Popular file sharing service MediaFire announced a major update to its Android app this afternoon, bumping it to version 2.0. The update adds a variety of new features and enhancements, both visually and feature-wise. Overall, the interface looks much cleaner in version 2.0 than it did in earlier versions. The overall navigation process remains the same for the most part, but icons, menus, text, and other visuals have been modernized quite a bit.
One of HTC’s biggest selling points for its One M8 flagship is the Dot View case, and today, the company rolled out an update to the companion app with a handful of new features. The biggest change is the addition of themes for wallpapers. HTC has bundled 18 themes into the app that you can now set as the case’s wallpaper. You can also choose your own custom image, although some of them may not look quite right.
Google last night started rolling out an update to Google Play Games that bumped the app to version 2.0. The update includes several new features, some of which were confirmed in the recent Google Play Services 5.0 update, as well. The update today introduces Level-up notification controls, XP rankings, and a few UI tweaks.
Google this afternoon started rolling out an update to its Play Music app on iOS with a handful of new features. The update bumps the app to version 188.8.131.520. Firstly, the update finally adds support for gapless playback, which means that there is no pause between the end of one song and the beginning of another. The update also adds the ability to download subscribed playlists in one tap, allowing you to listen to them without a data connection.
Google announced today on Google+ that version 4.2.1 of the Gmail app for Android is now available to users running Android 4.0 and up. The update focuses on making it easier to view and read messages, including auto-fit messages and zooming features:
No longer will your favorite email newsletters get cut off at the edges; with this latest version, you can now choose to have the emails resized to fit neatly on your screen and pinch to zoom for a closer look. You can turn on auto-fit underSettings > General Settings.
Google is updating its Google Translate service with a few new features today. Among the new features is grouped clusters of synonyms for easier viewing, and frequency indicators that mark translations as “common, uncommon, or rare”. Google also explained a new “reverse translations” feature:
Our users often tell us that they check our translations by translating them back into their original language. Reverse translations can distinguish translations of different meanings and reveal subtle differences among similar words. Each translation is now annotated with its most frequent reverse translations.
The new grouped synonyms will initially only be available when translating into English, but Google said more languages will be added soon. Google also described how the frequency indicators will work: Read more
As we covered earlier today, Google is getting ready to introduce a brand new lineup of Nexus branded devices for the holidays and to accompany the launch is Android 4.2. We already got a good look at some of the features in this latest version of Jelly Bean in a promo video and walkthrough with Google engineers, but Google has a full run down of what’s new in 4.2 on its Android website here. It also posted the video above showing off the new Photo Sphere camera experience.
One of the biggest new features that Google is talking about is the new Photo Sphere camera mode. It allows users to snap pictures in every direction “that come together into incredible, immersive photo spheres that put you right inside the scene.” You can check out photo spheres from a few photographers here.
Some of the other features included in 4.2: enhancements to the lockscreen with widgets and camera access, Miracast wireless display support, multi-user support on tablets, and improvements to Google Now and accessibility. Google explained the multi-user support available to tablet users:
It’s your fully customized tablet. And theirs, too. With support for multiple users, you can give each person their own space. Everyone can have their own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games – even individual high scores and levels! And since Android is built with multitasking at its core, it’s a snap to switch between users – no need to log in and out. Available only on tablets.
Android 4.2 also includes a smarter keyboard with Gesture Typing: Read more
Today, we are getting a look at what Android Police claimed is a new build of Gmail—one that “may or may not have come from an LG Nexus system dump.” Among the big new features for Gmail version 4.2, which the report noted also runs fine on Android 4.1, is pinch-to-zoom within your inbox. On top of that highly requested feature, the new Gmail will also get the ability to swipe to delete or archive.
The new app now provides a few options for swiping your conversation list, including: “Has no effect,” “Archive, delete,” or “Always delete.” The default option, “Archive or delete”, will archive conversations in your inbox, delete conversations when in All mail or sent, and it will remove the current label when viewing regular labels.
Also noted is the ability to report a message as phishing. It is unclear exactly when we might be able to get our hands on the new Gmail build, but we will keep you posted as always.
Google Product Manager Austin Chang made an announcement on his Google+ today highlighting some new features rolling out on Google+ (via TNW). In addition to the “sliders” the service rolled out last year, allowing you to filter what you read and share on Google+, Google is rolling out three new features today that provide even more control. The new features allow you to control notifications from specific circles, opt to send emails for important news you are sharing, and mute notifications from a specific contact within a circle. Chang explained:
Google announced on the official Google News blog three new features coming to the U.S. edition of the site, including: new larger images on the main news page; real-time updates that will cover only the latest content; and new integration with Google+ content.
The realtime coverage page provides access to “every news story as soon as they become available to Google News.” The page will also include “Google+ Discussions” to the right, which will even display on the refreshed News homepage. The discussions will only appear to those signed into to Google+ and will consist of comments from journalists, politicians, and those in your Circles currently discussing breaking news.
The Google+ discussions, new realtime coverage page, and larger images will roll out over the next week, but you can upgrade now (here). Google also provided the following instructions to turn off the Google+ integration:
Google just rolled out updates to a few of its Android apps, the biggest of which brings a ton of new features to “Gmail for Android” 3.2 (Honeycomb) users. Previously, only Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich users had access to features like swiping between conversations, custom notifications for labels, and the ability to sync messages for the last 30 days. All of those features and the rest of the Ice Cream Sandwich Gmail experience are now being implemented for Honeycomb users. The updated app is available on Google Play now, and a full list of the features is below: