We don’t often see Google miss out on the chance to update some of its Android apps on Wednesdays, and this week was no different. Google has rolled out updates to YouTube, Hangouts and Translate, adding useful functionality that should considerably improve the experience on each app.
The YouTube update brings a feature that has been present on iOS for some time now – users finally get the option to set the video quality anywhere from 144p to 720p, like the web version of YouTube. There’s also an automatic option, and you also get to select 1080p on some devices, as long as the video supports it of course. Meanwhile, Hangouts gained the ability to set per-contact notification tones, and a unified SMS block list that makes it more convenient to unblock someone you may have, well, blocked.
Also new in Hangouts is a button that lets users switch between a number pad and full keyboard layout in the contacts menu, and a hidden contacts list that shows any Hangout contact you may have chosen to hide from showing up in your list of contacts. Hidden contacts are, for some reason, hidden (pun intended) in the account settings, but that might come in handy for those with multiple Google accounts logged in.
As for Translate, its new features should mostly be of help to those who live in India or travel to the country often. Translate now supports phonetic input for Hindi and seven other regional languages (Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu), in addition to the previously available text-only translations – phonetic input doesn’t seem to work right after updating though, so you might need to clear data for the app from the Settings » Apps menu. Translate will also notify users of an ongoing download and how large each language pack is, and also introduces a few minor UI changes.
Like always, these updates will be making their way to devices gradually over the next few days, as is common with any update Google pushes out. If waiting isn’t your thing, you can grab the APK files from the links below and update manually – the APKs are untouched and come straight from Google servers, so it’s completely safe to install them.Android Police, 2, 3]