So-called smart speakers became the darling of every big tech company in the last three years, with Amazon, Google, and Apple all trying to push their digital assistants as a complementary and indispensable part of their locked-in ecosystems. Incremental advancement continues, and the Assistant-powered responses to Amazon's trailblazing, screen-equipped Echo Show have started to land, the first one being this: Lenovo's Smart Display. And far from just being an interesting first try, Google's Assistant on a screen has already become an indispensable part of my home, especially in the kitchen. Read More
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.
A new version of the Google app is making the rounds to users that have opted into the beta channel. This update is a bit tamer than some other recent version bumps. The only change popping up in the live interface at this point is a command to return the Google search widget to its original styling. However, there are quite a few small topics in the teardown, including the addition of Scenes to the upcoming support for Routines (a.k.a. multi-action shortcuts) and a couple more details about Quartz and devices that may be related to it. Read More
The latest (minor) update to the Google app brought with it a surprise twist as it enabled customization in the search bar widget. As it turns out, that's not the only new thing in this update. A teardown also turned up quite a few clues relating to a new on-screen interface for Google Home or a new Home device with built-in display. Read More
There are the cooking and recipe apps where millions of users can upload hundreds of versions of the same meal, vote, save, and adjust, and then there are the apps where you only see a select list of recipes curated by professional chefs who have perfected everything to the maximum. Panna falls into that second category.
The service has been available on iOS and the web for a long time, but it has just now landed on Android. It offers more than 400 video recipes with step-by-step instructions from some of the most renowned chefs in the world with insider tips and hacks, plus private classes that teach you everything you need to know about specific topics like cooking Italian or mastering bread baking. Read More
Ever since Google has allowed apps to momentarily dip to free on the Play Store, we've seen a large number of icon packs, games, and apps test out the model. The latest is Zombie City Defense, a tower defense game where your goal is to protect your city against hordes of zombies. The holographic look is quite futuristic and less grim than most apocalyptic zombie titles, and the game offers 3 difficulty levels with an infinite mode, various city maps, infantry units, vehicles, adversaries, and more. Read More
HelloFresh is the kind of service that I would use in a heartbeat if I lived in the US or any of its other supported countries. I like fresh food, I love cooking, and I prefer variety and change to repetitiveness. However, I have little time to research new recipes, plan meals, and go to the store to buy every single ingredient needed to make everything. Plus, it's sometimes hard to find esoteric ingredients and even if I do, I'd only use them once or twice for very specific recipes. That'd be a waste.
HelloFresh aims to simplify that entire process by choosing some recipes for you, letting you pick the ones you like in the classic or vegetarian plan, finding and packing a week's worth of all the fresh ingredients needed, and delivering them to you. Read More
Whenever a service we use gets bought by another company, we're always filled with hope and anxiety over its fate. It could either be a case of growth and improvements or a slow dwindling descent into irrelevance. I'm afraid Allthecooks may start falling into the latter category if its new owners don't react swiftly to the criticism of their most loyal users.
Allthecooks has long been among the most beautiful and capable recipe and cookbook apps on Android. It got acquired by the Japanese-born Cookpad service toward the end of 2013 and since then, it got an interface redesign and a name change to Cookpad Recipes, but almost everything else remained the same up until a few days ago. Read More
Cookpad Recipes, the renamed app of Allthecooks that made it into my favorite list of beautiful and delicious cooking apps for Android tablets, has received a significant update to version 6.11, bringing a redesigned homepage and a few Material Design elements.
Gone is the grey toolbar that greeted you when you first opened the app, replaced with a floating white search bar and a hamburger menu. A FAB sits at the bottom of the screen and spawns another action button to compose a new recipe. Inside the app, the toolbar has switched to Cookpad's signature bright orange, and the status bar is made transparent to fit with it. Read More