These 5 killer features make the Google Play store our favourite marketplace for apps and games
These five awesome features of the Google Play store give you advanced access options and more! Find out what makes the Google Play store so great.1 – You can access brand-new apps before everyone else
To make sure an app is ready to be unleashed on the world, many developers will put it through a public beta in the hope that users will point out any flaws that have slipped through the developer’s net. These apps are generally unlisted, but you can find them by joining a Google+ community and signing up to the beta program. The apps will be full of kinks, but you will be part of the process of removing them.
Is the Huawei-made Nexus 6P Google’s ultimate flagship phone?
What is a Nexus? When it was originally conceived, the idea of a Nexus device was for Google to work with manufacturers to demonstrate how to deliver the best Android experience for a particular segment, be that high-end devices, mid-range devices or a tablet. With the latest generation, Google has returned to this approach – the Nexus 5X demonstrates how to deliver a great device at a sub-flagship price and the Nexus 6P hopes to demonstrate how to build a premium Android phone. Huawei’s Nexus should be the very best that Android has to offer, bar none. No pressure then.
There are a few things you need to do to make the ultimate Android phone: you need to excel on design and build, raid the parts bin for the best components on offer, provide a perfect software experience and, for extra bonus points, price it competitively.
The new Chromecast is all over stores, so should you snap one up?
Upgrading any device can be a big deal and it’s a decision that some shouldn’t take lightly. In regards to the original Chromecast, it was without doubt a solid, well-built and ultimately useful product, but it did have its faults. One of the great things about the revamped version is that it quashes all the fundamental issues that plagued the original, making it a far more intuitive, usable and stable product than before. If you’ve experienced little trouble with your current Chromecast, there’s no major reason to upgrade, but for those seeking a better stream, snap one of these up right away.
Take a journey around the world, all from the comfort of your Android device
We just had the trip of a lifetime. First we explored the canals of Venice, then we hiked up to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, swam with the fish just off the Great Barrier Reef and looked around an old Royal Navy submarine. And all in a day without leaving our chairs!
Previously a companion app for Google Maps, Street View is now a fully fledged app of its own that’s designed to show off the countless 360-degree ‘photo spheres’ captured by Google. As well as exterior scenes, these include interiors of certain buildings, such as museums and galleries.
Get your hands on Google’s latest audio streaming device, courtesy of Currys, by answering one simple question
If you’ve got a trusty pair of speakers that you’ve been using for over a decade, you’re going to love Chromecast Audio. If the Bluetooth speaker revolution has passed you by, Chromecast Audio will let you cast your digital library from your phone to your speakers. How does this work?
Well the new Chromecast Audio device plugs into your speaker’s RCA, 3.5mm or optical port and acts as a way to stream music over Wi-Fi. It works in the same vein as the original Chromecast dongle, enabling you to cast music from almost any Bluetooth-compatible device (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Chromebook etc). Simply press the Cast button that appears in apps like Google Play Music, Spotify and Deezer (you can find a list of compatible apps here) and fully control your speaker from anywhere in the house. Anyone can join in too, without any additional setup or advanced pairing. Best of all? It only costs £30, so if you don’t win our competition, you can pick one up from our sponsor Currys.
A recent policy change by Google is banishing bloatware on some of our favourite devices
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 does not have Google+ installed. This isn’t because Google+ is finished (not yet at least), but because it’s relaxing its own rules on which of its apps must be installed as standard on Android devices. The full list of apps that were once mandatory, but are now optional, reads: Google+, Google Play Games, Google Play Books, Google Play Newsstand, Google Earth and Google Keep. Don’t worry, they will all still be freely available for download through the Play store. The requirement for having certain apps pre-installed is not widely known and it highlights the conflict in the ownership of Android. Android, the operating system, is free and open source to all. This means that any manufacturer who wishes to build an Android device can simply download it and get started. Yet so much of what we think of as the Android experience actually comes from Google: Chrome, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play services tying it all together. If a manufacturer wants these apps, it must conform to certain guidelines set by Google. This includes the insistence that if you want one Google app, then of course you must have them all. While there are a few outliers, such as Amazon’s Fire OS, for most manufacturers the prospect of going Google-less isn’t an option because Google also owns the Play store. Although you can find third-party alternatives for the browser and maps, if you don’t have a fully stocked app store then you don’t stand much of a chance. Just ask Microsoft. Which is where the bloatware comes in. You want the Google Play store? Then you’ve got to have Google Newsstand too. Google’s change of mind on this policy is a good thing for everyone. It’s less restrictive for manufacturers and there is less clutter for users too. Plus – and this may be part of the motivation behind the move – it’s less likely to draw attention from competition watchdogs.