📲 Test #197 - Your ultimate Android changelog, 2021 recap

· 12 min read
📲 Test #197 - Your ultimate Android changelog, 2021 recap

Greetings testers!

As New Year is coming closer and closer, this is going to be a 2021 recap issue with the December changelog! Top app features and trends, TestingCatalog future and more below (HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE POST).

If I would need to summarise this year somehow I would say that it was a year of Voice Chats and NFTs.

🎙 Starting from Clubhouse, many big social apps tried to integrate voice chats inside. Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, Discord and even Spotify (with a standalone Greenroom app)

Besides this, Google apps got Material You, Twitter got tips and communities, Facebook is now Meta, DuckDuckGo got email protection and many other cool updates that I cannot even recall. And finally...

🖼 NFTs became a big trend in the crypto community since the beginning of the year, pushing transformation into web3.0 forward. More and more users started exploring crypto and DAPPs spaces, more and more users started using crypto wallets, exchanges and similar apps on their devices. IMO, among all other trends, this one is probably going to be bigger than anything you've seen before.

For TesingCatalog it was a great year as well. The project got a bigger community and the vision behind the project got a better shape. Providing value by sharing short news and tips about new features that readers can experience themself became the top priority for this project.

I also noticed for myself that the excitement that comes from testing apps on Android and iOS is not as great anymore. There are loads of new valuable features but the value behind them leaves mostly in productivity improvement (in Google Apps for example) or in a new way of creating content (in social apps). Early access to these features is rather random or gradual and iOS comes first most of the time. And of course, there are exceptions but then as soon as you arrive into a crypto space, this feeling changes immediately 👀

You have a wallet and a huge variety of DAPPs to explore that also bring you some financial benefits and other perks. NFTs are used to get early and exclusive access to new cool projects. This makes exploring early products less accessible to others but also more exclusive per se.

In 2022 I will be exploring more and more DAPPs digging into this space even deeper. There are already two basic guides on this topic about mining on Android and first NFTs 👨‍💻

I also have plans to form a DAO for the community to let its member own TestingCatalog publication along with some $Tokens. It will allow us to have a treasury fund that can be spent on getting early access NFTs to more interesting DAPPs that one may not be able to afford. Stay tuned and expect this newsletter to shift into a monthly recap from now on. GM!

Ah, and as for the December recap, these are the top 3 things for you to try.

What's new?

  • 📲 How I mined the first mobile-focused cryptocurrency from my Android phone
  • 📲 Twitter now allows searching through individual accounts to all users
  • 📲 ICYMI: Smart Launcher 6 got released to all beta users

See more details below 👇

Top features to test this week

How I mined the first mobile-focused cryptocurrency from my Android phone
The internet is changing. Loads of people are taking part in the web 3.0 movement already but it is still just the beginning. In this post I want to share my experience of mining from my Android device and here are some points of why you should read this:

In this post I want to share my experience of mining from my Android device and here are some points of why you should read this:

  • If you still haven't started your journey into the crypto world for some reason but want to get a bit more info.
  • If you are already investing in cryptocurrencies and want to learn about a new token that you can use for diversification.
  • If you want to support TestingCatalog by using our referral links.
Twitter now allows searching through individual accounts to all users
After opening someone’s Twitter profile you may now spot a search icon on top. It will allow searching through the profile’s content. Previously, it was only possible via a search query like “from:@TestingCatalog test”. @SaadhJawwadh @alex193a @testingcatalog search in individual accounts is now ava…

After opening someone's Twitter profile you may now spot a search icon on top. It will allow searching through the profile's content. Previously, it was only possible via a search query like "from:@TestingCatalog test".

ICYMI: Smart Launcher 6 got released to all beta users
Smart Launcher is known for its categorised apps grid, minimalistic design and responsiveness. This is the latest SL version that was in development for more than a year. It got rolled out around a month ago to all beta users. The whole UI got restyled and looks more fluid in

Smart Launcher is known for its categorised apps grid, minimalistic design and responsiveness. This is the latest SL version that was in development for more than a year. It got rolled out around a month ago to all beta users. The whole UI got restyled and looks more fluid in general.

