AndroidAppsGood and EVO

Important Android app updates you don’t want to miss


It seems like this has been a week full of Google updates, including a small software OTA update for the Nexus series of phones, along with a ton of Android updates. In fact, there were just too many important Android updates to cover individually, so here’s a list of all the ones you definitely don’t want to miss.

Chrome Beta

Chrome Beta for Android is now at version 30.0.1599.17, and there are a ton of improvements under the hood. Some of the most obvious changes for end users include:

  • Search by image: You can now long press on any image and select an option to perform a Google image search with that image.
  • Easy access to tab switcher: Users are now able to drag down from the toolbar to enter tab switcher. That’s a lot simpler than before!
  • Draggable menu: You can now drag your finger to select the menu item you wish.
  • Side swipe on toolbar to switch tabs: Users can now swiping left or right on the toolbar to switch tabs. Additionally, in order to avoid accidentally clicking on something on the current page, Google has now disabled tab switching using side swipe on the page content area. You win some, you lose some.
  • Easy zoom gesture: You can now zoom into any desktop web site by double tapping on the page and swiping your finger up-down without lifting it, giving you more control over how much you want to magnify the page.

There are also tons of enhancements under the hood, as well, that make Chrome Beta possibly the most powerful mobile browser available. Period.

  • WebGL: A JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D graphics and 2D graphics has been enabled by default
  • Device Motion: Web developers can access device acceleration and rotation rates via the device motion part of Device Orientation API
  • Media Source Extension support: A JavaScript API that enables use cases such as adaptive streaming and time-shifting live streams


Download: Google Play

Google Keep

Google keep has added quite a few nice functions that might actually make me start using the app more. Perhaps the most useful is time and location reminders – Google Keep can now automatically alert you at specific times of day (7:00 p.m., for example), general times (like tomorrow morning), and when it detects you are in a certain location (i.e. at Target). Additionally, not only can you be reminded via app notifications, but Google Now will also display a reminder card, as well.

Other new features include the ability to switch between accounts via the sliding navigation drawer, attach existing gallery photos to notes, and swipe between photos to view all photos in a note.

qrc - Google Keep

Download: Google Play

Google Search (a.k.a. Google Now)

I still haven’t gotten this particular update myself yet, but Google Now has a ton of new cards, but the one new feature that has me most intrigued is the tight integration with Google+ Locations. You can now configure Google Now to show you cards when certain people are at work, home, or somewhere else, completely bypassing the need to open Google+ and filter through your list of friends – not to mention it will be cool to actually be actively notified of when someone is on his or her way home.

Privacy freaks, don’t worry – as always, you’ll be able to configure your own privacy settings if you don’t want people keeping track of you.


Download: Google Play


The YouTube app now has a cleaner card-based design, so it looks more similar to all of Google’s other apps, as well as the desktop site. There’s a new icon in the app drawer that matches the Chrome icon, and – perhaps best of all – you can now multitask by watching a video while searching for another one. Finally, there’s a new “play all” button for playlists.


Download: Google Play


Hangouts got a minor update in which more emoji were added, and a “bunch of bugs were fixed.” The Hangouts team also “added some butter to Hangouts to make it run faster and slicker.” There’s nothing more on the UI or feature side, and there’s still no SMS integration or new Google Voice features, but it’s always nice to get some extra butter.


Download: Google Play

Google Maps

We already talked about this one, but it’s cool enough that it’s worth mentioning again. The latest Maps update now provides real time incident reports from Waze users, including accidents, construction, road closures, and other incidents on Waze. This feature will be available for US users, along with those in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, and the UK.

Maps QRC

Download: Google Play

Google Analytics

Last but not least, Google Analytics got a decent upgrade that you probably don’t care about, unless you run a website. New features include gesture-based navigation, new visualizations that adapt better to your screen size and orientation, side navigation that matches Google Analytics on the web, reporting for web and app profiles, an overview screen that includes key metrics from each different report, the ability to more deeply analyze most reports, and improved real-time reporting.

In other words, Google Analytics is finally useful on mobile devices.


Download: Google Play

Pocketables does not accept targeted advertising, phony guest posts, paid reviews, etc. Help us keep this way with support on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

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.

Avatar of John F