There's a new update to the Google Phone app rolling out to Google-supported devices (e.g. Pixel, Android One, etc.), and this one brings a long-awaited feature: Chat heads. More specifically, this is the floating widget with the contact photo of the person you're talking to. Also coming in the future, or possibly already live for some, is support for the new Real-Time Text protocol. Read More
Facebook has to tread carefully when it comes to making products and services for kids under the age of 13. However, it's not like it's hard for kids to lie about their age to gain access to all the wonderful and unspeakably terrible things on the internet. If kids are going to be sending messages over the internet, parents might want to give the child-friendly Messenger Kids a shot. It's launching on Android today with some special Valentine's Day features. Read More
It baffles me that something as important as parental controls isn't built into Android and that Google's solution for the problem, Family Link, was only officially released last year and is still limited to countries you can count on one hand: US, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and now Canada is joining the fold. There must be a legal or technical limitation why this isn't enabled worldwide, but I can't for the life of me guess what it is.
But I digress. If you're a parent in Canada with children under the age of 13, you can now manage their Android device, account, and usage through Family Link. Read More
One of Allo's highlight features is Smart Reply, where the app guesses what you might respond to a message with, and adds a button to send that response. A few other apps have implemented it as well, like Android Messages, but usually not in notifications. Google seems to be testing an app called 'Reply,' which adds smart replies to other messaging apps. Read More
Version 3.14 of Google Photos just started rolling out a little earlier today. This one doesn't appear to have any new features or major changes, but it might possibly be leaving behind some older versions of Android. This update could also be preparing to launch the Favorites feature spotted in a previous teardown. Looking further into the APK's resources, there are also signs of more options related to Shared Libraries. And finally, Austin's Mysteryer feature takes yet another turn. Read More
Google is preparing a big expansion of YouTube TV content, but it doesn't want you to know that yet. Buzzfeed News accidentally let the news go live early, and the internet took note before it could update the post. So, you can expect Google to announce a raft of new channels tomorrow, February 14th. The price of the service is also going up next month, but only for new subscribers. Read More
Shazam has revamped the interface of the song page inside its app. The update, which began rolling out yesterday, brings a fullscreen artist image, replaces the long scrolling page with multiple menus, and gets rid of most of the visual clutter. Read More
However, it's only affecting the free version of Shazam.