Google Maps Update Now Lets You Know If Your Destination is Closed Before You Arrive

Google Maps for Android has been updated with a small but really handy feature.  Now when you use the app for navigation, it will inform you prior to you starting your journey if the destination will be closed when you arrive.  Obviously the implications of this are significant in that you can save time and fuel by not going to the destination only to find it closed.  The update, version 9.10.1 for those keeping score at home, was released yesterday and while it is the only really new feature, it is certainly a handy one.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Start Seeing Lollipop 5.1.1 on T-Mobile

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge and use T-Mobile as your carrier here in the United States, today is a pretty good day.  The Lollipop 5.1.1 update is streaming down to your device starting today and with it comes several bug fixes and feature improvements to make the experience a bit better.  The update is coming via OTA (over-the-air) so you can either wait for your Galaxy S6 to let you know the update is available or you can force the issue.  Go to Settings>General>About device>software update and manually check to see if the update is there for you.  The update is a bit slow in rolling out so you may have to check a few times but you will get it soon.

Google Now Sees Some Improvements In The Latest Google Search Update for Android

The latest update to the Google Search app for Android has brought some minor but noticeable changes to Google Now, the at-a-glance page on your Android Jelly Bean or higher device.  The update was released over the weekend and if you look at the release notes, the only thing that is mentioned is “get new features, plus speed and reliability improvements“.  Reasonably generic.  However, there does seem to be at least two changes I have noticed in Google Now since updating and there may be others I’ve just not found yet.  Regardless, version 4.7.13.19.arm for those keeping score at home is now in the Google Play Store and worth the small download to get the update.

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Galaxy S6 Back Glue Failing Issue

This is an interesting story and one that is a bit troubling if it turns out to be a larger issue. Over at Android Pit, they have had an interesting failure on one of their Samsung Galaxy S6 devices.  Specifically, the glue that holds the back on the device has begun to fail and the back is literally peeling off.

Photo courtesy of Android Pit

Photo courtesy of Android Pit

The question of course is this a one-off or is this pointing to a larger manufacturing problem.

The team over at Android Pit where quite clear in their post that the device had not been exposed to dropping, heat, water, etc.  In other words it had been taken care of so there was no reason for this to start happening.

Read the full article over at Android Pit and give me your thoughts here or on Google+ or Twitter.

I would also be very curious to hear from anyone (as I’m sure the AP team would as well) of anyone else who has seen this problem on their Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge.

Google Camera Update Brings Improvements Especially for Nexus Owners

Google has released a significant update to the Google Camera app and if you own a Nexus 4, 5 or 6 you will certainly want to get it on your device.  While most of the improvements in this release are focused on the Nexus lineup, there are a few features and improvements for everyone regardless of which Android device you are using.  This new update bumps the version to 2.5.052 (2005148-30) for those keeping score at home and is available now in the Google Play Store.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Google Camera is a camera alternative for your device.  It is a simple, easy-to-use camera app that covers all the basics of smartphone photography.  You can read my review of Google Camera here on the site and it remains the primary camera app I use on my OnePlus One.

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WordPress for Android Update Brings Refreshed Navigation

If you are a WordPress users like me then you have a much improved WordPress for Android app to check out today.  The new version 4.1 (for those keeping score at home) brings a completely rejuvinated tab navigation to the app along with some other minor fixes and improvements.  In the release notes, WordPress is quite clear that this update really focuses on the usability and navigation and not so much on new features or fixes.  That said, there are a few fixes in it so it is certainly worth the download.

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Google Play Newsstand Gets Improved Storage and Network Usage

Google has updated their news and magazine reading app Google Play Newsstand with several improvements that all users of the app will benefit from having on their device.  If you aren’t familiar with the app, it is a news curation app that allows you to see articles from a wide range of news sources in one app on a variety of different topics.  This latest update, version 3.4.1 for those keeping score at home, also has improvements for the widgets you have display on your home screen on your Android phone.  The app is free and free to use.

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Google Keyboard Gets Significant Improvements and Fixes in Latest Update

The Google native keyboard alternative, Google Keyboard, has received a significant update today that brings several improved features along with the standard bug fixes.  If you haven’t tried Google Keyboard, it is a free download and is a great alternative keyboard to those built into many ROMs of devices out there.  It allows for swipe typing (drag your finger across the letters to spell a word) and has auto completion – a feature that is significantly improved in this update.  The new version is, wait for it, 4.1.22063.1974169 for those keeping score at home and for those who like large build numbers. :-)

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Fitbit for Android Updated With Several Bug Fixes

Users of Fitbit for Android will find there is a new update to download today.  The update is primarily a bug fix and stability release so don’t look for many new features.  Instead, you will find a handful of fixes, especially those impacted by a green app icon.  Yeah, sounds strange to me too.  Anyway, the updated version is 2.7 for those keeping score at home and even if you aren’t impacted by the green icon bug, you should probably download it as there are other fixes.

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BLU Announces the Life One 8 XL

Along with the new Life One 2015 Edition, BLU announced the new 5.5″ display Life One 8 XL today.  This dual-SIM, 8-core powered phone features 8GB of on-board storage which you can expand an additional 64GB with a Micro-SD card, 1GB of RAM, a 8MP rear facing camera and will be upgradable to Lollipop in the July time frame.  This new phone will be available starting July 1 and is available for pre-order for only $129.

Built inside the Life 8 XL is a 5.5-inch HD display with 268 ppi, utilizing full lamination, IPS, and OGS technologies with an incredible color reproduction, brightness and quality for a perfect viewing experience. Camera options include an 8.0 mega pixel main camera plus 2 mega pixel front facing camera. The LIFE 8 XL’s memory configuration includes 8GB built in storage plus 1GB RAM, with an expandable Micro SD slot of up to 64GB. Additional features include Dual SIM Dual Active technology for multiple SIM card support.

BLU Life One 8 XL – Pre-Order for $129 from Amazon