It's strange for the summer to be this busy when it comes to Android news but, yesterday we had the announcement of Verizon's latest additions to the Droid brand and today, we should see the release of Android 4.3 and the new Nexus 7. Both of which have leaked out in vast quantities. One thing that normally gives an Android update away, or even a new device launch, is the updating of other core Google apps. This time around, these apps are all focused around the Play Store, something the Nexus 7 was built to facilitate.
Play Music, Play Movies & TV and Hangouts have all received updates. Some of them smaller than others but, they've all been shown a little attention from Google. We'll start with Hangouts, as it's the most clear-cut of the updates on offer. This update seems to be more of a bugfix than anything else, as the changelog from Google Play is pretty short:
- Hangouts replaces Google Talk. Update now to bring your conversations to life v 1.0.2
- Fixed a problem where you could receive two notifications for a message: one from Hangouts, one from the old Talk app.
- Audio issues in video calls on some Android 2.3x (Gingerbread) devices, including the Droid Charge, should now be resolved.
- Bug fixes and better performance.
Other than that, there doesn't seem to be too much different here.
Meanwhile, the Play Movies & TV app has gotten updated as well. This is still a small update but, it does at least bring something new to the table. There are now info cards added to the app, and when you pause a movie you can find out more about the actor in the film, and take a look at what else they've starred in, giving you the option to take a look at their other works in the Play Store. A new look is here as well as "Watch Now" which predicts what you're likely to take a look at next. Here's the small changelog:
- New layout and visual design.
- Watch Now provides quick access to what you're likely to watch next.
- Personal videos now available via overflow menu.
Google Play Music has probably seen the largest update of the lot, and brings with it some pretty interesting features. For one thing, there's hints of something called "Chromecast" - which we'll have more on soon. There's hints of SD Card support and more buried in this latest update, so it looks like we could be hearing some more on Google Music later on during today's event. The changelog is again, very small, and simply lists "bug fixes".