Latest update to Google’s Phone app introduces floating chat heads

  • Google’s Phone app now features floating chat heads.
  • You can return to the Phone app, mute the call, put the call on speaker, and end the call from the chat heads.
  • Version 17 of the Phone app is available from the Play Store.

Google updated its Phone app to support Facebook Messenger-like floating chat heads, though Google is working on another feature for the hearing- or speech-impaired.

Available in version 17, the chat heads display images you selected for callers. If you did not pick an image, the chat heads display a generic avatar.

Pressing on the chat head reveals a small drop-down menu that lets you return to the Phone app, mute the call, put the call on speaker, and end the call. You can tap the chat head to hide the drop-down menu, though you can also tap and hold the chat head to either hide it or end the call.

Even though you can hide the chat head, there does not appear to be a setting in the Phone app to permanently disable it. The only workaround is to find the list of apps that can “display on top of other apps” and disable the feature from there. You can find that list within the Settings menu.

Chat heads are not the only new feature in version 17, as Android Police‘s APK teardown also revealed the groundwork for Real-Time Text (RTT) support.

Meant to replace the existing TTY protocol, RTT immediately transmits each letter and character to the receiving person. This is particularly useful for those in noisy environments, and it is not meant to solely be used by the hard of hearing or seeing.

Editor's Pick

The FCC adopted RTT and implemented rules that see wireless carriers implement the new protocol from December 2017 to June 2021.

Version 17 of Google’s Phone app is available from the Play Store. Keep in mind that the Phone app is only available for Nexus, Pixel, and Android One devices.

Official Pixelbook Sleeve is now available from the Google Store for ‘just’ $100

When Google launched the Pixelbook back in October, there was no denying that it was the Chromebook to beat all other Chromebooks. With such a high level of specification and the unquestionably slick design, though, it could only be one thing – hellishly expensive. Which, with a starting price of $999, it was. An official sleeve […]

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Google removed 77 percent of Play Store reviews for Game Dev Tycoon

Greenheart Games

  • Game Dev Tycoon saw 77 percent of positive reviews removed from the Play Store.
  • Greenheart Games blames the mass removal of reviews on Google’s algorithm for fighting fake reviews.
  • Google confirmed it purposely removed the reviews in accordance with its Comments and Ratings policy.

In a blog post today, Game Dev Tycoon developer Greenheart Games said that Google took down 77 percent of the game’s positive reviews from the Play Store.

According to Greenheart Games founder, director, and manager Patrick Klug, Game Dev Tycoon garnered over two thousand five-star reviews during the game’s first six days of availability. However, Klug noted that a quarter of those five-star reviews disappeared from the Play Store.

A few thousand reviews have since been taken down, which resulted in 77 percent of positive reviews being permanently removed. Game Dev Tycoon currently has 723 five-star reviews, though Klug said that number would be around 3,000 by now.

Klug reached out to Google, who said the game’s reviews were purposely removed and pointed Klug to its Comments and Ratings policy. The search giant also said it triple-checked to make sure its decision was done according to its policies.

Ultimately, Klug hypothesized the search giant’s algorithm for fighting fake reviews is to blame. The developer also said Google uses the same algorithm to identify fake reviews for free-to-play and premium titles.

Klug said Greenheart Games does not incentivize reviews, nor does it have its employees and friends post reviews.

Editor's Pick

Since Game Dev Tycoon costs $5, however, you cannot write reviews for the game unless you fork over the money. As such, it is unlikely that reviews left for the game were disingenuous.

The silver lining is the game’s rating actually went up, from 4.92 to 4.96. Even so, Klug and Greenheart Games feel this is disrespectful to players and are upset at Google for having no safe-guards for pirate sites if folks wanted to download the Game Dev Tycoon APK for free.

Android Authority reached out to Google for more information and will update this post accordingly.

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