YouTube Music and YouTube are too interlinked for many people's tastes, and it appears that Google is finally taking more steps to decouple the services. The YouTube Music app has widely rolled out a (previously spotted) option that lets you hide liked music videos from YouTube (as noticed on Reddit). Unfortunately, the setting doesn't apply to liked songs in the video streaming service, and recommendations and the watch history are still sometimes bleeding over from one platform to the other.
Android has supported app shortcuts since 2016, but some popular apps still haven't implemented the feature yet. We found evidence that Instagram was about to change that in October 2019, though it took the company until now to finally roll out shortcuts widely. Most people should now be able to tap and hold the Instagram icon on their home screen to quickly access the camera, create a new post, view their activity, and open direct messages. Additionally, Instagram has quietly reworked the Stories archive, which is now organized in three sections.
A few years ago, a YouTube update changed the video player's progress bar, extending it over the full width of the display. Ever since, it's been easy to miss the fullscreen button and hit the end of the seek bar just below it instead, often making for a frustrating experience. A YouTube app update tries to remedy that problem by preventing the bar from responding to single taps at all — you now need to hold and slide your finger to seek.
Adding new items to your shopping list or creating small notes are two of my most-used Google Assistant features. It's so convenient to say "Hey Google, add onions to my shopping list," and not have to worry about it until I open my list before heading to the supermarket. Now, Assistant is adding a shortcut to make this action easier if you prefer to type instead of talking.
Google Photos only recently got an improved custom share sheet, and Twitter is testing a better implementation of its solution as well. YouTube apparently didn't want to be left out as some people report that they're seeing a new share sheet in the app, too. In contrast to the other two, the video service's solution is a drastic regression in function, making me wonder if it's a bug that passed testing.
Google has been teasing a dark theme for Maps for a year now, and after some code surfaced that pointed to traces of a dark mode in version 10.50 of the app, we've now got our first look at a proper, finished night-compatible theme in version 10.51.1. It's currently rolling out as a limited server-side update to a few people only.
This story was originally published and last updated .
We've all been there: you're watching your favorite show on your smartphone, and you go to rebalance it in your hand and accidentally hit pause or next episode. It's not the end of the world, but it is annoying, and it's probably something you wish you could fix. Now, in Netflix, you can. With the new new Screen Lock button, Netflix can be told to safely ignore your errant grasps and pokes, keeping the content front and center.
Netflix has long shown you lists of popular content on its app's home screen, but so far, you could never see how exactly titles in those ranked. The company is looking to change that as it has announced that it's starting to roll out top 10 lists of most popular series and movies across all platforms and form factors.
Gboard has a long history at Google with its root in the AOSP keyboard that's still standard with pure Android builds. In contrast to that, Gboard adds a whole bunch of features, making typing on your phone a rich experience: You get a number of themes to choose from, advanced text correction, emojis, GIFs, web search within the keyboard, a better integration of voice typing, and the option to sync your dictionary across devices. The latter option, however, has disappeared for many users.
Android's check for update button must be one of the most loved and hated interface elements on the platform. When it works correctly, it brings you a new update with better security and some/many new features (some bugs too, possibly). But more often than not, it doesn't. Google seems to have fixed it now, but just in case you're stuck checking for an update for the umpteenth time, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, you may see a new animation.