It must be a happy Cody day today. After Google Maps' Shortcuts, another feature he has been tracking for months in his teardowns is starting to go live: podcast subscription and management in the Google app.
Ever since 2016, when podcasts rolled out in Google Play Music, we have been able to search for a podcast and play an episode right from the Google app / Google Search. However, starting in May of last year, Cody started uncovering signs of better podcast support coming to the Google app and Assistant, and now we have the first look at what they may look like. Read More
In Cody's past teardowns of Google Maps, one option popped up a few times: Shortcuts. Until now, we hadn't seen the feature yet and hadn't received any tips about it, but it looks like it's starting to go live for some users. Our tipster has it in his Google Maps v9.72.2 but we can't replicate it on our versions yet so it seems to be a server-side update. Read More
Google is no stranger to testing both warranted and unwarranted design changes in its apps on normal users, so this comes as no surprise. This time Google is testing a small change to the Pixel Launcher, but it's one that nobody asked for, and seemingly nobody wants it either. Read More
Google's constantly adding little server-side updates to its app in an aim to make things just a little bit easier. The latest addition a reader has spotted is a card entitled 'People also view' that shows up while you're reading through a webpage that you've clicked on from the Google app. Read More
Oh Google, you and your server-side tests. You cause so many people to have different interfaces on their Google apps and create mass confusion, yet we still love you. This latest server-side test involving the overflow menu popup in the Google app appears to be rolling out to many more people now, and it's overall a nice change. Read More
Autoplaying videos are the devil. I can't say how many times in a single week I have to turn off the "autoplay" toggle on YouTube's queue so it doesn't move from the video I'm watching to what it thinks I want to see next. (Why isn't this a universal setting, YouTube, why?!) And now it looks like YouTube is testing another way to annoy you with autoplaying videos on your home screen.
According to Android Central, the "feature" started showing up, though we don't have it on our devices despite running the latest YouTube version. It's one server-side test I'm not too brokenhearted about. Read More
Among the craziness of last week, we received one tip about a minor but welcome change in the Play Store that was showing up for some users: when browsing an app's listing, you might see a new line below the Install/Uninstall button that displays its current top chart rank, as shown for Spotify in the screenshot above.
That is useful when you reach an app's listing from the Play Store's search and you're not sure how popular it is. You might be more convinced to download it or buy it if you knew it was in the top 10 or 20 or even 100 in its category on the Play Store. Read More
YouTube is one of Google's most server-side test prone apps. Every couple of weeks, sometimes even days, we spot a new layout somewhere that brings a little change to the table. The latest is a renamed 4th bottom tab to Activity.
Activity merges the previous Shared 4th tab (which has been official for all since August) with your Notifications (which until now are hidden under Library -> your profile picture -> Notifications). So there are now 2 top tabs under the 4th bottom tab, yay! The move does make sense though since you can see all your active YouTube shared video discussions with friends as well as catch up on all the recent uploads, live broadcasts, and activity from the channels you follow. Read More