Google next month will stop providing unlimited free backup in Photos. Although existing Pixel phones are exempted, future devices — as of today — will miss out on a great perk that helps emphasize the camera. An update to Google Photos today reveals apparent work on a new “Storage saver” tier that will be “free and unlimited” for Pixel.Expand Expanding Close
Google One for Android adds ‘Block internet if VPN disconnects’ setting [Updated]
At the end of last year, Google One added a VPN on higher-tier plans to help build out the subscription offering. Still only available on Android, the Google One app is working on the ability to “block internet if VPN disconnects.”Expand Expanding Close
Stadia 3.12 prepares new referral bonuses, exclusive avatar, Google TV details
The latest update to the Stadia app for Android, version 3.12, includes references to new referral bonuses, an exclusive avatar, and continued work on Google TV support.Expand Expanding Close
Android Auto prepares ‘Connectivity Troubleshooter,’ better day/night mode controls
Google’s Android Auto has become an important tool for many users and, soon, it may introduce a new “Connectivity Troubleshooter” which could make it easier to figure out problems with your connection.Expand Expanding Close
Google Home 2.35 reveals new doorbell-shaped device, possible Nest Hello successor
Version 2.35 of the Google Home app is rolling out on Android and iOS with some user-facing tweaks. The Home companion client today also reveals the backside of a new Google Nest device, which could be a next-generation Hello doorbell.Expand Expanding Close
Google Assistant ‘Memory’ supercharges saving and reminders on Android, in development [Gallery]
The very first iteration of Assistant for phones was focused on voice commands until Google in 2018 added Smart Display-inspired visual elements like on-screen controls. Last year, a Snapshot feed to show personalized recommendations and upcoming events was added. Overall, Google wants Assistant to be better suited for and take advantage of the phone form factor, and an upcoming “Memory” feature — which we enabled — is the most significant example of that goal to date.Expand Expanding Close
Google Podcasts working on letting you fine-tune episode recommendations [APK Insight]
Since the start of this year, Google has been working on a revamped Now Playing screen for its Podcasts app on Android. Based on what we enabled, that modernization is to make way for more advanced recommendations.Expand Expanding Close
Google Pixel 6 likely to adopt centered hole punch camera, 4K selfie video
Over the weekend, Google rolled out an update to their Pixel series’ Camera app, and in it our team has discovered some interesting tidbits about the likely Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a, particularly about the front-facing cameras used on the two phones.Expand Expanding Close
Google TV phone app prepares to add Android TV remote possibly to replace all-but-abandoned app
The Google TV app for Android has received an update that includes the beginnings of a universal remote to connect to Android TV devices, which could replace the long-outdated Android TV Remote Control app.Expand Expanding Close
Pixel Stand update adds bedtime reminder, sleep sounds shortcut
Since the launch of the Pixel 3, the Pixel Stand has been Google’s signature wireless charger with exclusive features not offered for other wireless chargers. Now it seems the Pixel Stand app has added a new bedtime reminder with a shortcut to sleep sounds.Expand Expanding Close
Google working on built-in ‘Wear OS Screen Recording’ tool
Following a small tweak to the notification experience last week, Google’s next feature for Wear OS looks to be a Screen Recording tool. Similar in implementation to screenshots, evidence of this functionality appears in an update to the Wear OS Android companion app today.Expand Expanding Close
YouTube TV for Android is getting ready to let you download shows for offline watching
Paying for YouTube across the main service and Music lets you download content for offline access. YouTube TV will soon let you download media for offline access.Expand Expanding Close
Stadia app 3.2 teases Project Hailstorm, works toward voice chat and Android TV, more
The Stadia app for Android has received an update to version 3.2, containing another tease of Project Hailstorm and progress toward voice chat, Android TV, and much more.Expand Expanding Close
Gboard 10.2 preps redesign for existing themes & screenshots in Clipboard, adds Spelling settings [APK Insight]
Last month, Gboard started testing an updated theme and “enhanced voice typing” for Pixel phones with the new Google Assistant. Gboard 10.2 rolled out to beta users last night with work on expanding themes, as well as a handful of other features.Expand Expanding Close
Stadia 2.52 teases ‘Project Hailstorm,’ couch multiplayer, Explore tab revamp, more
The latest update to the Google Stadia app for Android, version 2.52, includes a teaser for a mysterious “Project Hailstorm,” a new way to play games from the couch with friends or family, a full revamp of the Explore tab, and more.Expand Expanding Close
Stadia 2.42 prepares to add State Share to captures, Stadia Pro trial without credit card, more
Since its first debut, Google has touted that Stadia can enable features that aren’t possible on non-cloud platforms. One of those features, State Share, is set to get expanded by being integrated directly into Stadia’s screenshot and video capture capabilities.Expand Expanding Close
Google Play Store preps settings redesign that avoids long lists, multiple pages
Long settings pages — no matter how necessary each option is — can be intimidating to users. The Google Play Store is now readying a new settings page that offers an alternate design on Android.Expand Expanding Close
