AndroidAppsGood and EVO

Make sure all of your Google Android apps are updated


Over the past week or so, lots of Google apps on Android have gotten huge updates, bringing new features to the masses. Luckily, we’ve compiled all of the most important ones here – so use our checklist to make sure all your existing apps are up to date, or even discover some new Google gems!


By far, this is the most talked about update of the week. The new Gmail brings with it a new inbox, which groups your incoming mail into four categories: social, promotions, updates, and forums. Everything else is placed in your primary inbox.

In my experience, Gmail’s automatic sorting works darn-near perfectly: any messages from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ are automatically placed into my social folder. Deals and sale alerts are placed into my promotions folder. Automatically generated updates, purchase receipts, bills, statements, etc. are placed in my updates folder. And mailing lists or new forum posts are placed into my forums folder. This helps keep my primary inbox clean, and makes managing my incoming mail a thousand times easier – since I manage seven email addresses through my Gmail, it’s very easy for things to get out of control, but this makes it better.

The new update also brings contact photos to your inbox, pull down to refresh, and the ability to empty your trash and spam folders. Gmail just got even more awesome.


Download: Google Play

Google Calendar

The new Google Calendar makes it possible to change your default colors for different calendars and events. It’s also easier to manage recurring events, and perhaps the most awesome is the new time and date picker when you create new events. It’s now much quicker to pick the date and time, since you don’t have to scroll through dozens of numbers anymore – simply slide the hands around the clock, or pick your date from the calendar, and you are set. It’s really slick. Oh, and it’s now easier to manage events across different time zones, too.


Download: Google Play

Google Hangouts

This is the first major update that Hangouts received since it launched, but unfortunately, there aren’t any new features. Instead, there are some pretty critical bug fixes, including one where you could receive two notifications for a message (one from Hangouts,  and one from the old Google Talk app). Audio issues that affected video calls on some Gingerbread devices should also be solved. And Google promises better overall performance, too.


Download: Google Play

Google Keyboard

You no longer have to be rooted or perform some other kind of hackery to enjoy Google’s stock keyboard, in case it doesn’t come preinstalled on your device! While this technically isn’t a major update along the same lines as the above updates, what makes this significant is the fact that Google has just released another of its core apps on the Play Store, completely bypassing manufacturers and custom skins, allowing people to get a close-to-stock experience on their Android devices, regardless of what version of Android they are actually running.

I’ve been using this keyboard for a while, as I think it has some of the best swype-style accuracy, but now everyone can use it, too. You really do want to check this out.


Download: Google Play

Google Play content apps

In case you missed it, Google Play MusicGoogle Play Books, and Google Play Magazines also got updates that bring the new Google Now card-style UI to these apps, as well. Google Play Movies & TV has been left out in the cold so far, but I expect an update for it is coming soon, too.

And while we’re at it, even though I already mentioned this one before, make sure your Google Drive app is updated, as well.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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