We've been seeing bits and pieces (and fully functional prototypes) of Google Stars for a long time now. The tool, which for now acts as a replacement for Chrome's bookmark manager, has been in development even longer, but it looks like the Chrome extension might finally be ready to roll (assuming it doesn't get pulled again) as Google released "Bookmark Manager" to the Chrome Web Store earlier today.
Despite the new name, the extension takes over chrome://bookmarks just as before, with options to organize bookmarks into folders, give those folders descriptions, and even share folders with others. Read More
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have all received some love today, though the visual changes here are minor. For the most part, these apps were already all material-ed up, and while this update does dot some i's and cross some t's, it doesn't quite leave us satisfied. Fortunately that's not all there is to see here.
Let's get the biggest visual tweak out of the way first. Yes, Google has changed the hamburger menu icon in the action bar. Read More
No update is too small for Google, in this case the Google Camera. It's going from v2.3 to v2.4, and it doesn't seem to do much of anything. But guys, the number is bigger so you need it right now. Read More
Google's commerce blog was updated with a new post a little bit ago, but it was pulled down almost immediately. Luckily, we got a peek before that happened. Google is preparing to announce two new features of Google Wallet—automatic deposits and low balance alerts. They are both in the updated Wallet app.
Months ago, we posted a rumor about "modular actions" set to come to Google's Search app (now just called Google) along with "Ok Google Everywhere" functionality that would allow users to activate search from anywhere on their device. The latter has already been implemented, but Google is still inching toward the former. With the technically unreleased Google app, the search interface can overlay apps from which it is called, but Google today announced another step forward - the ability to let apps hook into search by accepting voice queries from the user. Read More
Primer: Marketing for Startups isn't like most of Google's other Android apps. For starters, it's the first to appear in the Play Store under the publisher "Google Learn." The app also happens to be such a niche product that only a specific target demographic will benefit from it.
As the name says, Primer is aimed at helping startups manage their marketing efforts. A great deal of work and knowledge goes into getting a new brand in front of consumers and establishing awareness. Read More
It is apparently 'material all the things' day as Google keeps rolling out those updates. This time we've got a new version of Play Games, but unlike the last one we brought you, this is for all Android devices, not the version intended for Android TV.
In addition to being the alleged pre-order date for the Nexus 6, this is still an update Wednesday. Google Wallet is getting a big update too. It's jumping all the way from v2 to v7 with a full material design interface. It looks really nice, very #materiyolo.
So far, it seems to be just the UI that has been changed. It has all the animations and icons you'd expect from a proper material app. Read More
If you've seen a couple of your friends flood their social feeds with single-panel comic strips starring people they know, chances are they didn't all suddenly learn how to draw at once. More than likely, they've all developed an affection for Bitstrips, a means for people to easily create avatars and inject them into comical situations.
There's an Android app out that lets you have fun from a mobile device, but if you really want to inject these characters into your daily life, you're going to want Bitmoji, the company's latest release. Read More
Believe it or not, a lot of Android fans were happy to see Apple announce its new Apple Pay system with the iPhone 6. Thanks to its reliance on NFC technology (welcome to 2011, Cupertino!) and Apple's famous marketing muscle, it meant that NFC payments might finally start taking off, particularly in the US. The same NFC-equipped registers that work with Apple Pay generally work with Google Wallet as well.
Then popular drugstores CVS and Rite-Aid started blocking Apple Pay, which apparently means blocking all NFC payments, including Google Wallet. Read More