Google set loose a new beta release of Maps, taking it up to v9.38. This release doesn't seem to have quite as many huge features as some of the last few, but there are still a couple of cool additions. There's a new tab with a list of upcoming events, bookings, and reservations. The dedicated album for food photos from a recent teardown is now also live. There are almost always a few other hidden gems in each release, so keep an eye out for more changes and let us know if you see anything else. Read More
Spotify is big on music discovery with features like suggested artists and Smart Playlists that are based on your activity. Now, Spotify users are getting yet another music discovery feature. It's called Daily Mix, which offers a pretty good hint of what it does. Read More
You've probably played Crossy Road at some point in the last few years. It's been successful to the point that it has created something of its own sub-genre in casual gaming. If you see a game with a title following the pattern of "verb-y noun," you probably know what you're getting into. The latest title in that category is Looty Dungeon. It's published by Yodo1 (like Crossy Road), and I'll give you one guess what it's about. Read More
Google News & Weather has an interesting history. After years of being included on Android devices with almost no changes, it moved to the Play Store and received a Material Design facelift in 2014. Now Google has added a 'Lite mode' to the application, designed to save bandwidth for users in India and other regions where data is at a premium.
As indicated in the screenshot, you can set Lite mode to activate automatically, or force it on or off. When Lite mode is on, the application won't load as many images on the main screen. More importantly, opening a link in Lite mode causes an optimized version of the page to load instead of the full content. Read More
If you were starting to wonder why Google was suddenly making a lot of India-centric announcements, it turns out that the reason is that Google For India, the company's second official event aimed at the Indian market, was taking place today.
In it, Google has announced YouTube Go, a new India-first data-conscious app that makes YouTube more ready for offline and lesser data use, and plenty of worldwide improvements to Google Chrome with a focus on data saving and offline use as well.
Now, the company has released a more comprehensive list of all the enhancements and features it's bringing to the Indian market. Read More
Resorts and theme parks are one of the few touristic attractions I'd go to where I'd have the dedicated app installed and at the ready a few days before even visiting. I'd check out the map, see the different rides, and pick beforehand my musts and maybes so I don't have any regrets by the end of the day.
But if I were to visit Universal Studios Hollywood prior to today, like David did this Sunday, I would have no such luck (#DavidsLuck). The resort didn't have an Android app, unlike its Orlando sibling which has had it since June 2014. (There was a third-party app for Hollywood, but it was just down to the essentials.) Today, though, is another story. Read More
A few days ago, Google released Android apps to two Chromebooks: the Acer Chromebook R11 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip. These arrived with version 53 of Chrome OS, on the stable channel. However, the Chromebook Pixel 2, which has had Android apps in beta up until now, has been waiting for the stable release. This painful period is over, Pixel 2 owners, because you too can now join in on the Android fun with the release of stable Chrome OS 53 to last year's flagship Chromebook.
From what we can tell, it works the same way as it did on the beta. Read More
The Chrome team has announced a bunch of new features for its browser and made a few others that we've heard about before official. Without further ado, let's delve into everything new you can expect to see in Chrome stable (and sometimes just Beta and Dev) now.
Data Saver for videos
Data Saver has been an option of Chrome for a while now, but it's still limited compared to the powerful compression of Opera. At best, I've seen it reduce my usage by 15%, but that might be changing soon as the feature gains one important addition: video compression (just like Opera). The team claims that this can save you up to 67% of data on mp4 videos, which is fantastic. Read More
The YouTube team has been making lots of efforts over the past couple of years to bring its service and millions of videos to more users worldwide. This involves those who have access to fast internet connections and plenty of data, but also those who have very little data bandwidth and are still limited to 2G or congested 3G. Video, by default, doesn't fit well with the latter, but through conscious efforts like YouTube Accelerator and YouTube Offline, it can reach more of those devices and people who would seemingly be off-limits.
YouTube Go seems to be the culmination of these efforts. Read More