The Play Store may be packed with content, but there are some pretty strict rules in place when it comes to the things apps distributed by Google can do, and once in a while those rules are refreshed or tweaked. Starting this month, Google has refined its Developer Program Policies to include limits to call log and SMS permission access, explicit prohibitions against surveillance and "commercial spyware apps," and new Android Contacts API restrictions. Read More
A sad bit news hit Project Fi users' emails today. Google's MVNO service is shutting down text forwarding on September 12. While I'm sure not everyone on the carrier uses this feature, I personally have relied on it since joining Fi. Read More
If This Then That, or IFTTT for short, is a pretty great service. There are hundreds of connected services, allowing you to automate your email, smart home, social networks, and more. Many people use the service to set up push notification alerts, like one for when the International Space Station flies over your home or for when the pollen count is high in your area.
Push notifications are great, but they require you to install the IFTTT mobile app, which not everyone wants to do. IFTTT also supports sending notifications via SMS, but that is limited to just 100 messages per month. Read More
We're big fans of the Android One-powered Xiaomi Mi A1 here at AP. Its combination of a handsome design, top-of-the-line software, great performance, and solid battery life makes it one of the best budget phones out there (even if it's not officially sold in the US). The phone received Android 8.0 Oreo just before 2018 kicked off, but it's taken until now for 8.1 Oreo to roll out. Unfortunately, it comes with two pretty major bugs. Read More
Back in April, Google announced that it was pausing work on its Allo chat client to focus more on its RCS-enabled texting app, Android Messages. News of an upcoming web client for Messages was released alongside the announcement (something we’d known about for months), making it seem like Google was all-in on its SMS and RCS platform going forward. Now, that web client has arrived, and RCS continues its rollout around the world. The one, slight wrinkle? Google’s branded carrier, Project Fi, doesn’t even support RCS. And there’s still no timeline as to when it will.
RCS (Rich Communication Services) has been hailed as the ‘iMessage for Android,’ meant to finally bridge the feature gap between Apple’s closed communication platform and the ancient SMS standard. Read More
Back in February, we noticed in a teardown for the Google Voice app that support for text messages originally sent via Hangouts was coming to the app. Note, this is for SMS sent over the Google Voice system, not the old Hangouts SMS integration that died last year. Based on recent reports, that feature is now rolling out to a wider audience. Read More