Welcome to the future. No, really, it's the future, right here and right now. And not just because we've got mobile processors that can calculate Pi to the ten trillionth digit, or because our video games are starting to look more like movies than games. Nope, what makes me feel like I'm living in The Future(TM) more than anything else is how all that pie-in-the-sky Moore's Law tech gets applied to solving very human problems, like figuring out where the exit is in the Jakarta airport.
Case in point: Google's Translate app is applying the Word Lens visual translate tool, which lets you point your phone's camera to a sign or piece of paper and see the text in your native language, to 20 new languages. Read More
If you have opened a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation in a web browser on your mobile device in the past week, you may have noticed that Google is rolling out a new look.
The updated interface is simpler, and the changes are consistent across all three services. An action bar stretches across the top that lets you go back or start editing. The title of the document sits in the center. In most cases the bar is gray, but it turns dark when viewing slides.
Google is taking this time to phase out the ability to edit Docs files on the web. Read More
Do you like to frequent places when they're at their busiest or do you prefer to slip in when no one else is around? No matter. Google Search will now help you do both. When you search for certain establishments, Google will show you which times of the day are the most popular.
Just search for a place's name and click on its card in the search results. Underneath the address and phone number you might see a scrollable chart showing when folks tend to stop by.
Results will vary. I had success when trying Blue Bottle Williamsburg, the coffee shop in Google's example. Read More
Google acquired WordLens a while back, eventually integrating its visual text translation technology into the Translate app. It only supported seven languages at the time, but today's v4.0 update adds a lot more, and Google is showing off the visual translation feature with a nifty Google Translate vs. “La Bamba” video. Read More
After having been available to some users as a beta for over half a year, Google Contributor is now available to everyone in the US.
Great, now I can contribute to Google!
Eh, not quite. Google Contributor's purpose is to free you from ads. Not all of them, mind you, but some. Pay $2 - $10 a month to remove anywhere from 5 - 50% of those banners and animated squares you see on the web. This money then provides an alternate way to fund the sites you frequent.
Here's how things work in the background. Contributors become bidders on AdSense, and the ads they outbid are the ones they don't have to see. Read More
Were you planning or considering buying a Sonos speaker, amplifier, or any other kind of gear from the company on its European stores? Well, you now have only a couple of days to make your decision before the prices hike up. Sonos has announced that starting July 31st, all of its prices will receive a bump in EUR, DKK, SEK, and NOK. It seems that GBP prices are staying steady for now.
Sonos explains that the significant drop in the EUR to USD conversion rate has made its current prices unsustainable, especially since it's a US company and it operates on the dollar then has to send its products to Europe where they get tacked with import duties and taxation. Read More
Microsoft surprised Android developers last year with the launch of a brand new emulator designed for performance and features that aren't available anywhere else. While the initial Preview release only included an image for KitKat, subsequent updates introduced an expanded set of emulator images and some valuable new features. While a high-speed emulator is certainly compelling, many developers still didn't adopt it because it had to be downloaded and installed alongside a very large Visual Studio package, not to mention it was also frustrating to set up for use with other IDEs. Last week, Microsoft unburdened the emulator and released it as a standalone download along with step-by-step instructions to set it up to easily run with Android Studio and Eclipse with ADT. Read More
Googler Kirill Grouchnikov likes to clue everyone into the subtle design tweaks in upcoming versions of the Play Store as they roll out, and today he's posted not once, not twice, but three times about a slick new hamburger animation. Is that overkill? I don't know... it's a pretty cool animation.
Mobile TV seems like a natural and obvious thing. That's why Sony sold a gajillion of those little portable TVs in the eighties, and why streaming of movies and TV shows has exploded on mobile platforms. So why, then, has mobile television streaming only taken off in a few markets? It seems like adding "unlimited free video with no data charges" to your phone's spec sheet would be something that would appeal to everyone.
Anyway. Motorola has a new mobile HDTV app available now, called... Mobile HDTV. It looks really similar to the other Motorola TV app, Mobile TV. Read More