Android 7.0 is right around the corner, and will bring with it a customizable version of the quick settings list. For the first, time, developers will have an officially supported way to add new items to this UI, and some are getting an early start. Weather Quick Settings Tile puts the weather up there. You can already have the weather just about anyplace else, why not in the quick settings? Read More
Look, Chrome updates are not usually glamorous or particularly interesting, but they are often important. You use Chrome a lot, and even little changes can make your overall experience better. In the latest build to hit the stable channel (v52), video performance has gotten a boost, and it'll use less data. Read More
Scoff all you like, Google purists: there are a lot of people who double-dip Android and iOS/Mac platforms, and we have the analytics to prove it. Those of them who subscribe to Apple's paid Music service (which is built off the bones of ye olde Beats Music) will be happy to hear that the Android version is now out of beta. It was available publicly on the Play Store before, but now it's formally released for everyone. Huzzah. Read More
BlackBerry is trying to make Android phones these days, or at least sell them. Its latest device is just a re-branded Alcatel Idol 4, but you don't have to get a BlackBerry phone to get all of BlackBerry's software features anymore. The company has released Hub+ in the Play Store, which gives you access to features like unified inbox, BlackBerry Calendar, and a password manager. Read More
Cloud storage and reminder apps seem to go together naturally - Evernote and Google Keep both have some basic attachment tools, and they share collaborative elements with things like Dropbox and Drive. Today Dropbox is trying to bring it all together with Paper, the company's first new app in quite a while. It's up on the Play Store in beta form, and like the primary storage app, it's free to download and use. Read More
Google's Creative Lab internal division certainly has a diverse body of work. Between all the experimental apps and weird web tools released under the name, you can find entries that range from novel to straight-laced and back again. The latest addition to the catalog falls into the former category. Verne: The Himalayas is a virtual tour of the world's highest mountain range, utilizing both Google's 3D satellite mapping technology and a cartoon abominable snowman. Read More
The Google Maps app is back again with a fresh update, and this one is certainly interesting. As far as live features go, there are some changes related to navigation that will help keep maps oriented north, even with accidental swipes. A teardown also shows that Google is planning to give advice about parking at different locations, and Local Guides can look forward to status indicators for edits. And finally, there's evidence suggesting the return of Launcher Shortcuts.
- New 'Keep map north up' setting
- Accidental swipe protection for North-up mode in Navigation
Keep map north up
Left: previous version with tilt map toggle. Read More
YouTube has a lot of content, not all of which is acceptable for kids. Actually, a lot of it isn't acceptable for grown ups either, but that's beside the point. The YouTube Kids app was launched last year to aggregate kid-friendly videos, but it didn't support YouTube Red. Now, it does support YouTube Red, which we predicted in an APK Teardown earlier this year. Read More
Mobius Final Fantasy looks like a pretty standard entry in the famous RPG series from the last ten years or so: vague otherworldly threat, androgynous young hero, production design that borders on cocaine-fueled insanity. It helps that the plot is fleshed out in beautiful 3D cutscenes with full voice acting and orchestral music, unlike other "original" Final Fantasy mobile games such as All The Bravest. Indeed, Mobius might be the first Square-Enix title that can lay claim to being a truly original Final Fantasy game, built from the ground up for mobile devices. Today it gets a worldwide release, and it's a free download on the Play Store. Read More
We may have all been a bit dubious about Samsung Pay when it was first announced, especially as another duplicate service that Samsung was launching to provide its own solution instead of Google's or Apple's, but Pay has proven to be more of a success story so far. Launches in multiple countries, ease of use, and MST compatibility make it a great contender in the mobile payment segment.
With this continuous improvement comes a new feature of Samsung Pay: Samsung's own Rewards card. You can earn it by participating in different promotions — there's one right now for a $20 Rewards card after making your first payment in the US — and it'll show up as a VISA card inside your Pay account. Read More