Many of Google’s applications are receiving major updates starting today. Maps now has the ability to store offline data, which means no more worrying about having to rely on a steady data connection to have in-depth and highly detailed maps wherever you are. Chrome, as we suspected earlier last week, has officially dropped its Beta tag. Google+ was a main point in their I/O presentation, with its new “Party Mode” and the ability to view feeds all from your notification bar in Jelly Bean. They also released the special tablet UI.
YouTube has received a complete UI overhaul, with navigation now happening on the left side of the screen and the ability to download videos over WiFi in the background for smooth playback while you’re on the go. Google’s Books app has received a few new features and you can now tap the top corner of a page to set a bookmark, along with video and audio playback when they’re embedded in the books.
Maps | Books | YouTube | Movies | Chrome | Google+
Along with the update to Gmail, Google Play Books is also receiving a little update for users on Gingerbread and Froyo devices. There is the new 3D interface, a homescreen shortcut available for a single title you are enjoying, in-book search works offline, and the screen stays on during TTS. All in all, it’s a pretty solid update for the ‘older’ devices.
We love coordination like this. Moments after Google’s new “Play” media market went live (a rebranding of the Android Market), we are already seeing the first updates to their suite of apps with Google Play branding on them. If you jump into the market, you should see Google Books and Google Music updates, changing the names to Play Books and Play Music respectively. That is really all that is changing though is the branding, however, the Books update does mention that it is “now integrated with Google Play.”
Market Links: Play Music | Play Books