Stadia 2.39 prepares free trial for Google One members, more
The latest update to Google Stadia for Android, version 2.39, includes preparation for a free trial of Stadia Pro for Google One members.Expand Expanding Close
Google Assistant preps connecting health apps to show sleep and fitness data
Google positions Assistant as being able to provide help throughout your day, and recently rolled out Gentle Sleep & Wake to all smart lights, while Routines let you quickly turn off devices for the night. Google Assistant is now readying integration with health services so that you can verbally ask for fitness and sleep information.Expand Expanding Close
Stadia 2.36 preps voice in captures, referral benefits, family sharing details, more
Ahead of the Launch Night In event where Google is expected to take the wraps off their next Chromecast, the Stadia app has received an update to version 2.36 that includes work on adding your voice to captures, benefits for the referral program, and more details of how family sharing will work.Expand Expanding Close
Google Home app reveals ‘Nest Audio’ speaker brand, work on Home/Away Routines, and more
Google Home 2.28 adds support for OnHub routers and lets you better control notifications. It also reveals “Nest Audio” as the possible name of Made by Google’s next speaker and work on Home/Away Assistant Routines.Expand Expanding Close
Google Play Store preps ‘My apps’ redesign w/ integrated P2P app sharing [Gallery]
Since last year’s Material Theme revamp and dark theme, the Play Store for Android has remained relatively unchanged. Google Play is now working to redesign the “My apps” list, which will soon be called “Manage apps & device,” while we also activated a more integrated P2P sharing experience today.Expand Expanding Close
‘Apple One’ subscription bundle confirmed by Apple Music for Android ahead of Sept. 15 event
Back in June, our colleagues at 9to5Mac discovered in the iOS 13.5 beta that Apple was planning to bundle their services into a single subscription. With the latest update to the Apple Music app for Android, we can now confirm that a unified “Apple One” subscription should be coming soon.Expand Expanding Close
Google Maps readying app-wide dark mode on Android [APK Insight]
Following the Home app last month, one of the last first-party apps that needs a dark mode is Google Maps. Fortunately, the latest version of the Android client finally reveals that work is underway.Expand Expanding Close
Google possibly working on letting Assistant simultaneously access data from multiple accounts
One long-running critique of Google Assistant is how it doesn’t play well with work accounts, specifically Calendar events. While there is an Assistant for G Suite beta, it requires users to actively switch accounts. Google might soon let Assistant access data from multiple accounts alongside your primary one.Expand Expanding Close
Stadia 2.32 adds final prep for messaging, UPlay+, improved recruitment system, more
For a few months now, we’ve been watching as the Google Stadia app prepares to add messaging capabilities. With the release of Stadia 2.32, Google seems to have put the finishing touches in place for messaging to officially launch, as well as UPlay+, a better recruitment system, and more.Expand Expanding Close
Here’s the redesigned Google Photos editor in action [Video]
Back in June, Google redesigned Photos for Android and iOS with simplified navigation and an “Explore” map. The visual revamp was thorough, but it did not touch every element. Google Photos is now readying a new editor that looks more modern and is simpler to use.Expand Expanding Close
Stadia 2.29 preps pre-ordering games, messaging, more
Slowly but surely, Google Stadia has been picking up new features, shaping it into a proper gaming platform. Version 2.29 of the Stadia app for Android has arrived in the Google Play Store, bringing with it signs of pre-ordering games, text messaging, and more.Expand Expanding Close
Gboard and new Google Assistant readying ‘hands free’ voice typing demoed at I/O 2019
Google last year made speech transcription on Pixel devices work on-device and in real-time. Gboard is now working on “hands free” voice typing that is more than just speech-to-text and builds on the new Google Assistant.Expand Expanding Close
Google is working on an ‘Assistant Chat Head’ and here’s what it looks like [APK Insight]
With Android 11, Google is going all-in with Bubbles, a way to “let users easily multi-task from anywhere on their device.” They are primarily used for messaging notifications and quick access to conversation threads, but the latest Google app beta today reveals work on an “Assistant Chat Head.”Expand Expanding Close
Stadia 2.26 readies microphone support, lower quality for mobile data, family sharing
One of the awkward things about Google Stadia since launch is that the web, Chromecast, and Android versions don’t all support the same features. Among other work found in Stadia version 2.26, Google is working on one feature missing from Stadia for Android — voice chat support.Expand Expanding Close
Gboard 9.6 preps dark/light themes that follow system, Google Lens shortcut
For those on the Android 11 Beta, the latest Gboard 9.6 beta on Tuesday started surfacing the new Emoji 13.0 characters. This release also reveals a new dark theme that can be automatically set, as well as Google Lens integration.Expand Expanding Close
Following Meet, full Google Chat functionality likely coming to Gmail for Android [APK Insight]
Back in April, we reported how Google was readying Chat and Meet functionality directly inside Gmail. Video conferencing was announced for the Android and iOS apps last month, and Google Chat now looks to be following.
