An increasing number of users have stumbled across a new navigation card when looking for directions using the Google Search app. Apparently the tech giant has decided to pull the switch that opens this feature up to a wider populace. The card resembles Google Maps: it provides a map with the trip drawn out, the option to select the desired mode of transportation, alternate routes to select from, and a giant blue start button for when it's time to get moving.
Wanna see something cool? Or, depending on your current location, hot? Then pop open the Google Now interface on your Android phone or tablet. The Weather card is a regular on the Now page, but you might see something new in there today if you have the recently updated stacked multi-city view showing, namely high and low temperatures values. Neat.
That's all there is, there isn't any more - check out the latest Search APK update, including device-wide "OK Google" activation, for more information.
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.
Aviate Launcher, if you haven't heard of it, is a new home screen replacement that looks to offer you information right when you need it and which is, at the time of writing, in the middle of an invite-only alpha period.
After receiving my invitation recently, I was anxious to take the launcher for a spin. I have no doubt it will improve as it progresses toward a broad launch, and there are a few drawbacks, but it is already one of the best alpha products I've ever used.
There are those among us who simply need more storage. Phones like the Nexus 4, which offers only 8 or 16GB of storage just don't provide enough space for some users, and for them there are phones with microSD slots. MicroSD cards, though, aren't cheap. If you've been looking for a card with a high capacity but not a high price, Amazon has a deal for you.
The retailer is offering up the SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC Class 10 UHS-1 card (with adapter) for just $19.99.
If you aren't quite feeling the holiday spirit yet, Google has decided to lend a hand with a few holiday-oriented offerings focused on our favorite green robot.
The official Nexus page on Google+ shared a few "Happy Holiday Cards" this evening, depicting Bugdroid hanging out with some arctic pals sitting by a fire, having a party, ice skating, and – of course – playing with Android-powered phones and tablets. To download the full-resolution cards or share with friends, just click through to the original post, linked below.
As we know by now, Google Wallet has been facing a lot of resistance. Major US carriers are blocking it while competition is getting intense. Google's fighting back, though, and word has it that new partnerships may be in the works. More importantly, Google is primed to introduce a physical Google Wallet card.
If you've been following the Play Store-related news cycle recently, you are probably well aware that Google is on the verge of releasing gift cards for use on Play Store's digital goods. The Redeem functionality, along with a new Wishlist, came with the new Play Store APK v3.8.15 that started rolling out yesterday but, unfortunately, the UI does not expose it yet.
There is no web interface for redemption either, but after digging through the APK, I discovered that it was set to intercept calls to http://play.google.com/redeem.
Well, well, well, what have we here? It's one of those upcoming Play Store gift cards we discovered yesterday and saw earlier today. This specific one was purchased at a local Turnersville, NJ Target by one of its employees. The kicker? He claims they are just hanging out in bins next to the checkout counters waiting to be put up on one of those gift card walls. Anyone shopping at the store can grab them from the pile, purchase (the system already allows it), and give them a new home.
When Google announced that it would support all major credit and debit cards, it was big news. What may have slipped under the radar, however, is that Mountain View also sent an open invitation to card issuers to sign up for tighter integration into the service. Today, Google is announcing that you can add your Discover card to Google Wallet directly from your account on Discover's website. You even get fancy card graphics now, too!