Hi Google, it's me Rita. I believe we've met before. Somewhere between Gmail, Google Photos, and Chrome, you must know a lot about me. Things I might not want others to discover, so hushhhh. (There are thousands of people reading us, let's not tell them about my love for Winnie The Pooh.) But our relationship doesn't feel equal; I barely have any information about you. Your new guy, this Assistant you've sent here to talk to me, I'd like to get to know him better. He looks a lot like the other guys you've sent before, Now and On Tap, but he seems special. Read More
For months, we have seen Hangouts shift from Google's primary messaging service to being focused on business use. The official Google for Work (which is in the process of becoming Google Cloud) blog has announced that Google+ is moving to the same purpose, and is now a core feature for businesses to use.
Starting immediately, Google+ will have "the same technical support and service level commitments as any other core service, like Gmail or Google Drive," according to the blog post. This shows that Google is serious about the future of Google+, perhaps not with a focus on the average user, but no doubt both parties will benefit from continued support from Google. Read More
Part 1 of this teardown broached the subject of a new set of circular launcher icons Google is creating for use on the homescreen, possibly just for the Pixel Launcher. It likely speaks to future plans for the look and feel of Android, but there's no denying that new icons are cosmetic – they don't actually do anything. Part 2 of this teardown switches over to the functional side as evidence shows Launcher Shortcuts will return with Android 7.1.
The Launcher Shortcuts API was introduced with the second Android N Developer Preview and quickly gained attention as a spiritual copy of the Home Screen Quick Actions introduced with iOS 9, and inspired many theories that pressure-sensitive screens would become a standard in Android. Read More
If you can remember, Google displayed a Paper Planes interactive map at the Google I/O keynote before the actual presentation began. Users in the audience could catch and throw paper planes, with the planes themselves flying all across the world. If you need a refresher, this is what it looked like at I/O. Read More
AT&T and Samsung are both notoriously bad with Android updates, but they've done a good job with this latest update for the Galaxy Note5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+. Not only does this update bring the latest security update, but it also adds support for AT&T WiFi calling and Advanced Messaging. Read More
We're in a bit of a dry spell for Android Wear releases, so this might be the perfect time to pick up a refurbished last gen watch on the cheap. Daily Steals has the 2nd gen Moto 360 on sale for a mere $154.99. It's refurbished, but Motorola does still sell this version of the device for $350. This is US only, though. Read More
Google's Inbox email client aims to be more automated than Gmail. It bundles messages and suggests replies for you. Now, it's making it easier to attach photos to your emails. If you took a photo recently, new emails will get a handy link to add it as an attachment. Read More
Tasker is one of the most useful power tools on Android, allowing you to automate your device to do practically anything. Tasker plugins, like AutoShare, only seek to make Tasker even more feature-filled. If you have never used AutoShare, it allows you to send data to a Tasker tasks via Android's share menu.
For example, you can create a task called 'Add as wallpaper' that appears as an application in the Share menu, and when you share an image to that application, it inserts all available data into your Tasker task. That alone is extremely useful, but the 2.0 update adds a new feature called Text Processors. Read More
Google has dug itself a deep hole with Hangouts by integrating multiple messaging protocols and a myriad of little-used features. It's become a lumbering beast that often lags behind other Google apps in adopting new features as Android itself evolves. Enter, Allo—Google's new consumer-facing messaging client. It's faster, simpler, and it has Google Assistant built-in. So, how do these apps stack up? Let's find out. Read More