There are a number of good reasons people haven't been that enamored by Allo since Google released it, not least that the company simply has too many messaging apps. One of the biggest issues at launch was the lack of a desktop or web client. How else could we get away with chatting to each other while at work without our boss finding out? That was rectified last month with the introduction of Allo for web, but it still lacked a few features from the app. A couple more of those have just made their way on to the web version. Read More
I'm personally not a huge fan of Android O's updated set of emoji, and judging by our poll from last month, neither are many of you. But in case you ever want to use them in your own projects, Google has uploaded all of them to GitHub. Read More
Contrary to all logic and reason, emoji are a big deal on smartphones and people care what they look like. For example, I and many others loved the Google blob emoji, but Android 8.0 killed the blobs. The scale of this unspeakable crime is laid bare by Emojipedia in its comprehensive Oreo changelog. Read More
Speech recognition is one of the most powerful aspects of many Google products, particularly in the Google app where Voice Search relies on being able to understand what we're saying. The same is true of Gboard, which is capable of typing up entire messages based on what you dictate to it. We may take it for granted somewhat these days, but it truly is a marvel. Now, this feature can be enjoyed by many more around the globe as Google has added support for 30 further languages. Read More
Different types of emoji, trivial as they may seem, can manufacture lots of controversy. Just look at how many votes and comments our blobmoji vs O-moji poll generated, or the fact that it caused a Change.org petition to be created. However, I think we can all agree that the "grinning face with smiling eyes" emoji that Google used in the first three Android O developer previews looked pretty stupid; it didn't so much look like a grin as it did constipated. Thankfully, Android O DP4 has fixed this terrible issue.
Google is preparing to kill the blob emoji in Android O, which will feature more conventional emoji faces. I just want to go on record saying I love the Android blob emoji, or blobmoji if you will. As if this injustice was not enough, Google is using World Emoji Day to talk about the death of the blobmoji. It's giving us some stickers to make up for it, but you have to use Allo to send them. Read More
There's a new version of Gboard hitting devices tonight, right after Google accidentally sent an internal v6.3 "dogfood" test build out to some users. Oh well, the version that's rolling out in the Play Store right now (also v6.3) is the proper consumer build, and it has some cool new stuff. Searching is now quicker and more powerful, whether you're looking for a webpage, emoji, or a GIF. Read More
As you may know, Android O changes the entire set of system emojis, turning the famous 'blob' faces into more generic circles. However, a lesser known casualty of this change was the cat emoji - which has also been radically changed. Someone has started a petition on Change.org to bring back the old cat, which is currently sitting at 153 signatures. Read More