Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
26
Jun
nexusae0_Search-Icon_thumb

Google Search was just updated to version 2.6, which means it's teardown time! As usual with Google Search, it's impossible to bring up the new stuff "at will." Cards pop up entirely based on a bunch of crazy inputs that I can't easily replicate (emails, location, etc) so there's no way for me to check if new code is functional or not. So, I'll just cover everything that's not in the change log, and if you manage to see a live, working version of something, just send in a screenshot.

17
Jun
IMG_0027-3

Google Glass is an extraordinary device. Like the Apple II, the Palm Pilot, and the first iPhone, Glass is a category-defining product that will quickly become the template for all other devices of its type going forward. It's the kind of device that will have a place in a computer history museum.

As a technology journalist, I often cover innovative devices, or exciting devices, or devices destined to sell millions, but how often, going in, can you say "This is a device of historical significance?" Wearable computing has arrived.

13
Jun
mtv-oldschool

As I was digging through the latest build of Google Play Music, I noticed something strange: lots and lots of YouTube stuff. "That's odd," I thought, "What does YouTube have to do with Play Music?"

Oh, right, music videos!

Sure enough, there's some fairly revealing text included, too:

<string name="finding_videos_for_track">Finding related videos for the track...</string>
<string name="no_videos_for_track">No videos found for the track.</string>
<string name="youtube_video_details_hd">%1$s | %2$,d views | HD</string>
<string name="youtube_video_details_nonhd">%1$s | %2$,d views</string>
<string name="youtube_video_duration_hms">%1$02d:%2$02d:%3$02d</string>
<string name="youtube_video_duration_ms">%1$02d:%2$02d</string>

While listening to music, you'll be able to tell Play Music to hunt down the YouTube video for that song.

04
Jun
images

When you set out to map the entire Earth, if you do it right, you're going to end up with a lot of data. Google Maps has a constant stream of information coming in from a ton of sources - its own Street View cars, satellite imagery, governments, and users all over the world. Once you have all of that information, how do you deal with it? What happens when the government map doesn't perfectly match the satellite image?

26
May
ic_launcher_mail

About 2 days ago, an anonymous tipster emailed TNW,  Android Police, and probably a few other sites with screenshots of an alleged Gmail redesign that would automatically categorize your emails into separate inboxes. We didn't run the pictures because they seemed pretty sloppy, and often didn't conform to the way Gmail works. Now though, now we're seeing confirmation from ryan_socio, who has been a pretty solid source in the past, so they've officially graduated to post-worthy.

24
May
nexusae0_ic_head_wake_up_large_lower_thumb_thumb

Google Glass is very much an experimental piece of hardware and it turns out the software has been built with that ethos in mind, too. With root and a few carefully-crafted ADB commands, you can enable a ton of experimental features the Google has built into the Glass software.

Over on Github, Zhuowei Zhang has posted the whole list of Glass Labs features, and how to enable them. Zhuowei isn't a Glass explorer though, so it's been up to me to be the guinea pig and actually try this stuff.

24
May
Gmail-icon

At Google I/O there was a session called "Structure in Android App Design," where they talked about various navigation techniques, including the new navigation drawer.

It's a cool talk; you'll learn a lot about the pro and cons of each navigation structure, but at about 23 minutes in, while they were talking about the new nav drawer design, they dropped this slide and completely blew my mind:

wm_2013-05-23_23-58-46

YES.

22
May
nexusae0_unnamed-1_thumb1_thumb

At the end of last year, a Google Search update came out that added a "Search with Camera" feature. With Google Search, you could fire up your camera, snap a picture of something, and it would do an image search - it was basically Google Goggles integration. Besides the usual Goggles stuff, it was also really useful for scanning QR codes.

But, a few days ago, when the Search 2.5 update hit, "Search With Camera" got kicked to the curb.

17
May
nexusae0_dolladollabillyall_thumb

A few days ago Google announced this crazy new feature that allows you to attach actual money to Gmail messages. We've discovered the feature is actually up and running, you just have to be invited!

To get invited, someone just has to send you some amount of money over Gmail - a penny will do fine. So, find someone who has access to it, give them your email, receive a penny, and you're in!

15
May
nexusae0_Untitled-1_thumb

A few days ago, we investigated the new navigation drawer design present in updates to Google Earth and Google Shopper. The hope at the time was that this new Up button design would be pushed out to other Android apps. We even heard from a few Googlers that this was happening.

Now, things are officially official, as the Android Design site has updated with Matias-approved guidelines for the navigation drawer.

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