Google started a beta program for Google Maps Go—the lightweight low-data version of Google Maps—back in January, but at the time you couldn't actually install it on non-Go phones or in most countries. That was a bit disappointing; while the app itself might be nothing more than a shell for the PWA accessible via Chrome, it was still bound to come in handy as a shortcut for those on slower connections. Now Google has decided to let more of us in on the fun, as the beta program on Google Play has expanded to the US. Read More
OpenSignal's bi-yearly carrier report for the US was just released, and T-Mobile's rampage from last year seems to be continuing. Although both Verizon and AT&T are seeing some recovery in network speed after the reintroduction of their unlimited plans last year, T-Mobile has again topped nearly every category in OpenSignal's testing. Sprint, though still in 4th overall, is also making great strides in both speed and availability. Read More
Over the years, the Google Now page has undergone more than a few changes, and it was even renamed a few months ago to 'feed.' Some users are reporting that they're seeing a new search bar design in their Google feed. Now that it's here (again), it's a bit confusing why it disappeared in the first place. 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
We all know Google as a company that is constantly testing new features with different users, and it turns out that Instagram has a similar habit. The Next Web spotted a ton of cool features the popular social media platform is working on, including a native 'Regram' button, the ability to follow hashtags, and much more. Read More
Early last year, Netflix prematurely flipped the switch on a beta channel release for its Android app. Within hours, the company pulled the plug on signups for the beta program. Now, over a year and a half later, it's back. Excited guinea pigs can again sign up to test the latest beta versions of the Netflix app for Android. Read More
Whether on mobile or desktop, Chrome always has a few experimental tricks up its sleeve. You can find these at chrome://flags where they can be enabled or disabled. Google uses these to test new features ahead of turning them on permanently, and lots of what we love about chrome started out as an optional flag. Read More
When you search with Google on your device, either with the home screen search box/pill, in the Google feed pane, or directly in the Google app, you'll often see predictive search suggestions as you type your query. These come not only from the web, but from your contacts, songs in your Play Music account, and so on. The web suggestions are usually indicated simply by a magnifying glass icon, but this could be about to change.
According to a tip we received on Google+, it appears that Google is trialing additional information for search predictions. As you can see from the screenshots below, thumbnail images and descriptions of each item are showing for our tipster. Read More
Mozilla has been pretty busy recently. Last month it updated its main browser, Firefox, with a much needed modern UI makeover, and back in the summer it launched a completely new browser, Firefox Focus. It's much simpler and faster than the standard Firefox app, and it's much more privacy conscious, too, with no tabs and automatic blocking of ads and trackers. There's also a Germany-specific version called Klar.
The company isn't taking a break anytime soon either, and a new unreleased app has popped up on the Play Store. Firefox Rocket appears to be similar to Focus, except it's specifically built for Indonesia and rather than privacy, the key USPs are that it's lightweight and fast, perfect for a region where mobile data and Wi-Fi aren't so cheap or easy to come by. Read More
In August we heard that Google was following the recent trend and testing a lite version of its Search app aimed at users with slow data connections. Search (Test App) has only been available in Indonesian and Indian markets while being tested, but it was updated to a newer version a couple of days ago, and now it appears to be available in the US for some. Read More