best android apps

Today Google released a number of small app updates to its Android apps that alone aren’t all that much, but are still worth noting.

The updates all bring small features to various Google apps. Well, most of them bring some new small features. Others simply fix a few unspecified bugs. There’s really no point in belaboring the description, so let’s just get on with it.

Google Maps - best free Android appsFirst up in the arbitrary list is Google Maps. Google doesn’t actually put up release notes for Maps, so all of the new features have to be learned from api teardowns. A teardown of the latest version of Maps, version 7.6, slightly changes the Offers section of the app. The new app makes it easier to sort through your Google Offers, which should be handy to those who use Google’s Groupon-competitor service.

Also handy is the subtle change to the preferred transit menu. Now users can select multiple preferred transit types if they like using both the train and subway, but hate taking the bus.

Next up is Google Drive, which adds a few minor features. First, there is a new 1×1 widget added to the app that opens the document scanner. It’s incredibly useful for add physical documents to your Google Drive. Second, is the support for animated GIFs, which is neat and a great addition for those who have a massive collection of GIFs.

Google Play Newsstand - best free android appsGoogle Play Newsstand also received an update, complete with a new 4×3 widget for users to enjoy. Inside the app there’s now an option to use a new view mode called “Mini Cards.”As the name suggests, Mini Cards are like regular cards, but smaller, with shorter snippets and thumbnails so more information can appear on screen.

The app also now has the option to translate whole feeds and individual stories for those who like to subscribe to foreign language news sources.

Finally, there’s Hangouts. The new version of Hangouts simply squashes a few bugs.

Have you had a chance to try out any of the small new features yet?