A couple of months ago, we posted one of our early Google Search/Now rumors, and it was something of a long range rumor compared to others. While things like parking reminders, proper timer management, and bill pay reminders have already seen their public release, the ability to set contact-based reminders ("remind me when I'm with this person"), hasn't come forward yet. But it will likely appear very soon with a new feature in Android called Nearby, which will allow new interactions between you and nearby people, places, and things.
|Liam Spradlin||Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.|
For some reason, it seems that streaming music is the new hotness in the world of tech firm acquisitions. Today, the New York Post reports that Google is eyeing the acquisition of Songza.
Songza is a popular music curating and streaming service that, with five and a half million active users, is nothing to sneeze at. The Android app is currently in the 1 million - 5 million download range, with almost 60,000 ratings.
Kingsoft, makers of the popular productivity app Kingsoft Office, today announced that the Android app has reached 210 million users around the world. To mark the event, the app has been rebranded to WPS Office and given a new icon to match. The announcement comes on the heels of the app's update to version 6.0, which introduces "over 100 feature updates and enhancements," including a revitalized interface, support for 44 languages, and - in Kingsoft's words - "much more."
The app can view, create, and share office documents on any Android device running 2.1+, and offers collaboration features like edit tracking and comments.
A while ago, we posted about information we'd received indicating that sometime soon, Google's search functionality (and other actions) would be expanding beyond the Search app, moving into other apps for device-wide search interaction and - eventually - app-specific functionality.
It appears that isn't the only Search trick Google is working on, though. According to the information available to us, Google is working on functionality for now known as KITT (get it?) or "Android Eyes Free" internally.
Google's reinvention of the Chrome bookmark system, called Google Stars, was first spotted by Florian Kiersch nearly a month ago. Today, it looks like the Chrome extension and web interface are already live for the public, preceding any official word from Google about the burgeoning bookmarking service. For now, it looks like Stars is still in a dogfooding or testing phase.
Users who install the Chrome extension (linked at the bottom of the post) will be able to access the service's web interface, which will automatically "add the Google magic to your data," collecting a history of topics you're interested in or things you've bookmarked, arranged automatically by date.
The Galaxy S5 Active, Samsung's much-leaked ruggedized version of its latest flagship, is now official, and available from AT&T in three colors - Camo Green, Ruby Red, and Titanium Gray.
Just like the previous entry in the Active family, the S5 Active is water and dust resistant, and looks quite capable of taking some abuse. The S5 Active, as you may guess, is essentially the Galaxy S5 in a rougher, tougher chassis.
Several days ago, it was brought to our attention that Google's Search app finally allowed completely touchless reminders, whereby a user could set a reminder from start to finish without touching the device. Previously, reminders required a touch confirmation at the end of the process. Now, the "voice of Google" simply asks if the user would like the reminder to be set. Saying "yes" will complete the interaction.
It seems this isn't the only server-side switch Google is pulling, though.
During CES this year, Google and NVIDIA announced partnership with GM, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai in forming the Open Automotive Alliance. The initial announcement was predictably sparse on details, noting only the initiative's core principles, and the goal of bringing Android to cars. After hearing approximately nothing about the effort since then, we now have information that gives us a first look at Google's vision for Android in the Car, referred to internally as Gearhead.
Yoel Kaseb, who last month posted a series of screenshots purporting to show a revamped Google+ interface (which ended up being proven mostly accurate in a recent update), is back again, this time posting photos of what is allegedly a new Gmail interface.
Before we discuss, let's look at the photos. For the sake of clarity, I've used the photos to quickly create a clearer, full-res mockup of the interface shown.