe him 100 beautiful white roses. Read More
If you own a Chromecast or Nexus Player and grabbed a free rental from Play Movies last time the deal was offered, it looks like you can head to chromecast.com/offers and grab another.
After opening up the Dads & Grads sale, Google has apparently reset the free rental deal, which gives Chromecast and Nexus Player owners the chance to select a movie to rent from the Play Store. Read More
Over the last few weeks, we've heard of a feature popping up for Google Play Music All Access users here and there (thanks for the tips!), whereby the app or web interface would link users to relevant music videos inside the app. When listening to or browsing music, the app would show a YouTube icon, sometimes in the center of the screen, sometimes weirdly positioned in the "now playing" bar. It was clear Google was still testing the feature but it looks like now, with the publication of an official change log for Play Music's latest update, Google may be flipping the switch on a wider basis. Read More
When we first wrote about Quantum Paper (the internal name for the material in Material Design), we noted that Google was anticipating a series of updates to its own apps between the introduction and completion of the new design direction - updates which would bring the apps a bit closer to the new design style in a progressive fashion, so that the apps wouldn't undergo fundamental transformations overnight.
Looking back, it is now obvious that Google+ was our first taste of material design, followed by Google's editing apps like docs and sheets.
In the same vein, we've received information indicating that Google's makeover of the Play Store is well under way. Read More
Update Wednesday held at least one more treat this week - a bump to Google Play Movies & TV, bringing the app up to version 3.2.25. Google hasn't published an official change log yet, but so far the only user-facing change we've found is the presence of applicable wishlist content (from your Play Store wishlist) inside the app, both on the "Watch Now" screen, and in the slide-out navigation bar. Read More