Despite the dozens and dozens of apps under its belt, spanning multiple platforms, Google manages to keep a relatively steady stream of updates coming, stomping-out bugs, delivering new features, and refining user experiences. Today we’ve got three such updates to check out, coming to both iOS and Android.
The first update to cross our desk is the new version 3.0 of Gmail for iOS, hitting the App Store today. The big news here is background mail fetching for iOS 7 users, letting the app retrieve mail from Google’s servers even when it’s not open – that means that you’ll need to have notifications enabled if you actually want to see these mails coming in. Google also delivers an improved sign-in process, where you’ll only need to authenticate with one Google service in order to enjoy all the rest on your iPhone or iPad.
Next, we hear about this new release of Google Play Games going out to Android users. Leaderboards get enhanced with pull-to-refresh, you can see which of your Google+ buddies are playing which games, and you can now view invitations to participate in multi-player games. Menus also get some small tweaks, like how “Recommend Games” now becomes simply “Find Games.”
Finally, we have Google Text-to-Speech (again on Android), and there seems to be a lot of good stuff happening here. Most notable is probably the inclusion of new “high quality” voice samples. The data sets are substantially larger, but the speech the generate is a bit less stilted-sounding. The size of those files may be working against TTS, though, as loading them each time your phone power cycles can take a few moments. Beyond that, there are also new language options (Spanish US and Portuguese Brazil) and some UI changes.
All three updates are headed out now, but depending on your luck it might still be a day or two before you see all of them.