In this week’s top stories: The Play Movies & TV app is to be closed on Roku and other smart TVs, Android Auto is gaining a manual day / night switch, we’re giving away OnePlus Watch first impressions, and more.
This week, Google announced that the long-running Play Movies & TV app is shutting down on June 15 for non-Android smart TV platforms, including those from Roku, LG, Samsung, and Vizio. Instead, the YouTube app on each of these platforms can watch purchased / rented content from the Play Movies and TV apps or Google TV on your phone.
Notably, platforms like Android TV are not mentioned here at all. It looks like the iOS and Apple TV apps will also continue to work based on Google’s current announcement. One thing that could be hurt as a result of this change, however, is support for 4K and HDR standards, as the YouTube app may lag slightly behind the appropriate Play Movies app, depending on the platform.
The Android Auto app received an update this week, inside of which we discovered work towards a manual day / night mode switch for apps like Google Maps. Additionally, we were able to show a preview of the upcoming “Connectivity Troubleshooter” which aims to help you understand why your phone may be having issues connecting to a particular car stereo.
Notably, Android Auto has a user-controlled toggle for light / dark themes in its Developer Settings menu. As it stands, this menu allows you to lock day or night modes, leaving it to the car control or matching it to the phone. The strings present in 6.3, however, appear to be separate.
Our Ben Schoon went ahead with the long-awaited OnePlus Watch this week. Above all, what stood out about the OnePlus Watch was how it appears to be a Wear OS knockoff, and not polished.
Unlike Wear OS, however, OnePlus Watch’s software doesn’t seem so modern. Animations do not exist and the little keys that make these functions work better on Wear OS are also gone. For example, notifications don’t have the ability to respond, open on your phone, and show media previews. In the app drawer, you can’t pin apps to the top. These are minor things, but they make the experience a bit better.
These two weeks have been interesting for Made by Google fans who anticipated the upcoming launch of the Pixel 5a, with rumors of its cancellation quickly followed by its official confirmation by Google. Our Damien Wilde took the time this week to explain everything we know about Google’s upcoming mid-range Android phone.
The Google Assistant received a slew of upgrades this week, including the ability to use the “find my phone” command to be able to ring a silent iPhone. On Android, the Assistant’s “Duplex” feature set – which allows the Assistant to do things for you like make calls to make an appointment – can now automatically place an order for food delivery. .
However, the Assistant will be called during the final “verification” process to “automatically navigate the site and fill in your contact details and payment information saved in Google Pay and synchronized with Chrome autofill.” Similar to movie tickets (as shown above), a leaf slides out to guide Android users through the process. Google is partnering with some chains first before expanding to other restaurant partners in the United States later this year. This capability further expands Duplex, Google’s umbrella term for efforts that help users complete tedious multistep tasks.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
Applications and Updates |
Made by Google |
Wear OS |
FTC: We use automatic income generating affiliate links. After.
Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news: