05
Jun
Iro-Thumb

Kids these days with their fancy smart homes, their smartphone-controlled lights, Bluetooth-connected door locks, and their mind-reading kettles. Back in the day, people manually flipped switches, turned keys, and pressed buttons. Appliances didn't control themselves, and that was a-okay. But sprinklers, yes, those should be automated, and using your smartphone to monitor them just makes plain sense! Tell me more about Rachio's newfangled Iro smart sprinkler controller.

Okay, not all homeowners are grumpy old men (get off my lawn!), so I'll drop the impression and just tell you what Rachio's smart sprinkler controller can do.

28
May
search

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.

28
May
AllCast-Thumb

Through a steady stream of updates, AllCast has evolved into something far more than the Chromecast streaming app it began as. Now developer Koushik Dutta has released a receiver app into the Chrome Web Store that enables the Android app to cast content straight to your web browser.

21
May
nexusae0_ic_launcher_alarmclock_thumb

Back in April, we posted a rumor that Google Now was on track to properly handle timer queries (like "set a timer for five minutes") using the clock app's built in timer functionality, rather than simply setting an alarm.

Nearly a month later, we saw mention of the functionality in a teardown of the Search app itself, and today it looks like that functionality has finally been switched on.

Users who say "Set a timer for [time]" will be greeted with a card letting them know the timer is about to commence, with the option to skip straight to starting the timer.

14
May
unnamed

As promised, the companion app to Google Glass, MyGlass, got a big update today. The bump from version 2.2 to 3.0 allows for sharing from Maps directly to Glass, but is otherwise purely aesthetic. Users will enjoy a slick new interface centered around a slide-out menu, which breaks out the Glassware Gallery, your active glassware, device info, and selected contacts into separate views.

This arrangement is infinitely more friendly than the previous interface, and glassware is now displayed more richly, with example screenshots in each listing along with a brief description and rundown of permissions.

13
May
unnamed

The Google Glass team hasn't taken a break since pushing out XE16 - there have been four updates so far, and according to Glass team member Kiley, there's another on the way: XE17.1.

Accompanying the new firmware update, explorers can expect a refreshed MyGlass app. The app will come with a new, more organized design and a new launcher icon.

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Explorers should also expect XE17.1 to add the ability to share maps directly from an Android device.

09
May
QuizToWin-Thumb

Which tech company is the first to come to mind when it's time to have a good time? That's right, Microsoft. Now the company is ready to bank on this reputation by releasing QuizToWin for Android, a "real-time quiz application," according to its Play Store page. Okay, I was joking before, but this sounds like exactly the kind of entertainment Microsoft would bring to your next company party right after it helps with catering (Panda Express, again?

07
May
gms

Google has begun rolling out an update to the Play Services package we all know and love. Details about version 4.4 have already been posted to the Android Developers blog, and it features updates and new features to the APIs for Maps, Mobile Ads, Activity Recognition, plus a few minor fixes for Games Services and Wallet. Aside from general bug fixes, it looks like this update is mostly about giving new tools to developers.

24
Apr
IFTTT-Thumb

IFTTT is the kind of black magic that web mages use to bend the Internet to their will. The best part is that the command that gets it to work is pretty simple. There's no abra cadabra or expelliarmus to memorize here. Just head to the website and fill in the blanks within the statement if ___ then ___ with triggers and actions (known as channels) of your choice. Now this special craft isn't just reserved for desktop use, as an official Android app is due out today that aspiring web wizards can carry around as their well-disguised wand.

23
Apr
MasterCard-Thumb

People are after your credit card information. Okay, this isn't a cable news report, so I'll dial it back a bit. Sometimes bad things happen when credit cards fall into the wrong hands, whether that's from physical theft or large-scale cyber crime. There's been a number of incidents in the news of late, so companies are doing what they can to provide their customers with peace of mind. So MasterCard has released a new MasterCard In Control app that monitors your credit card activity and notifies you if it detects anything suspicious.

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