Google has announced some new improvements to Google Search that may make using a smartphone a little easier. When using Google Search, if a result includes information that may be included in an app on your device, the search results will now indicate the app and provide a handy button to launch the app directly from the results. The example Google provides is a search for information on a movie. They point out that detailed information and trivia about a movie may be included in the IMDb app, box office information may be accessed via Wikipedia’s app, and ratings and review information could be in the Rotten Tomatoes app. Google’s search function will now be able to alert you to the fact that the information can be found in an app instead of surfing out to the web.
Google, through their NianticLabs development team, has released an update to their Field Trip app. The majority of the changes with this latest version involve changes to the user interface to give it a look more consistent with recent Android design style cues. Read more
Angry Birds fans who are ready to enjoy the holiday season in the game may want to check out the latest update to the Angry Birds Seasons app. Rovio uses this version of Angry Birds as a way to make special levels available based on a variety of holidays and festive seasons from around the world, like Halloween or the Chinese New Year celebration. Their latest update, released today, adds several new goodies called Arctic Eggspedition. Read more
Samsung is starting to push out an update for the Galaxy Gear that adds extended notifications, Smart Relay functionality, and a handful of bug fixes. We’ve talked a bit about the better notifications, which includes being able to see full notifications from any app on your Gear and control for those notifications in the Gear Manager app. This includes things like Hangouts, Twitter, and tons of others.
Samsung is also adding Smart Relay functionality, which allows you to “perform actions seamlessly” between Gear and phone. There’s also improved gesture support for the lift and pause gesture that turns the clock on with the Gear, so that’s helpful. Overall, it’s not a major update, but it addresses some of the quirks of the Gear to make it just a little better for users. The update should be rolling out in the US this week.
Yesterday Google started a phased rollout for a new version of the YouTube app on Android taking the version number up to 5.3. Immediately noted in the update were some slight changes to the user interface. However, digging into the apk for the update revealed several new features that appear to be on the horizon for YouTube including the framework for the YouTube subscription service, an offline video mode, some background music listening options, and “uninterrupted playback.” Read more
T-Mobile has started the process of rolling out the Android 4.3 update for Samsung Galaxy S 4 devices on their network. The update is available via an over-the-air update if a user is on a WiFi connection or it can be downloaded and installed using Samsung Kies.
According to T-Mobile’s support page, the update brings Android 4.3’s updates along with KNOX and Samsung Galaxy Gear support. To grab the update OTA, just go to Settings –> More –> About device –> Software update. You can hit the source link for more details and information.
Android 4.4 KitKat is taking the Moto X by storm, as the device is the first non-Nexus device to receive the update. T-Mobile and Verizon’s variants got the update just a few days ago, and Motorola announced today that AT&T’s variant would be getting the update today.
Motorola has been extremely impressive thus far with the update, and let’s hope the new DROID line won’t be far behind in receiving KitKat as well.
If you’re on AT&T, keep checking your phone for the update and let us know below if you’ve received it.
Source: Motorola Blog
For months now, plenty of Facebook users have yearned for Facebook to update the UI of their Android app. With the recent test build, it seems like that’s exactly what Facebook is planning on doing. The new test version is at 126.96.36.199.2 and gives Facebook the “flat” style UI which looks similar to the same UI given to their Messaging app. It also looks like they’ve gone to a tab style where you can swipe through to your notifications, newsfeed, friend requests and messages. Check out the images after the break for a look for yourselves as well as the download link.
Google has really been ratcheting up their Google Wallet app the last few weeks. The release of Android 4.4 saw the ability for Google Wallet to be used for on any device regardless of the carrier, which was a major hurdle for Google to get past on the way to greater adoption. Earlier this week we saw Google release a physical card connected to a user’s Wallet account so they can make payments anywhere a debit card could be used. Google has now released an update to the Android app that adds the ability to add a credit or debit card to the account just by taking a picture with the device’s camera. Google claims the number and expiration date will be captured automatically. Hit the break for download links. Read more
Exactly 15 days ago, HTC America President Jason Mackenzie came out and made the promise that the Android 4.4 KitKat update would be coming to the Google Play edition HTC One in 15 days. As you might have noticed from the previous sentence, today is that day.
So, where’s the update? Well, the promise wasn’t exactly fulfilled, but HTC has at least done its part. The HTC USA Twitter account made this statement earlier today:
“Good news, we’ve delivered KitKat code to Google for HTC One GPE. Timing of push via PlayStore to be determined by Google.”
So, it’s on its way. It’s in Google’s hands now, and since Google is looking to get these updates out as soon as possible, 4.4 should theoretically be pushed to the device in a matter of days. This is all speculation, though, of course.