Bubble Zoom in Google Play Books is the Best Way to Read Digital Comics

Introduced at the best time, given this week is SDCC, Google Play Books is getting a new feature exclusively for those who enjoy reading comic books on digital devices such as tablets and smartphones. Called Bubble Zoom, this feature intelligently recognizes text bubbles inside of digital comics, allowing users to follow a storyline more interactively. It gives off the sense that the comic is alive, making the act of reading a bit more fun.

To get this feature working, all a reader must do is tap on the screen and the text bubbles will follow along with your taps. It’s not automated, so you don’t need to worry about the bubbles going too fast.  (more…)

Android Engineer Team Took to reddit for AMA, Here’s a Recap

Members of the Android engineering team (11 members, in total) took to reddit this morning to offer up answers to many questions that flooded in from the community. While the majority of questions dove into areas of subject we typically don’t cover here, a few of the questions and the team’s answers gave good insight into Android Nougat, device updates, and plenty other interesting topics.

Below, we will highlight a few of the many questions, then provide you with the Android team’s response. Beware, a few of the responses are rather lengthy, but the length helps provide context to the answer. If a topic deserves a bit of personal feedback from our end, you can expect to see that, too.  (more…)

Android N Developer Preview 5 Now Available! The Final Preview! (Updated)

Android N Developer Preview 5 just got posted and is available for the flashing! As of right now, it looks like all supported devices are getting Android build NPD90G. Note that this is the final developer preview before the stable version rolls out “later this summer.”

Again, the supported devices include the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9 (WiFi and LTE), Nexus Player, Pixel C, and the General Mobile 4G (Android One) device.

We’re still looking through the changes and will update this post.  (more…)

Nest Introduces Its First Outdoor Security Cam, Up for Pre-Order Now

We’re barely a month removed from Tony Fadell’s exit at Nest and the company is pushing out its first product, the Nest Cam Outdoor. As the name suggested, this is the outdoor Nest Cam that customers have been begging the smart home product maker to release.

At $199, the Nest Cam Outdoor is very much a Nest product, but yet also your typical outdoor camera. It shoots 1080p video, can see in the dark, is weatherproof at IP65, connects via WiFi, sends you notifications when it notices movement or hears noise, and needs to be plugged into an outlet 24-7.  (more…)

Hangouts Version 11 Will Kill Conversation Merging Because No One Uses It

According to a support page posted by Google, the next update to Hangouts (which will be for version 11.0), will remove the option for conversation merging. This features allows instant messages and SMS messages from the same contact to appear in a single thread.

Why is it being killed? Well, Google claims no one is using it, so instead of continuing to support it, they will simply kill it off entirely. (more…)

Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 2 Released, Wrist Gestures for 3rd-Party Apps and More

Developer Preview 2 has been launched for those running Android Wear 2.0, but take notice that Google and the Android team still label this build as “not intended for daily use.”

Catered to developers who want to get their apps prepared for the public launch of Android Wear 2.0, the latest developer preview features a bump to the Android Platform API 24 (now matching Nougat), Wearable Drawers enhancements, and opened Wrist Gesture commands for 3rd-party applications.  (more…)

Android Distribution Updated for July 2016 – Marshmallow Keeps on Climbing

Google updated the Android distribution numbers today for the month of July, showing Marshmallow jumping up to 13.3% of the share. That’s up from the 10.1% of last month and continues to show the slow, but steady climb of the latest version of stable Android. Of course, we’d all like to see that at 95% by now, especially with Android Nougat all but a month away from a stable release, but that’s not how Android works. If you still don’t get that, dear Apple journos, good luck to you in life.  (more…)