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.
An IFTTT user has helpfully posted a recipe that takes advantage of the push notifications in the new IFTTT Android app. This particular concoction will ping you each time we post an APK file for download, which we do pretty often. The recipe is currently trending at #4 on IFTTT, about which we are extremely pleased.
Two days ago, Google Glass received the XE16 update that bumped the device up to KitKat, introduced photo bundles, brought in sorted voice commands, and added a number of other features. This release was different for a few reasons, the most notable of which being the long wait (the last release was XE12 back in December).
Now the Glass team has released the update's system image to the Internet. The file is available for download from the usual location.
It's still Update Wednesday here in San Francisco, and just when I thought I was done for the day, Google decided to upload yet another new version of one of its core apps - Calendar v201404011. And it's a big one, folks.
Location suggestions of nearby places
The main change in this update finally addresses (no pun intended) what I consider the most requested feature missing from Calendar for Android, which is actually present in Calendar on the web - location suggestions for places known to Google Maps.
Over the course of ten years, Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia fame has produced quite a bit of music. Now his record label, Size Records, is working with Google to give away 150 songs entirely for free. That's right - free. That's roughly a full workday of non-stop electronic music.
Google blew a lot of minds with its Android Wear announcement yesterday. The ambitious project, which aims to put a specialized version of Android on as many wearables (for now watches) as possible, has been talked about, analyzed, and previewed heavily for the past 24 hours, but there's still more to discuss.
Today, we've got the Android Wear launcher (extracted from the emulator) as it currently exists. This is an early version of the home launcher that you'll see on the Moto 360 and likely other wearable devices coming in the near future.
The Galaxy S5 is coming to store shelves in April, and it's bringing with it a new version of TouchWiz along with a full suite of Samsung apps. These aren't typically the pieces of software Android enthusiasts foam at the mouth to get, but with all the bajillions of devices Samsung pushes each year, we know there are many of you who get a kick out of some of them.
Google added Cricket-related functionality to Google Now just shy of a week ago, and it looks like this update is expanding on it slightly. Cricket teams also have a logo next to their names, whereas they didn't before.
Before and after.
The Google update fairy is making her rounds today, and one app to feel the effect of her wand is Google Translate. The new features are pretty straightforward, but for many of you, that won't make this release any less exciting.
Translate now supports handwriting in thirteen new languages. Instead of typing in characters, you can now scribble away and watch as Google recognizes your characters in Arabic, Bosnian, Cebuano, Gujarati, Hmong, Kannada, Maltese, Mongolian, Persian, Punjabi, Somali, Tamil, and Telugu.