Lens readying Google Camera-like UI redesign with offline translation, ‘Homework’ filter [Gallery]
While there was no I/O this year, Google still launched a number of new features for its visual search tool in May. Google is now working on a Lens redesign for Android that adds several new capabilities.
Google working to integrate West Coast earthquake alerts into Android via Play Services
Earthquake early warning systems (EEW) can quickly detect tremors and provide a warning before shaking arrives. ShakeAlert is the system funded by the United States Geological Survey and other partners for the West Coast. Google now looks to be building earthquake alerts from that system into Android as part of Play Services.
Google Stadia 2.23 preps playing on mobile data, family sharing, more
One of the strictest limitations of Google Stadia is that you can currently only play while on a Wi-Fi connection. According to the latest version of Stadia for Android, Google is preparing to allow players to experiment with playing on a 4G mobile data connection.Expand Expanding Close
Google Docs for Android readying dark theme that also applies to the document editor [APK Insight]
While Drive for Android gained a dark theme last April, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have been notable holdouts. Night-friendly modes for these apps are coming and will likely also apply to the document view.
Android TV set to gain Google Assistant Voice Match
For a few years now, the Google Assistant has been integrated into Android TV, with most newer remotes offering a dedicated Assistant button and some devices offering “Hey Google” support. Now it looks like Android TV is picking up Voice Match integration with the Google Assistant, according to the latest update to the Google Search app for Android TV.
Google Duo working on Android screen sharing again [APK Insight]
In 2018, Google Duo for Android briefly had a screen sharing feature that was quietly removed after three months. The mobile app is today working on that functionality again. Expand
Files by Google preparing pin-protected ‘Safe folder’
In recent years, we’ve all wisely become more privacy-conscious, with more folks learning of and caring more about features like end-to-end encryption in messaging, but what about the sensitive files we keep on our phones? The Files by Google app is preparing the ability to create a pin-protected “Safe folder” on your phone.
Google Photos working on built-in ‘Explore Map’ to view by location [Gallery]
Last month, Google Photos celebrated its fifth anniversary. Nothing marked the occasion, but a bottom bar redesign of the mobile app is underway, and the Android app today reveals work on a way to browse images on a map.
Fitbit app reveals work on Google Assistant support, presumably for Versa 2
In November, Google framed its acquisition of Fitbit as a way to “help more people with wearables.” However, since the deal is still pending regulatory approval, the two companies have yet to integrate or announce any joint plans. That now appears to be changing as Fitbit works on bringing Google Assistant support to its devices.
Gboard 9.5 hints at removal of ‘Mini’ stickers, more emoji suggestions [APK Insight]
Back in 2018, Google’s keyboard app for Android and iOS added “customized stickers based on you.” The Gboard 9.5 beta today suggests that “Minis” will soon be removed, while there’s more work on emoji suggestions.
YouTube Music preps Bluetooth setting from Play Music, audiobook label [APK Insight]
The Play Music library transition began last month as Google’s latest streaming service picked up a number of player updates. YouTube Music is now readying an external Bluetooth device setting and a label for audiobooks and shows.
Google Stadia 2.19 preps playing on non-‘certified’ phones, free weekends, touch controls, more
Since launch, Google Stadia has been slowly gaining support for more and more Android phones outside of the Google Pixel series. With the release of Stadia for Android version 2.19, it looks like the service is preparing to allow you to play on phones that haven’t yet been “certified,” alongside other new features.
Digital Wellbeing may soon offer insights to why you might not be sleeping
Google’s Digital Wellbeing is both an app for Pixels & other Android phones and a wider initiative to help folks find healthy ways to disconnect from their phones. The next step for the Digital Wellbeing app appears to be to use a variety of data from your phone to give insights into why you might not be sleeping at night.
Google Meet for Android preparing background blur option
As of the end of last month, Google Meet (née Hangouts Meet) is officially free for everyone, not just those with a paid G Suite account, to help the millions of people now working from home every day. To help those of us with messier homes than others, it looks like the Google Meet app for Android is preparing to launch background blur.
Google Assistant working on ‘Bell Schedule’ for setting up ‘scheduled events’ [APK Insight]
Routines in Assistant let you invoke multiple actions using a single command. These macros can already be automatically scheduled, while Google at CES 2020 previewed an upcoming “Scheduled Actions” capability. Google Assistant now looks to be readying a “Bell Schedule” feature.