Google Camera Update Brings Double-Tap Zooming

Google Camera for Android

There is a new update to the Google Camera app rolling out in the Play Store that brings a new double-tap to zoom feature.  The update is version 4.4 for those keeping score at home and it works on the Google Pixel lineup as well as the Nexus and Android One devices.  The update brings features that were actually in the app during the Android O beta cycle (Developer Preview 3) but it has now been ported out to all devices running Marshmallow or higher.

The primary new feature is the ability to double-tap the screen while you are in viewfinder mode to zoom.  If you double-tap, it will zoom in 50% and will return to the normal wide angle when you double-tap once more.  The new tapping works in both photo as well as video mode.

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Starbucks App Adds Fingerprint Support in Latest Update

Starbucks App for Android

If you use the Starbucks app on your Android phone, there is a new update rolling out that you will want to get as soon as you can.  Version 4.4.0.1 brings a lot of updates and improvements to the app with the headline new feature being fingerprint scanner support.

The support for fingerprint scanning allows you to log in, reload, transfer balances and purchases eGifts within the app by using your fingerprint for authentication.  All of these functions were in the app prior, it just required your password each time you wanted to do one of these things.  You can still have it use your account’s password but if you have a phone with a fingerprint scanner, you can enable it to get things done quicker within the Starbucks app.

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Google Clock App Updated With New Dark Theme and Android O Support

Google Clock for Android

The Google Clock app for Android has an update rolling out to the Play Store that brings a new dark theme, icon and support for Android O.  The update doesn’t bring any new features overall.

The new dark theme replaces the default blue/white theme that was in the app prior to this release.  There is no way to return to the old theme if you liked it as theme changing is not an option in the app.  Personally, I find this new theme a lot easier to read and easier on my eyes, especially in dark situations.

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Microsoft Teams Update Bring HD Video Calling

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft continues to develop their suite of apps for Android and the latest update to Microsoft Teams reflects that development.  The Slack-like app for enterprise Office 365 customers has been updated to version 1416/1.0.0.2017071901 for those keeping score at home and with it comes several key new features and improvements.

The big news is HD audio & video joining of meetings.  Audio meetings has been in Teams for sometime now but the audio was not HD quality and the option to join via video was not available.  Now when you join a meeting, you have the option to do so via video from your phone.

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Opinion: Google, Please Update Your Release Notes on App Updates

Google Calendar for Android

Yesterday, Google Calendar had a nice update drop in the Play Store.  The problem is, if you only read the release notes, you would have had no idea that a great new feature in the app.  That feature, the ability to drag & drop appointments to new days and times, was not mentioned in the release notes.  At all.  In fact, the release notes are from some four months ago.

The problem is that users of apps on Android need those release notes to know what they are getting in the update.  Be it a new feature or even a little bit of detail around what was fixed if it is a maintenance release would go along way.  Instead, users are dependent on sites like ClintonFitch.com and others to dive into the updates as soon as they drop or do APK tear downs to find out what’s new.  Believe me, I appreciate you coming and finding out what is new in a release but really, should it be such a guessing game?  No, I don’t think so.

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Google Calendar Update Brings Event Drag & Drop to Android

Google Calendar for 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.

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Google Express Update Brings Offline Shopping List Support

Google Express

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.

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