Google set loose a new beta release of Maps, taking it up to v9.38. This release doesn't seem to have quite as many huge features as some of the last few, but there are still a couple of cool additions. There's a new tab with a list of upcoming events, bookings, and reservations. The dedicated album for food photos from a recent teardown is now also live. There are almost always a few other hidden gems in each release, so keep an eye out for more changes and let us know if you see anything else. Read More
The YouTube Gaming app is still young, but each version brings little bits of fine tuning. It's progressively catching up with the main YouTube app while also adding little features that are unique to its focus on gaming and live-streamed events. The latest update to v1.4.41 continues this forward motion with some more subtle adjustments to the interface and a couple of new features. The easter egg count has also gone up by one, and there's even a little bit for a teardown. As always, a link to the download is available at the end.
Unofficial Changelog: (things we found)
- Recommended videos now have a 'Not interested' option in the overflow menu
- "Go Live" has been removed from the main overflow menu
- New "Event notifications" toggle in Settings –> General
- Easter egg count went from 4 to 5
YouTube's recommendation engine isn't perfect, but once it has had time to learn our viewing habits, the results can be very good. Read More
A relatively small Google Maps update to v9.8 began rolling out last week, adding batch photo uploads and a way to restrict bookings from showing up in location screens. It turns out there was another secret feature waiting to be shown off. In the latest version, a search for one of four key phrases will pop up results related to your personal bookings. Just try asking for my events, my flights, my hotels, or my reservations to see a short list of personalized results.
This functionality is new to Google Maps on Android (confirmed with v9.7.1), but it's not exactly fresh to Google. Read More
Timeful produces an iOS app of the same name that takes your calendar or to-do list and makes it smarter. The service suggests events to go along with those you create manually. I see you have a meeting at 12. How about spending the hour before working on your presentation? That sort of thing.
In a post to the official Gmail blog today, Google announced that it has acquired Timeful. Going forward, the team will now spend its time working on Google apps.
Google Calendar already creates events based on messages in your Gmail account. This acquisition shows that more expansive predictive capabilities are on the way. Read More
Samsung and HTC have already presented their flagships for 2015, and it will soon be LG's turn. The South Korean company just sent out "save the date" emails announcing an event on April 28th. Notice anything interesting? Yep, that looks like leather.
We can attribute Android's eternal connection with sugary snacks to Google's whimsical use of desserts as codenames; but for many, Android is indelibly linked with grilled meat, thanks to the team behind the the Big Android BBQ. The huge gathering in Texas for Android fans first began in 2009 and continues to grow. Last year, the BABBQ organizers launched a new event in San Francisco to coincide with Google I/O 2014, called the Big Android Meat & Greet. The success of these gatherings sparked a new endeavor called the International Developer Education & Advocacy Alliance (IDEAA), aimed at bringing together, educating, and inspiring developers of all skill levels. Read More
Sunrise, a thoughtfully-designed calendar app that only recently made the jump from iOS to Android, got a bump up to version 1.1.0 today, bringing with it new integration for a variety of services including Songkick, Tripit, Evernote, Github, and Asana. Basically, this integration provides syncing between the services and Sunrise, where the calendar app can grab reminders from Evernote automatically, your Tripit plans and trips will automatically populate, Songkick concerts will show up like magic, and Github or Asana changes will be synced (in both directions).
Some apps, like Tripit, can already integrate with your Google calendar account, so those who already use that feature may find some redundancy in Sunrise's new functionality. Read More
In one of our early Google Now rumors, we described the possibility of "inferred events," or events that Google would grab from your Gmail (or other Google services) and present as a card in Google Now, with the option to add an entry to your calendar.
Today, it looks like the service is being switched on for some users, with Gmail being the first target (as we speculated previously). As expected, Now pulls information from Gmail to create a handy card, asking if you'd like the event to be added to the calendar associated with your account. Users can also choose whether they want this functionality in the "everything else" section of Now's settings. Read More
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. In fact, Google made the whole experience better on Android than the web counterpart, although after testing it out a bit, it's clear that more work needs to be done here. Read More
In a rare (and very amusing) fireside chat between Matias Duarte and Joshua Topolsky, we heard that I/O 2014 might put significantly more attention on great design as a topic. Today, a post on Google's Developer Blog is here to back up that declaration and adds that there will be sessions and workshops geared for designers and developers interested in improving their products. While there still hasn't been an official session list posted, this is surely meant to encourage designers to apply for registration before the window closes on Friday.
Google is also introducing a new video series Design Minutes, dedicated to demonstrating better practices and how effective a great design can be. Read More