After three beta builds over the past few weeks, the Chrome team has released the Chrome 66 update to Chrome for Android. The new app is build 66.0.3359.106 and it will be landing on devices over the course of the next few weeks. There are several changes in this update including most noticeably, a new modern UI look to the browser.
This new look rolled out via a flag change in one of the first betas of Chrome 66 and it is still a flag that you can enable. That flag is chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-modern-design. It gives everything a more rounded and polished look over the current, default UI. Also, like the desktop updates and Chrome for iOS, you can now export your passwords in the mobile browser to save as a .CSV file. Keep in mind though that the file is not encrypted so if anyone gets hold of it, they have your passwords. Protect it!
G Suite is getting a small but time saving feature for admins who have corporate owned Android devices, or devices with a corporate work profile. They will now be able to allow any app to be installed on those devices, saving the tedious work of having to whitelist apps one at a time. It is a change that will be rolling out to all domains over the course of the new few weeks.
To this point, if a corporate owned or corporate work profile device needed to install an app beyond what the admin’s had whitelisted, they had to go and approve that app for that specific device. As you can imagine, this can be time consuming if you have a lot of corporate devices. Now admins can allow any app to be installed but, and this is important, end users will still only see the whitelisted apps in the corporate version of the Google Play Store first. It is only when they search for an app that they will be able to find it and install it.
The Android Distribution Report for April has been released and it reflects a sizable gain for Android Oreo. The latest version of Android, either the 8.0 or 8.1 builds, jumped 3.5% over the February report’s figures for the version. It now is on 4.6% of all devices that went to the Google Play Store for the 7 day period ending April 16, 2018. It is the biggest single jump for Oreo in the reports so far.
The gains have been helped largely lay the number of manufactures who have released the Oreo update for their devices. Samsung, Sony, HTC, Nokia and OnePlus have all been updating devices in the two months since the last report.
OnePlus has released OxygenOS 5.1 for the OnePlus 5 and 5T today, bringing Android Oreo 8.1 to the two phones as well as other improvements to the device. On the OnePlus 5T, it also brings the new full screen gesture support which is similar to the gestures found on Apple’s iPhone X. The gestures have generated a bit of controversy as they appear to almost directly mimic Apple’s gestures on their flagship phone – but the implementation in testing has been lackluster with multiple user issues.
Along with Oreo 8.1, OxygenOS 5.1 brings the April Android Security Update patches to the phone as well as a new optimizing gaming mode which pauses the adaptive brightness of the screen and has power saving features.
The ultimate Android gaming phone, the Razer Phone, has its shiny new Android Oreo 8.1 update rolling out according to the company. While it will take several weeks to get to everyone, once it arrives, you will get all the goodies that 8.1 brings along with some stability improvements and the latest Android Security Updates.
For those that don’t recall, the Razer Phone was borne out of the acquisition that the company made of Nextbit last year and their first phone is a powerhouse of a gaming and entertainment device, sporting HDR video and Dolby audio for Netflix to name but a few of its high end features. Couple that with its 120MHz refresh rate and it provides a great gaming experience in your hands.
The Microsoft OneDrive app for Android has been updated with an important and handy new feature that allows you to recover deleted files on the cloud storage service. Version 5.7 of the OneDrive app is now rolling out in the Play Store which is where this new feature appears.
To this point, you have been able to delete files in OneDrive with no problem from your Android phone. But, if you accidentally deleted a file and need to recover it, you couldn’t. You had to go to the OneDrive site and go to the Trash folder to recover it. Now you can do it all from your phone, making it quicker to recover that accidentally deleted file.
A third, and very likely the last for this train, update has come to the Chrome for Android Beta app in the Play Store. The update brings a new build of Chrome 66 to the app, build 66.0.3359.106. As readers likely know by now, the Chrome for Android Beta app is a separate download from the stable Chrome app and can be installed at the same time so you can see and try out the new look and features.
The update will likely be the last as the stable version of Chrome is slated to be updated tomorrow, April 17th. It is also possible that this .106 build will be the build that makes it to the stable build assuming that there aren’t any major bugs found in this late stage.
Ah, the fun of trying to read between the lines… or in this case, a wallpaper. Google released a set of wallpapers yesterday on their Instagram account for Spring 2018. That in itself is not news. The Mountain View company has released such seasonal wallpapers for several years now. But what grabbed everyone’s attention was this one:
The Android faithful know the next major version of Android is currently referred to as Android P. And Popsicle starts with P. Is Google giving us a bold and clear hint?