Google Fit, Google’s fitness tracking app, has received a major update that brings an all-new user experience. For all intents and purposes, the whole app looks completely new with far more detail on the main page of the app along with more granular historical data. Gone is the large circular indicator of steps and exercise and replacing it is a cleaner UI with your active minutes, distance, calories burned and steps across the top of the page while more detailed information is found in sections below. This information not only shows you which days of the week you hit your step count goal, but also your activity goal and a clean, easy-to-read graph of your weight with a trend line.
Well that didn’t take long! HTC has just tweeted that three of their devices will be seeing the Android Nougat release. For those of you who have an HTC 10, HTC One A9 or HTC One M9, it is a pretty darn spiffy day.
So sweet. Android Nougat—the next version of Google’s Android—will be coming to the HTC 10, HTC One A9 & HTC One M9. pic.twitter.com/cB5S2zv0PW
— HTC (@htc) June 30, 2016
This is great news for sure and while the HTC 10 was almost a lock to get Nougat, seeing on the One A9 and One M9 is great to see too.
After an online naming suggesting site and countless rumors, we now know the name for the next version of Android. The Android team tweeted this morning that Android Nougat is the name for the “N” release, ending speculation and probably making more than one person say “I told you so” this morning.
— Android (@Android) June 30, 2016
While many thought that this would be the official name, until now we were not 100% sure. Many had hoped that Nutella would be the name and teasing by Google suggested that was in the running. But Nougat was one of the first names to be thrown out there and it seems to have stuck.
It has been rolling around in, erm, beta for a while now but the new Beta channel in the Google Play Store is now available to everyone. The update on the back end and a recent update to the Play Store app on Android will now show you the beta apps that are available to you for the apps installed on your phone or tablet. Generally it is only going to show you the beta programs you are involved in so don’t look for beta programs to join here. Rather, it is simply a way for you to easily see which apps you are running beta code.
A small but potentially life saving update has been made to Google Search around earthquakes. Now you can type in “earthquake” or “earthquake near me” in Search and get instant information about the magnitude of the temblor, its epicenter and survival information all at the top of the search page.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that approximately 500,000 earthquakes occur around the globe each year, 100,000 of which can be felt. Now people who feel the effects of an earthquake can ask Google directly about the disaster and get timely information to help them stay safe.
In the event of an earthquake, searches for “earthquake,” “earthquakes near me” or similar queries will give you an at-a-glance summary about the quake, right at the top of the search page.
With many of us living in earthquake active areas, this type of information can be not just handy but potentially life saving.
The latest update to Google Inbox is currently rolling out in the Google Play Store and with it comes Direct Share support. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Direct Share is a feature in Marshmallow that allows your most frequently used contacts to show up in the Share pane of an app. This is something that several apps have been rolling our recently including Google+, Whatsapp and Hangouts. Now if you have Inbox installed and you want to share something (say a website), you can use the share function in your browser and share it directly to a contact using Inbox.
Google has rolled out a behind-the-scenes update that enabled comment notifications in Chrome and on Android for Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides. Previously, when someone made a comment on a shared file, you would receive an email notification that the comment had been made on the document. Now you will get a standard notification on your Android devices or in Chrome when these comments have been made on the file.
Microsoft has rolled out a sizable update to their launcher app, Arrow Launcher, that brings some much needed support and improvements. The update, version 2.0 for those keeping score at home, brings native Office 365 support. This means that users of the launcher will be able to view files from their Office 365 account without actually having to launch the Office app on their phone. Further, for documents on your phone, you can upload them from the phone to your Office 365 account (OneDrive). It is a really nice update and while the lack of Outlook support for the calendar in Arrow remains an issue, this is a huge step towards fully “Microsofting” your Android phone.
Signal Spy, the great helper app for Project Fi users, has been updated and now also supports U.S. Cellular. As readers will know, Project Fi has started rolling out support for U.S. Cellular as part of the MVNO (joining T-Mobile and Sprint) so it can seamlessly move you from any of the three carriers to another for better data and call quality. Signal Spy, which allows you to monitor your connections and manually force them to change, now supports U.S. Cellular too.
Good news this morning for those of you who have a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge on T-Mobile. The carrier has released the June security update in an OTA update with some other fixes and improvements this morning. The updated builds are G920TUVU4EPF1 for the S6 while the S6 Edge new build is G925TUVU3EPD1. For either device, the update weighs in at about 200MB and you will have to reboot your phone after you download and install the update.
Today over at Amazon, there is a great deal on the RavPower 20100mAh power pack. This external battery for your devices comes with two USB Type-A ports, one of which supports Quick Charge 2.0 technology, and one USB Type-C port to cover all of your charging needs for your devices. The pack normally is $79.99 but today it is just $41.99, a savings of 48%. The great thing about this pack is the fact it can be used on any of your Type-C devices including a Macbook or a Pixel C. It isn’t just for phones or smaller tablets.
So if you are super paranoid about Google knowing everything about you, this post may not be good for your blood pressure. If, however, you like being able to see your activity using Google products and services on any give day, the new My Activity site is for you. And frankly, it is pretty darn cool. For each day you can see a breakdown of the apps, services and other content that you have done on any given day. It is literally a minute-by-minute breakdown. You can see your search history, the website you have visited, the apps you have used, the YouTube videos you have viewed. You get the idea: If you give Google access to this information, it is in there in impressive detail.