A - Amazon Music

Amazon Music is now available on Android Automotive

A - Android Auto

Assistant Driving Mode can now be launched from a home screen shortcut

Android Auto has apparently started rolling out dual-SIM support

Android Auto 7.1 tries to fix an issue with Telegram messages

C - Chrome

Google Chrome now supports Android 12’s scrolling screenshots

Chrome for Android tests top banner to replace download, alerts snackbar

Google Chrome's getting very emotional with this latest share menu tweak

One of Chrome's most useful accessibility features is now available for more users

Chrome wants its 'copy link to highlight' feature to also support images and video

Google is launching Chrome 97 beta; here’s what’s new

Google Chrome 96 is out; here's what's new

Chrome now tracks and shows product price drops in the tab grid, starting on Android

Google Makes Improvements to Chrome Screenshots and Sharing on Android

C - Clubhouse

🔥 Clubhouse added replays and clip sharing shortcut on Android

Clubhouse Adds New Topic Options to Help Users Find Relevant Rooms, Expands Language Support

Clubhouse Is Posting Updates About How Well Its Recent Pinned Links Feature Is Performing Within The Community

D - Discord

🔥 Discord added easier ways to mute, report spam and get warned about suspicious links

Discord brings custom backgrounds to video calls, tests new account switcher

D - Duolingo

Duolingo interprets 2021, with TikTok and Squid Game inspiring users to learn new languages

F - Facebook

Facebook’s new professional profiles let creators unlock audience-growing tools

Facebook Announces New Comment Moderation and Support Features, including Live Chat for Some Account Issues

New discovery tools and other updated features have been rolled out on Meta for live creators of Facebook

Facebook Announces A Stars Fest Event, Allowing Users To Tip The Platform’s Content Creators And Streamers More

Facebook Is Adding A Text To Speech Feature For Reading Stories On The Platform Out Loud

F - Firefox

Firefox Lockwise, Mozilla's dedicated password manager app, is shutting down in December

Firefox 96 Beta is out now, complete with a handful of significant bug fixes

F - Fitbit

Fitbit tests ‘Sleep Animals’ to encourage better slumber with fun, useful comparisons

G - Gboard

Gboard’s latest Emoji Kitchen creations are perfect for dog lovers and gift-givers alike

G - GitHub

🔥 GitHub introduced customizable homepage shortcuts and more

G - Gmail

Gmail fixes frustrating ‘undo’ button bug on Pixel devices running Android 12

Google Chat in Gmail rolling out instant & link-free 1:1 Meet calls, similar to classic Hangouts

Gmail 2021.10.31 adds revamped Material You widget - widely rolling out

G - Google Assistant

Google Assistant will soon walk you through booking a vaccination slot in India

Google Assistant will make vaccine bookings easier for Indians

G - Google Calendar

Google Calendar picks up new controls for customizing recurring tasks

Google Calendar for Android, iOS adding standard account avatar and switcher

Google Calendar updates setting for preventing unwanted invitations from appearing

G - Google Drive

Google's 'people chips' make Sheets better for personnel tracking with automatic contact cards

G - Google Fit

Google Fit 2.69 for Android adds Nest Hub’s new Sleep Stages graph

G - Google Home

Google Home 2.47.10 adds D-pad controls to Android TV/Google TV remote

G - Google Keep

🔥 Google Keep can be integrated with Google Assistant for more users

G - Google Maps

Google working to make sure food banks that aren’t online appear in Maps, Search

Google Maps expanding grocery pickup tool to over 2,000 stores in the US

Google Maps will help you navigate the holiday season with some handy new tools

G - Google Meet

Google Meet is raising its participant limit to an insane 500 people

Google Meet gains new immersive backgrounds and styles

G - Google Messages

Google Messages has started nudging people to answer their old texts

Google Messages tests a new way to highlight unread chats

Google Messages may soon show iMessage reactions as emoji - Rolling out

G - Google Pay

Google Pay users in India will soon be able to split the bill with friends

Google, the search company, finally adds a search bar to Google Pay’s rewards tab

