Category: App Update

Wear OS by Google Update Brings Improved Google Pay Performance

A new update to the Wear OS by Google app is rolling out in the Play Store today, bringing a handful of improvements to the app and subsequently your Wear OS watch.  The update is version for those keeping score at home and it should be available to all Wear users at this point.

The headliner in the update is improvement Google Pay performance.  If you have an NFC watch, you’ve been able to use it to pay for things using Google Pay.  The problem that most users have run into is that it takes too long to open, in some cases up to 15 seconds.  That largely defeats the point as it is faster to get a credit card from your wallet or simply tap your phone to pay.  This update should fix that.

Google Play Books Adds Trim Silence Feature for Audio Books

A new update to the Google Play Books app is rolling out this morning, bringing a new feature to trim silent moments in audio books to speed up the listening process.  The update is version 4.3 for those keeping score at home and is just now making its way into the Play Store.

The new Trim Silence feature is found in the Playback settings menu that you can access while listening to an audio book.  For those that may not use Google Play Books often for audio books, this is accessed by pressing the speed playback icon while listening to an audio book.

Chrome for Android Updated to Chrome 68

Like its desktop brethren, the Chrome for Android app has now officially been updated to Chrome 68.  The promotion comes after five beta builds of the Chrome for Android Beta app over the course of the past month or so.  The new build is 68.0.3440.70 for those keeping score at home.  Google has released it but it will take several days before everyone gets it – perhaps up to a week in some cases.

Like the desktop version of the browser, Chrome for Android has a load of bug fixes and other improvements.  It also brings the “Not Secure” banner to sites you visit that are not encrypted (HTTPS) as it does on the desktop.  This is a change that Google announced was coming last February to help identify non-encrypted sites.

Latest Microsoft SwiftKey Update Brings Significant Arabic Language Improvements

While it doesn’t get updated as often as the Office 365 suite of apps, Microsoft SwiftKey does see an update every couple of months on average and they tend to be sizable updates.  The update that the Redmond company released today for their Android keyboard app is no exception.  It brings a significant number of improvements with a heavy emphasis on improvements around Arabic.

The update is version is for those keeping score at home.  It is in the Play Store now and if you have the keyboard installed, you likely have the update waiting or it has been installed if you have Automatic Updates enabled.

Fifth Chrome 68-Based Build Arrives for The Chrome for Android Beta App

Another new build of Chrome 68 has arrived in the form of an update to the Chrome for Android Beta app.  The new build is 68.0.3440.70 for those keeping score at home.  This new update marks the fifth Chrome 68-based build for the Beta app in this current cycle.

For readers who may not know, anyone can download and install the Chrome for Android Beta app from the Play Store.  No registration is required and you can have both the stable version and the beta version on your phone at the same time.  Just keep in mind that the key word in all of this is “beta” so you could run into bugs or other odd behavior with the app as it goes through testing.

Uber App Update Brings A Unique Color Spotlight to Help Your Driver Find You

A new update to the Uber app for Android and iOS, along with a cloud-side update, has brought a new spotlight feature to the app.  Designed to help your driver locate you in a dark area or a crowded area, the update gives you the ability to hold up your phone and have your screen be a solid color that uniquely identifies you to your driver.

In addition, the car sharing service is now guaranteeing pickup times if you schedule a ride.  For example, if you schedule a ride for the afternoon to take you to the airport, you are given a guarantee time of when your driver will arrive.  If they don’t arrive by that time, you are credited $10 towards your next ride.

Google Phone for Android Can Now Send Spam Calls Straight to Voicemail

Google has quietly rolled out an update to the Google Phone app for Android, the dialer app for the Nexus and Pixel lineup and a few other phones out there that can run it.  The update brings the ability to send recognized spam calls straight to your voicemail and won’t even notify you of the call.  That way you don’t even face the distraction of a notification.

The feature only works on on calls that are recognized as spam calls from Google so it may be a bit hit-and-miss at times.  But when it does hit, it will be a great way be distraction free from these types of calls.

Microsoft Updates Several Office 365 Apps for Android

Microsoft is one of the best developers when it comes to frequent and meaningful updates to their swath of Android apps in the Play Store.  The Redmond, Washington company has released several updates to some of their apps as part of the normal monthly Office 365 updates.  All of these updates are now in the Play Store so you should be able to check for the update now or, if you have auto updates enabled, you likely have already been updated.

Outlook for Android has a great new feature that frankly I wish Gmail had:  Do Not Disturb.  It’s no mystery on what it does.  It prevents email notifications from showing up on your phone.  It works just like the DND feature in Android itself, meaning you can set it up for a specific amount of time or until you manually turn it back off.  Also, in Outlook, you can now delete contacts directly in the app.

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