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.
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.
Google Keep for Android Wear gets a new UI, removes shortcut to open a note on your phone was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
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.
Play Movies & TV v4.2 switches to bottom nav bar, adds Certified Fresh ratings, and hints at all-new Guide screen [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Even though Cortana can’t match most of Google Assistant’s functionality, it’s still very handy if you have a Windows 10 PC. The app can mirror notifications to your PC, sync reminders, and provide contextual information based on your email and calendar. About a year ago, the Cortana app added an optional launcher to the lock screen, and now there’s another way to open the assistant.
The latest update adds a new option, called “Cortana on Home Screen.” It adds a floating Cortana button to your device, similar to a Facebook Messsenger chat head. Tapping on it opens the app instantly. Despite the name, it actually appears on the home screen and all your apps, unless you give Cortana permission to see which app is currently open (so it can tell if you’re on the home screen or not).
The button is also customizable – you can choose between the Cortana logo, a circle showing your next calendar appointment, or a small rectangle. The update has already rolled out on the Play Store, but you also download it from APKMirror.
The latest SwiftKey Beta fixed an annoying bug that made typing in comment forms like Disqus in Chrome a headache. Well, it turns out that the update brought a few new features, including an expandable toolbar that sits atop the prediction bar and stickers. If you’re the creative type, you’ll be happy to know that you can even make your own stickers within the keyboard.
The main attraction here is what SwiftKey is calling “Toolbar.” Tap the “+” sign sitting on the left side of the prediction bar to expand Toolbar, where you can access GIFs, downloadable sticker packs, settings, themes, the clipboard, and your “Collection” (more on that below).
By my count there are currently 13 sticker packs to choose from. Once you download a pack, you can choose to either send a sticker as is, or add a text overlay to a sticker before sending it. Whether you add text to them or not, you can save stickers to your Collection for quicker access. Some stickers have blank spaces specifically for text to be added, while others are fine without text.
Once you download a pack, you have the options of adding text to a sticker and saving it to your Collection before sending it.
If you want to create a custom sticker from scratch, expand Toolbar, tap the pin symbol all the way on the right, and tap the blue “Create sticker” button. Once you give SwiftKey Beta the appropriate permission, you can select a photo from your phone to use as the basis for a sticker. As with the downloadable sticker packs, you have the options of adding a text overlay to the image and saving it to your Collection.
You can also use an image on your device to create a custom sticker.
You can delete a downloaded sticker pack or custom sticker saved to your Collection by long-pressing it and confirming your decision. All in all, it’s neat that you can do all this within the keyboard, but I don’t know how often I’d use any of this.
The latest beta update also includes a new layout for Japanese and nine new languages, in addition to the bug fix we mentioned at the top. Here’s the full changelog:
* Introducing Toolbar, a new way to get faster and easier access to your favorite SwiftKey features. Just tap the “+” on the left of the prediction bar to give it a try.
* Use & make your own stickers directly within SwiftKey
* Type in Hiragana layout for Japanese
* You can now type in 9 new languages: Afar, Banjarese, Fulani, Gayo, Guarani, Madurese, Minangkabau, Nias & Bengkulu
* Jumbled words in Chrome should not be happening
If you’ve got a hankering to use Toolbar or the new sticker features, download the latest SwiftKey Beta using the widget below or via APKMirror.