G - Google Phone

Google's asking for your help to improve how the Phone app identifies businesses

G - Google Photos

🔥 Google Photos rolled out the "People and Pets" widget to everyone

🔥 ICYMI: You can use a locked folder on Google Photos with non-pixel devices now

New Google Photos shortcut will make it easier to access local folders

Google Photos adds new holiday-themed Memories, enhanced customization, more

G - Google Play

Google Play Store adds more prominent button to check for updates

Google rolling out prominent ‘Offers’ tab in the Play Store for some

Google Play Store UI test sees ‘last updated’ section removed from app listings

Play Store adds ‘Your devices’ search filter to make it easier to find compatible apps

G - Google Recorder

Google Recorder can now transcribe your voice in three new languages

Google app tests more conventional Search bar that matches other first-party apps

Google Search now trolls you when it can't find what you're looking for

G - Google Translate

Google Translate’s Material You redesign is expanding from Pixel 6 to older Pixel phones

I - Instagram

Instagram Gives Users More Control Over Suggested Posts

Instagram Is Testing Out A New Feature That Automatically Posts All Video Content As Reels Across The Platform

Instagram Is Adding 3D Backgrounds To Video Calls On The Platform, While Also Testing A New Feature Via Which Reels Can Be Used To Reply To Comments

A Slew Of Features Are Being Added To Instagram Including Add Text To Link Stickers, Upgraded Reels To Get Audio Importing And Dancification

Instagram Is Adding Pinned Threads And Translations To DMs, & Is Also Adding In Event Reminders On Posts

Instagram Launches Live Test of Longer Videos in Stories

Instagram Adds New Features to Offer More Protection and Well-Being Prompts for Young Users

Instagram Adds Reels Replies, Providing Another Way to Tap into Short-Form Video

Instagram launches Playback so you can relive your favorite Stories from 2021

Instagram starts using video selfies for identity verification

You can now violently shake your phone to report Instagram problems

Instagram is testing music support in feed posts

L - Linkedin

LinkedIn introduces two really cool features in its Creators Mode which will help users in their growth on the platform for the better

M - Messenger

Meta Adds New, Holiday-Themed Elements to Messenger, Including Soundmojis and AR Effects

Messenger Adds New Group AR Effects, Tests Automated Bill-Splitting Process

Facebook Messenger to release three new features on its Kids version including voice effects, dark mode and in chat games

M - Microsoft Launcher

🔥 ICYMI: Microsoft Launcher got refreshed apps and news feeds

N - Netflix

Netflix is weirdly reviving a dead mobile game as it expands its Android library

N - Niagara Launcher

Niagara Launcher brings Material You theming to your phone, even without Android 12

O - Opera

🔥 Opera now supports CELO stable coins in its crypto wallet

P - Pinterest

Pinterest Adds Option to Reply to a Comment with an Idea Pin

P - Pocket

🔥 Now it is simpler to understand which articles you've viewed on Pocket already

R - Reddit

Reddit is adding new real-time features, including a live upvote count

Reddit Launches Enhanced Video Tools, Announces Shutdown of Dubsmash

S - Signal

Signal’s new monetization feature makes it easier to make donations

Signal significantly ups its video group call limit, surpassing WhatsApp

S - Spotify

Spotify is pulling the plug on its driving-friendly ‘Car View’ mode

Spotify's latest music video feature reminds us of something but we're not sure what

Spotify's live lyrics are going global, and you wouldn't believe what you've been mishearing this whole time

Spotify is rolling out podcast subscriptions worldwide

T - Telegram

Telegram 8.3 gives you more control over cleaning up old messages

Telegram is working on letting you hide spoilers

Telegram is working on adding iMessage-like emoji reactions

Telegram Brings Privacy and Creator Focused Updates to Its Platform

T - TikTok

🔥 TikTok released Reposts that will be shown to your followers

TikTok Adds New Creative Tools for the Holidays, including GIFs in Green Screen Mode

TikTok Is Adding Pronouns To Profiles, Also Allowing Users To Add Description Boxes To Live Videos

TikTok added Q&A Tool for all creators account, users can now interact with creators

T - Twitter

🔥 Twitter now allows searching through individual accounts to all users

Twitter no longer opens the AMP version of articles on Android, iOS

Twitter tests a new Explore tab with a TikTok-style scrolling feed

Now you can listen to recorded Twitter Spaces on iOS, Android, and the web

Twitter is rolling out automatically generated captions for videos

Twitter Tests New Self-Reporting Option for Potentially Sensitive Images and Videos in Tweets

