There are about a half-dozen countries that have enacted some form of official "do not call" registry and many others that have signed in laws to prevent various types of spammy behavior from running rampant over the telephone system. Unfortunately, little to nothing is done to enforce these laws and the penalties usually aren't steep enough to discourage bad behavior. Google is taking matters into its own hands and giving users a way to fight back. Starting today, a new version of the Phone app is rolling out to Nexus and Android One devices with built-in spam warnings.
The warning feature comes as a part of the phone app's existing Caller ID capability, which already maintains a very thorough directory about various businesses. Read More
Google is in the process or rolling out cleaner maps to Google Maps in an attempt to show more relevant information to users without overcrowding. You'll notice certain elements going away, but there is one new thing coming to your maps—areas of interest. If Google thinks there's some cool stuff in a particular area, you'll see it highlighted on the map. Read More
Humble Bundle isn't doing the constant Android game bundles anymore, but when they do a mobile bundle these days, it's a good one. Humble Mobile Bundle 19 is now live with seven rad games and more on the way. You can pay what you want to unlock one, two, or all three tiers of games. The best ones are, of course, in the top tier. Read More
Wire is one in a growing number of messaging services that promise to keep their users' correspondence private. In this case, the service offers encrypted text, voice, and video calls. And now it's open source. Read More
Google Camera v4.1, which has shipped with Android N (Nougat is still a little tough to say) dev preview 5, has been a treasure trove of new features. It introduced UI tweaks and new animations with plenty of little changes, then we also discovered that it has the much requested feature to pause video recording. But now we're finding another very hidden option of the camera: a twist gesture.
When you've got your viewfinder up, you can twist your phone away from you and then back on its vertical axis for a couple of times — think twist gesture on Moto devices — and that will switch between the front and back camera. Read More
Photo editor app Prisma has been a surprising hit on Android ever since people got wind of the limited beta test and grabbed the leaked APK, then lamented the shut down of the servers when the developers decided the beta test was over, and up until its official release a day or two ago. Even now, the servers often continue to be overloaded with plenty of requests to apply filters on top of images from everyone wanting to give this artsy app a try. Actually, part of the reason Prisma is so good is that its filters aren't simple layers and adjustments, instead there's lots of processing going on to get the result, which is why the app relies on its servers and why it has been overloaded. Read More
After finally launching in Japan last week and France yesterday, racking up 50 million downloads in the process, the world's favorite augmented reality game has arrived in Hong Kong, according to the game's official Twitter and Google+ accounts.
In case you've been living under a rock, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game where players walk around the real world with a smartphone and attempt to catch 'Pocket Monsters' (hence the name) and then fight players on another team for control of 'gyms.' Pokéstops, real world locations placed in the game, are used to acquire new items, mostly Pokéballs and eggs to hatch new Pokémon. Read More
Niantic's Pokémon GO is something of a dichotomy. I've never seen such a deeply flawed, broken game (with such poor support!) remain in such high demand. This weekend France, the last of the major Western European markets without entry to the augmented reality game, finally gets access to it in the Play Store. France follows Germany, the UK, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and many, many European countries smaller than it in terms of both size and population - it's not clear why France had to wait so long, but at least they're in good company. Update: as a commenter pointed out, the company delayed the release following the latest terror attack in France. Read More
Prisma, a new photo app that's been quite popular over on iOS, was in beta on Android and then transitioned to a non-functional state before we could even report on it. But that's okay: it's out of beta now and on the Play Store. The app applies a series of "artistic" filters to users' photos, then allows them to share on Facebook, Instagram, or the other usual suspects via the Android share menu. Prisma is free and available on Android 4.1 and up. Read More