17
Mar
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Google Now is a powerful tool. A step toward Google's vision of a Star Trek computer in the palm of your hand, Now is built to serve up information that you need, exactly when you need it, without you asking for it.

To that end, the service has seen many improvements since its debut. It will tell you when your favorite teams are playing, when you need to leave to make it to the airport on time, whether your plane is delayed, and plenty of info about your destination and surrounding attractions, among numerous other things.

29
Oct
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Earlier today, Google started rolling out a major update to Google+ for Android. Together with our readers, we've examined every corner of the app and found a whole bunch of things that are new to this version 4.2 but haven't been mentioned in the official announcement. You should definitely read through the list if you haven't yet.

However, one new feature that I found fascinating managed to fly completely below the radar because it's located not within the app itself but rather in the widget menu.

10
Oct
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Folks, I can't believe it myself, but this day has finally come - Google seems to have finally sorted out all its backend and frontend issues with Google contact sync. Jelly Bean's 720x720 hi-res contact support was surely a nice addition, but ended up almost completely useless in our earlier tests: Jelly Bean Bumps Contact Photos To Hi-Res 720x720 But Google Sync Continues To Clobber It With Low-Res Mush.

As of today, all the problems I ran into before are resolved.

02
Jul
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One of the most starred Android issues of all time, currently #20 of 21363 from the top with 1191 stars, is the absolutely awful quality of synced contact photos (issue #3870, opened in 2009). ICS attempted to resolve the issue by bumping the quality to 256x256 pixels, but Google sync would without mercy squash it right back down to blurry pixel dirt (96x96).

To recap, there are actually a couple of issues:

  1. Contact photos set in Gmail.com are downsized to 96x96.
09
Dec
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I sure love these Google Fridays - the Android team tends to release quite a few little updates to the web Market that make us feel warm on the inside, and it turns out this week is no exception.

You can now email developers with a question or a bug report right from the web Market - a feature previously available only in the device Market. For example:

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The email url is a simple mailto: link, which should pop up your favorite email client (Gmail in my case).

02
Jul
wp7contacts

For every Windows Phone 7-inspired app, launcher, or theme we've written about, a half-dozen more, often clones, go unmentioned. But every now and then we find something we haven't seen before, and this is one of those times. It's called WP7Contacts, and as you would surmise, it's a contact manager inspired by Windows Phone 7.

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The features:

  • Sync contacts from SIM and Gmail
  • Add new contact or edit existing one
  • Search contacts by clicking search button.

21
Nov
whoisit_1

WhoIsIt is a new twist on an old classic: setting custom ringtones for certain contacts (or groups of contacts). The twist is that you can assign custom ringtones and vibrations for Gmail, SMS, and MMS, on a per-contact basis. Not too shabby, especially for a free app. Other features include:

* Ability to setup VIP contacts for Gmail, SMS, and MMS
* Allow VIP contacts to ring / notify for Gmail, SMS, and MMS even when in Silent mode
* Announce incoming caller and SMS/MMS sender
* Define different volume / vibration profiles
* Widget for easily switching profiles
* Tasker plugin
* Disable LEDs on a per-profile basis
* Ringleader integration

whoisit_1 whoisit_2

At the moment, the app is still in public beta at version .92.