Twitter Launches New Tweet Reporting Flow to Improve Issue Diagnosis and Response

Twitter Is Testing New, Themed App Icons for the Holidays

Twitter Experiments With Adding Fleets Features to Other Parts of the Platform

Twitter’s New Tweet Collaborations Feature Allows Multiple Users To Tweet The Same Post Under Their Respective Names

Twitter is always bringing innovation to its app - the social network is planning to launch its Reply downvotes feature

V - Vivaldi

Vivaldi 5.0 brings its crazy double-decker Tab Stacks to Android phones

W - Waze

Waze is adding support to show and search for EV charging stations

W - WhatsApp

WhatsApp begins testing payments in the US with Novi integration

Following Signal, WhatsApp lets users turn on disappearing messages by default

WhatsApp is beta testing new skin tone emoji combinations for couples

WhatsApp will soon let you hide your 'Last seen' status from specific contacts

WhatsApp may log you out of linked devices as part of a security fix

WhatsApp is rolling out voice waveforms for chat bubbles!

WhatsApp beta for Android allows forwarding stickers

WhatsApp has a refined voice call interface in the works

WhatsApp will soon add indicators to remind users that they have end-to-end encryption

WhatsApp now lets you rehearse your voice messages before sending

WhatsApp may soon allow group admins to delete incoming messages

WhatsApp Statuses to Get a Useful New Feature Soon

WhatsApp is working on editing recipients

WhatsApp is working on animating heart emojis

WhatsApp is working on filtering businesses nearby

WhatsApp is working on a revamped Contact Info page

Y - YouTube

YouTube Premium members can get 3 months of Microsoft’s rebranded ‘PC Game Pass’ for free

YouTube Premium perk on Android, iOS adds persistent ‘Listening controls’ for all videos

YouTube is making its handy video chapters available on more devices

YouTube for Android is trying out a new Material You look

YouTube tests tweaked channel homepage UI on mobile w/ upload count and description

YouTube Expands Shorts Fund to More than 70 New Regions, Adds New Shorts Analytics Features

YouTube Looks to Highlight Places Mentioned in Videos, Adds 'Collections' to Help Sort Subscriptions

Y - YouTube Music

YouTube Music is getting Play Music’s ‘Save’ queue as playlist feature

YouTube Music for Android rolls out versatile ‘Recently Played’ widget

YouTube Music adds new ‘Energize’ mood filter on Android, iOS

Y - YouTube Studio

YouTube Adds New Updates to YouTube Studio App, Bringing it More Into Line with the Desktop Version


🔥 Trust Wallet now asks to set a passcode during the wallet setup

🔥 Trust Wallet now asks to set a passcode during the wallet setup

🔥 Rarible now allows sending NFTs as gifts on the web

🔥 Crypto com DeFi Wallet released Swap 2.0 with the cross-chain bridge for CRO tokens to more users

🔥 Crypto DeFi Wallet now allows importing custom tokens

🔥 Binance adding a shortcut for fiat withdrawal to its Android app

🔥 Delta portfolio app now allows connecting to broker accounts

🔥 KuCoin optimizes its New Listings tab on Android and more

🔥 HalloApp introduced a post archive section to show your content from the past

🔥 ICYMI: Smart Launcher 6 got released to all beta users

LastPass working on a ‘delightful’ mobile app as it becomes an independent company

NewPipe 0.21.14 brings description snippets and a new “Add to playlist” option

Tinder’s new Music Mode makes swiping a bit more fun

Redesigned Truecaller 12 adds video caller ID and makes call recording free for all

Google's incredible 'Look to Speak' app now works with more languages

Samsung Game Launcher updated on version


Minecraft Caves & Cliffs Part 2 is out for Android with new and improved biomes

Fight as League of Legends heroes on Mirror Island in PUBG Mobile 1.7

PUBG: New State is finally available for Android, off to a pretty rough start

Genshin Impact 2.3 update brings two new Geo characters, new Geo boss, and so many….dogs?

TestingCatalog project

Sub to TestingCatalog Media channel for more insights if you want to take a part in this project. More stuff to come soon. Happy upcoming New Year and GM! 🚀

Happy Testing!