For many people, especially those of us here at Android Police, Google’s various backup tools are an integral part of our daily workflow. Frankly, I’d have to entirely restructure how I do things without the convenience of Google Photos and Google Drive/Backup and Sync.
Android Messages just hit version 3.0. While hitting a new major version number might be an occasion for big things in some apps, this one appears to be a simple incremental step up from version 2.9. While there aren’t any immediately obvious changes on the surface of this update, there are some things happening under the hood. It looks like support for KitKat has been dropped with this update, leaving behind about 12% of previously supported Android devices.
For many people, especially those of us here at Android Police, Google’s various backup tools are an integral part of our daily workflow. Frankly, I’d have to entirely restructure how I do things without the convenience of Google Photos and Google Drive/Backup and Sync. For some, the combination of those two services isn’t working as expected when it comes to Motion Photos, and backup synchronization to a desktop fails for those MVIMG-labeled images.
This isn’t the first time Motion Photos have introduced problems with Google Drive. Last year, shortly after the introduction of the new Motion Photos, MVIMGs files deleted via Google Photos weren’t actually being deleted (much to our own Artem’s chagrin).
This new problem, in which Motion Photo images refuse to download via the Backup and Sync client, has been reported since around the beginning of the year, and not everyone seems to be affected. Again, Artem is experiencing the problem on his account, but mine is synchronizing Motion Images/MVIMG-labeled photos just fine.
So far reports on the Product Forum are mostly for Windows clients, but some of our readers on OSX are also affected. You should be able to confirm the problem by glancing at the status of Backup & Sync on your desktop (right-clicking the icon in the taskbar on Windows, clicking the app icon in the menu bar on OSX, or righteously raging at Google for the continued lack of a client on Linux) and checking for “can’t sync” errors. If any are present and the files associated with the problem begin with “MVIMG,” then you are likely affected.
The Google Assistant listing on the Play Store might only be a glorified shortcut, but it’s still one avenue for accessing the Assistant on supported devices. And, as of a few days ago, it was officially updated to support devices running Lollipop 5.0. Explicit Android tablet support was also added, which brings parity to today’s announcement that the Google Assistant is now supported on the iPad, too.
Lollipop support might not seem like a big deal, but almost 25% of Android devices are still running Android 5.0/5.1 according to February’s platform distribution numbers.
Google Keep for Android Wear has made a significant jump from version 2.0.08 to 4.1.091. Along with this jump comes a new design that makes note actions easier to get to, though it does remove one neat feature that I often used.
To start, it’s not clear to us whether this is the first proper Android Wear 2.0 APK for Keep or not. From the changelog’s wording, it seems like the app is just now being directly distributed on the Play Store to Wear watches instead of the APK coming from the Keep app on your phone – the fact that it’s now become compatible with iOS lends credence to that, but again, we’re not 100% sure.
The latest version of Google Play Movies & TV is making the rounds, and this one has quite a bit to discuss. There are several surface-level changes, including a new bottom nav bar, improved support for Rotten Tomatoes, and even some rearrangements to the screens in the app. Digging a bit deeper, we can also see there’s a new Guide screen in development, some degree of support for external content providers, and even a rating system for content.
As the first full week of March comes to a close, I have returned for the final round of app sales. Today’s list is rather extensive for a Friday, in contrast to Wednesday’s disappointment, so have some fun. There are definitely some goodies below, especially Baldur’s Gate and Talon for Twitter.
Here at AP, we’re big fans of Rachio’s smart sprinkler system (well, at least Artem is). Rachio has just taken the wraps off its 3.0 update, which improves the app both in terms of looks and features. Those features include improvements to Remote control, Quick Run, Weather Intelligence, and scheduling.
Here’s the changelog per the Play Store:
Get ready for the season of innovation at Rachio!
Modern redesign with improved Home screen and tabbed layout, making the app easier to use than ever.
Expanded Remote control with new run, pause, and skip features.
Enhanced Custom Run functionality to order, set and manage zone queue.
Refined Weather Intelligence, with a new EXCLUSIVE Wind Skip feature.
Optimized schedule options that allow dynamic start times to end waterings before sunrise or begin after sunset.
The new tabbed interface is easier on the eyes and gives quicker access to your schedules, zones, and history. Tweaked controls allow you to run, pause, and skip back and forth through zones, and Quick Run lets you do even more. The Weather Intelligence sections gets a new “wind skip” feature that checks to make sure water is only turned on when it can be absorbed optimally by your lawn.
The update is live on the Play Store right now, so head over there via the widget below if you have a Rachio and haven’t already installed it. There’s a lot of good stuff waiting.