The Google Search app has been getting a lot of love from its developers lately. The beta version is currently testing an incomplete dark mode while the stable release has seen the addition of the account switcher we see in many other Google apps. Recently, another new feature has rolled out to many users – the app now includes an incognito mode, depicted in the screenshot above as "Use without an account." Read More
Google Photos started as part of Google+ until it became a full-fledged service of its own. The decision proved to be right for the service: while Google's social network departed this life earlier this month, Photos is alive and well, and remains one of the company's most beloved products on Android and iOS alike. However, your Google+ cover photos live on in some apps' sidebars, including Photos. This is changing now, though, as users are reporting the demise of their colorful profile picture backgrounds in the app. Read More
Google likes to adjust the Play Store more or less continuously, changing things in big or small ways for a small subset of users before rolling things out (or not) to Android at large. The latest updates to the app seem to be appearing for only a few people, presumably via server-side changes. It's nothing particularly huge - you might not even notice them if you're not looking for them - but it's the sort of tweak we live for. Read More
It seems everywhere I look, user interfaces are becoming less colorful - iOS and Windows 10 are especially guilty of this. That's why I've always loved Material Design, because it encourages apps to have an eye-catching color palette. Unfortunately, some of Google's recent redesigns (like the all-white YouTube UI in testing) are following the trend of removing colors.
Rita here at Android Police shares my frustration, so she wasn't happy when she received a new search UI that does away with all colors. Take a look: Read More
Google Photos is great (speaking personally, it's one of my favorite Google products), but there's always been one thing wrong with it: albums were not included in search results. Say I search for "cats" (I have a lot of photos of my cats). The photos in the albums would be included, as well as items found by object recognition, but the album with my cat photos would not be included. Google has now fixed this anomaly, causing the album itself to be included.
After force closing the Photos app and clearing data, this comes up on my Nexus 6P. It's pretty much that - if you search, Google will bring up relevant albums as well as relevant photos. Read More
Android users (or at least the ones who read this site) love a good beta, because it means that they get to check out all the new bells and whistles before anyone else. So it goes with the beta version of Google Maps. Multiple readers tell us they're seeing a new user interface when opening Google Maps' Explore menu, which is an alternate view for finding local businesses and attractions. The new look, which is heavy on Google Now-style cards, is above. Compare it to the current version (on the standard non-beta app) below. Read More
Dear international Android Police readers: thank you. Our staff is relatively small, so we can only be on the ground (so to speak) in a handful of countries... most of which are the US. So when a bunch of you from one particular place start telling us that something big is happening, we listen. The latest one is Google Now On Tap, the contextual screen-based search tool, which appears to be rolling out in Brazil right now. If you're in the country (and happen to be running Android M), give it a shot.
Update: Turns out Google Now on Tap is now enabled for the Portuguese locale rather than specific countries. Read More
It feels like Facebook is on a roll at the moment: Messenger has been getting lots of updates recently, as has WhatsApp, and there's new Instagram UI too. Now it's the turn of the main Facebook app. It would be an understatement to say it needs a lot of development time. If I had a dollar for every time I've seen a complaint about the Facebook app, I'd be richer than Mark Zuckerberg.
New Sharing Popup
The first item is the new sharing popup. We're not entirely sure when this first appeared, but it's there. The popup allows users to change where they're posting to - 'Post to Facebook,' 'On a friend's timeline,' and 'In a group.' This can be switched using the top spinner. Read More
I've always found myself nervous when Q&A sessions come up at a talk or presentation - I want to ask a question but can never find the willpower to actually put my hand up and ask it. Slides Q&A, in the latest version of Slides, appears like it might remedy or at least go some way to fixing that situation with its digital, typically Google-y approach to question and answer sessions.
With the update, Q&A is open all through the talk, with a link on the presentation screen. The audience is able to submit questions to the speaker, which can then be voted up or down by other members of the audience. Read More
Cody found evidence of an improved smartburst for Google Photos in his v1.16 teardown, and on the v1.17 official changelog it listed 'Improved burst photo support' as one of the points. Now, just after the v1.19 update, it seems the new Smartburst is finally starting to rollout to general users via a server-side update. Read More