Google Maps is one of the most feature-packed apps in existence, and fitting everything into easily reachable places is a challenge that requires regular changes. The latest update to v9.62 makes a big move by pulling the layer modes out of the navigation drawer to place them in a new persistent FAB (floating action button) right on top of the map. Amonth many other things, this update also adds a dedicated tab for videos uploaded by the community. On the teardown side, there are signs of some more significant improvements coming for commuters, and much more. Read More
It seems like Allo is slowing down a bit as the updates are no longer packed with an assortment of new features on each release. Instead, we're starting to see more things that spend some time in the teardowns before going live. An examination of today's update to v19 hasn't turned up anything notable in the live app yet, but a teardown does promise a few smallish tidbits like Firefox support for the web client and a camera effect that will probably place a sweet dairy treat on your head. Read More
It has been nearly two years since the launch of YouTube Red, or as I like to say: The subscription that lets you actually watch YouTube. Prior to that, it was called YouTube Music Key and only served music videos and enabled background and offline playback. Now it looks like there might be a new subscription tier called YouTube Plus coming soon. Read More
Call this a teaser or a weird rollout that hit one platform before another... or just typical Google behavior. Google Keep is showing users 4 new possible color options for notes, for a total of 12, but only on the desktop version. If you're using Keep on Android, even if you're on the latest v3.4.881, you get none of these and you still only see 8 colors.
The 4 new colors are dark blue, purple, pink, and some sort of light brown. Read More
If you've been craving some visual changes on your phone, an update to Google's Contacts app is rolling out with a few tweaks that are pretty noticeable. This version brings back full-bleed contact photos and adds a quick access bar. There are also a few other visual tweaks and a filter for the contact list has been moved. As always, you can grab the latest update from the APK Mirror link at the bottom. Read More
Xiaomi is following in the footsteps of many OEMs and releasing its apps onto the Play Store for faster updates, which avoids the long waits of firmware upgrades. However, Xiaomi is doing something differently: it's allowing users of other brands' devices to use its apps. After the capable Mi Calculator, now we have Mi FileExplorer on the Play Store. The app is still marked as "Unreleased" so it's still in beta, but from my tests it seems to work quite well.
Mi FileExplorer reminds me of the built-in file browser I've seen on my Samsung and LG devices: there's a regular directory browser, but also a per-type categorization that lets you view all your stored images or videos or APKs or documents (and other types) regardless of which folder they're in. Read More
Smartphones have become a critical component for many of the things we do in our lives. There are still plenty of bugs and weird little things that don't quite work right on our phones, but it's when they have to connect to other devices that many of the strangest behaviors start to crop up. For years, one particular issue has been plaguing users as they connect a phone to their car stereos, headphones, or other audio output devices. Moments after a connection is made, the phone will suddenly and unexpectedly begin playing music – and anecdotally, they're always quite loud. Google Play Music is often blamed for this behavior because it's the app most likely to respond, but there's now a toggle to prevent that from happening. Read More
As we close in on Google's October 4th launch event, a new beta release of the Google app itself is rolling out with hints about some of the things we may hear about during the presentation. In this update, we find further confirmation that one or both of the new Pixels will include pressure-sensitive sides that wake up Google Assistant. There are also clues about customizable search bars and interchangeable voices for the Google Assistant. And we can look forward to routines, which are basically shortcuts capable of taking multiple actions. Read More