Android App Updates: Google Play Newsstand, Google Search and More

In the past couple weeks many Android apps have received new updates. Some updates were minor, behind the scenes bug fixes, while other apps underwent extensive redesign or added clever new features. This guide will give you an update on all the recent updates and detail the extent of each.

 

Google Play Newsstand

Newsstand was updated with a new widget that uses little tabs called “mini-cards” to effectively express several stories of the day all at once on a single screen. The display of this new widget has stories compressed to only a headline; tap the headline that piques your interest and the mini-card tab expands to the full story.

The update to Newsstand also allows you to sort stories by publication date, and a “translate now” button is shown on foreign articles. These developments highlight how mobile apps are more adaptable to consumer preferences and more able to deliver information than the static text of a print magazine or newspaper.

 

Google Search

The Google Search app also received a few tweaks. The time-to-leave feature has been improved; now you only have to input your start and end point, when you want to arrive at your end point, and whether you will drive yourself or take public transit. Those variables are calculated and Google tells you with startling accuracy what time you will need to leave to make it at your preferred arrival time.

Google Search received more comprehensive support for foreign languages. This update focused on improving user experience for French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Russian speakers.

There were also improvements made to Google Search’s voice recognition software. There should be fewer frustrating instances of voice recognition miscommunication with these new software updates.

 

Google Maps

Google Maps is now more responsive to real time traffic flow and will adjust your route automatically when there is suddenly a quicker alternative.

 

Google Drive

Drive now supports animated GIF images. It also added a new widget that allows speedier photo scanning.

 

Path for Android

This update gives Path users the ability to record up to 30 seconds of video. There are pre-set filters available to your video for added effect.

 

Pinterest

As a response to a boost in popularity, Pinterest was updated with a more polished display that allows more room for pins.

 

Twitter

Twitter is another super-hip and popular app that has received a recent update. The new display now shows retweets, favorites and replies to all your tweets.

 

Google Hangout

Hangout was updated but with no new features or redesigned interfaces. The changes were only to the software, designed to improve performance and iron out bugs.

 

Pebble App Store

This app store is for Pebble’s brand of wearable watch-like mobile devices. The store is still in a beta phase so you will likely stumble across a few bugs. The good people at Pebble have published a list of known bugs and they encourage users to report newly discovered bugs.

 

Author: Adam Ritchie

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