In this week’s news, we covered several updates coming to Google applications. In the lead up to Google I/O 2018, during the event and ever since the show, Google has been pouring app updates on us all. We reported on a few of the major ones this week, some which are rolling out now and others which will arrive on devices very soon.
This week, updates were announced for Google Apps you probably use every day. There are Gmail, Google Maps and the Pixel Launcher. We also received word that a totally new app could be headed our way in that of a dedicated podcasts application for Android. With lots of software upgrades happening, we thought it’d be a good idea to take a step back and roundup exactly what’s coming, when, and for which devices, culminating everything into a poll.
On Monday, we reported on Google’s primary email client. Gmail is extremely popular on mobile phones and a new update containing gestures is being rolled out server-side. The new gestures will allow users to take actions on their emails. The swipe left and swipe right gestures can now be set to the user’s preference. Options include Archive, Mark as read/unread, Move to, and Snooze. While the feature has already been available in the Inbox by Google app, it’s new to Gmail and will be helpful in making mobile users more productive while on the go. This update is arriving for more and more Android users by the day, and iOS device owners are also expected to receive the update. Start by diving into Gmail’s settings and navigating to the ‘Swipe Actions’ menu.
The Google Maps application is receiving an even bigger update as of right now, but only for some Android users. Eventually, it’ll reach most Android and iOS users, but the roll out is happening slowly via server-side. Included are a handful of features that were announced at Google’s developer conference with addition to an upgraded design. Google is updating many of its apps with to match revised Material Design guidelines, and Google Maps has started to receive some treatment. We say “started” because some of the old attributes still remain. In the app, there are new icons, fonts, menus, and more. It’s so much more than a navigation app, and with the addition of AI, suggestions are catered to one’s own liking and get better over time. These suggestions will help you find locations such as where to eat, attend events, do activities, go shopping, check in a hotel, or make use of various services.
Late in the week, it was discovered that the Google Pixel Launcher will land a much-needed feature. The Pixel Launcher is most commonly found on Pixel phones, but can also be side-loaded onto just about any Android device. A future app update will seemingly include a switch for toggling between light and dark themes. The themes themselves are not new to the Pixel Launcher and as of the moment, are self-changing based on one’s homescreen wallpaper. The switch will give users a manual option to set their theme of preference regardless of wallpaper. The feature could land as early as the next Android P developer preview in July or as late as the official Android P build in the fall. Pixel phones will retrieve the update to Pixel Launcher, and it’s possible other phones might in the future. Though this isn’t a major revamp, Pixel Launcher is rarely updated so this will be a nice touch to an option that probably should have been present since day one.
Well, there you have it. A podcasts app is coming and three updates are, or will soon be on their way. I’m sure there will be more updates next week and the weeks that follow, as Google prepares better experiences for us users. Google apps are some of the most popular because they are updated frequently with new features. They’re constantly getting better and evolving with changing times to fit the needs of consumers. This brings us to our poll of the week. Though you might not have the updates we mentioned, which of the three sounds the most exciting? Do you have a favorite or one in particular that you’re looking forward to more than the others? Which is the best update of the three? Let us know your thoughts on these updates. Join the comment section below this post and submit your response in our weekly poll. The poll will remain open all week and we look forward to hearing your response.
Below are the major stories from this week.