Category: Android

Google Calendar Update Brings Event Drag & Drop to Android

While overall a minor update, the latest build of Google Calendar for Android brings a long desired feature by users:  Drag & Drop moving of events.  The new feature is in version 5.7.29 and that update is now rolling out into the Play Store.  Expect the update to hit your phones and tablets over the course of the next few days.

With this new feature, when you are in any view except monthly, you can now tap & hold then move an event on your calendar to a new time or day.  No more having to go into the event and manually edit the times or day.  Once you have moved it, anyone who is associated with that event will automatically get an update emailed to them of the day and/or time change.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Variants on T-Mobile Seeing The July Android Security Update

Good news this morning for those of you who have a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge on T-Mobile.  The carrier is now rolling out the July Android Security Update to these devices and it should be hitting yours sometime this week.  The updates are small, just over 50MB for each of the devices, and mostly focus on brining the July 2017 update to the devices.  There are a few minor fixes and improvements too but the security patch is the big news.

For those with a Galaxy S6, you are looking for version G920TUVS5FQG1 while the S6 Edge will be getting version G925TUVS5FQG1.  Both of these devices received the Android Nougat 7.0 update from the carrier last month.

Google Express Update Brings Offline Shopping List Support

The shopping app Google Express has been updated for Android today, bringing the ability to edit and access your shopping lists while you are offline.  For those who may not know, Google Express is a shopping app that allows you to shop over 30 stores like Costco, Whole Foods and Target and have those purchased items delivered to your home.  The service has next day delivery in most areas and is free shipping for those who have a membership.  That membership is $10 per month but is not required to use the app – you’ll just pay shipping.

The updated version of the app is 18.0 and once you have it, you will be able to access your shopping lists and edit them while you are offline.  Think of that thing you need to buy while on a flight?  No problem.  Open the app update, add it, and it will sync up with the service once you are back online.

Google Allo Can Now Uplift to Google Duo With A Tap

Google’s consumer messaging app, Google Allo, has another update rolling out that brings the ability to uplift your chat conversation to a video call with a single tap.  The update, version 14.0.037 for those keeping score, now has a button in the upper-right corner in the messaging screen that to launch Google Duo.  So if text-based messaging isn’t getting the conversation done, you can now place a Duo video call without having to launch it separately.  The new feature is aimed to bring the two apps more closely together but also to make communication more frictionless.

For those new to Android, Google Allo is Google’s text-based messaging app while Google Duo is their video calling app.  Both are focused on the consumer market while Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Video, the completely revamped versions of what is now known as Hangouts Classic, is for the enterprise space.

Google Phone App Update Brings Emergency & Call Waiting Improvements

The Google Phone app has a nice update rolling out this morning that brings some new features.  The update is build 10.1.161735957 for those keeping score at home and who like to play Google version bingo and it is rolling out to the Play Store now.

The big new feature in this update to the Phone app is emergency location information.  If you call 911 here in the US, you will be shown in the app (via Google maps) where you are calling from so that emergency services can find you faster.  It helps you see where you are faster which means help can get to you faster.

Google Improves AI-Laden Feed in Google App for Android

If you use the Pixel launcher or the Google app on your Android phone, you will have noted a few changes recently to the feed in apps.  The feed, which rolled out with the Google Now launcher, has slowly been improved to provide you more accurate or interesting information to you based on your habits.  Today, Google has pushed the big red button and with a server-side update, everyone’s feed is now showing these improvements.

Inside the Google app, you will see a much improved lists of articles and topics that are potentially of interest to you.  They did this by heavily leaning on Artificial Intelligence to bubble up things that you may find of interest based on other articles you have read or other interactions with Google along with local information on events happening around you.

IDC Pegs Android Market Share at 85% Globally for Q1 2017

Analyst firm IDC has released their Smartphone OS Market Share report for the first quarter of 2017 and its all looking good for Android.  The report looks at smartphone unit shipments to base the figures and Android for the quarter was on 85% of all units shipped.  That’s up from the 81.4% of the previous quarter (Q4 2016) but still 2.6% below the high water mark of 87.6% in Q2 2016.

The gains for Android came at the expense of Apple’s iOS.  Unit shipments for iPhones dropped to 14.7%, down some 3.5% from Q4 2016, which happened to be the height of its shipments at 18.2%.  The only other mobile platform that was mentioned was Windows Phone in the report.  That all-but dead platform now accounts for .1% of smartphone units sold.

Arrow Launcher Update Brings Contact Management Improvements

Microsoft has a new update rolling out to Arrow Launcher in the Play Store that is bring some nice improvements to the launcher.  The update is version 3.7 for those keeping score at home and this build has been in beta for a few weeks with testers.  The update has some good improvements around contact management (or as Microsoft calls it, People) as well as some other fixes.

The People card on the Utility page in this update will now allow you to choose between multiple actions for contacts and Arrow can now deal with merging and de-duping of contacts within the contacts on your phone.  The multi-action feature is a long requested one of the launcher.

Google Keep Update for Android Brings Undo & Redo Controls

Google Keep, the lightweight, cloud-based note taking app, has an update rolling out for Android users.  Version 3.4.803.02 doesn’t bring a massive amount of changes but it does bring the ability to undo & redo text editing controls to the app.  Now when you are editing a note and adding text, you have the ability to more quickly edit your notes with this new feature.

The feature is only available when you are editing a note and if you change notes or close and reopen the same note, the cache for being able to undo/redo is emptied so it won’t be available.

If you haven’t tried Google Keep, it is a free app (and is available on the web at keep.google.com) designed for lightweight note taking and editing.  Keep isn’t going to give you the flexibility of apps such as Evernote or OneNote, but if you need a quick note taking app that leverages cloud storage, it’s one to consider.

Blackberry KEYone Available from Sprint Starting Today

Today, Sprint here in the United States has become the first carrier to sell the Blackberry KEYone.  The announcement came from TCL, the company who licenses the Blackberry name, with the price starting at $22 per month for 18 months.  Outright, the phone is $528.

The KEYone drew a lot of attention when it was announced back in January with its keyboard and after a couple of delays, it is finally available for ordering.  The GSM version of the phone is $619.99 on Amazon.

Google Daydream Update Brings Controller Performance Improvements

There is a new update to Google Daydream that brings a wealth of updates and improvements.  The new build is version 1.7 for those keeping score at home and it is rolling out in the Play Store now.  If you have a Google Pixel device or a Huawei Mate 9, you’ll want to pick up this update once it comes to you via an OTA update.

Overall, Daydream Home in the app has been redesigned to give you quick access to content and experiences.  It doesn’t look much different than the previous build but there is much more content in the top carousel than in the previous release.

Huawei P10 Update Rolling Out with Improvements and May Security Update

There is a new update for the Huawei P10 that is rolling out now to device owners.  The update is for both the dual-SIM and single-SIM variants of the phone and it brings an updated security patch and other performance improvements.  The update is VTR-L09C432B150 or VTR-L19C432B150 depending on which variant you have in hand.  The builds are identical in updates and are about 270MB in size.

The update includes several improvements to the device including improvements to the camera app for more natural colors and adds a Moving picture feature which creates a small movie from your photo.  There are also battery performance improvements in this update, especially for times when you use your phone over a long period.