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
I listen to podcasts on an almost daily basis (including the excellent Android Police podcast, of course), and for as long as I can remember, my app of choice has been Shifty Jelly's Pocket Casts. It's easy to use, has all the features you'd expect, and the design is great. The developer is always looking to improve the experience, and for me it, became a whole lot more useful once a web player was added. The beta of the new 2.0 version of it has just been announced, and it looks like a big update. Read More
Google's Chrome team often experiments with different UI changes, with some ending up in the stable release and some not. "Chrome Home UI" recently made its debut, with its rounded elements and bottom nav bar. The latest feature to be tested on Chrome Canary introduces categorized content on the new tab page. Read More