YouTube is a fantastic tool for learning about the world around us, but sometimes it's easy to forget that there are great things happening in our own backyard. A teardown of the latest update suggests we might soon have the option to add geography to our search criteria. This should make it a bit easier to separate videos about Alaska from the recipes for Alaskan King Crab, music videos, and whatever else people might associate with the name. I'll also mention a couple of smaller changes to the interface in this version, but they're not really important, so feel free to skip straight to the teardown.
Every version of Android has launched with at least one headlining feature. As any true fan would know, the 4.2 camera brought with it a very cool new mode called Photospheres. While the initial hype has dropped off, the popularity of photospheres still continues to grow, thanks in part to improvements in image quality and the addition of a Maps-based community designated for sharing the immersive images. We don't always want a location attached to our regular pictures, but it's pretty rare when we don't want our photospheres to be geotagged. After all, they are usually taken in public, wide-open spaces.
We've heard very little out of Google internal team Niantic Labs. Before today, their sole public presence was Field Trip, a mash up of Google Now and various hyperlocal points of interest. The team'' latest creation, Ingress, defies description: it's a virtual reality game in which players are tasked with going to real-world locations to harness a fictional energy source. Also there are two "teams" and every player in the world is one one or the other. Think Alliance versus Horde.
The premise seems pretty nebulous at the moment. A new source of energy has been discovered, and it's got the potential to control people's thoughts.
Are you the kind of obsessive-compulsive shutterbug that has to know exactly where and when you found the perfect pair of hipster glasses? Then Instagram's update is aimed right at you... for better or worse. The biggest update to version 3 of the Android app is the Photo Maps feature, which places all your photos on a selectable Google Maps overlay, assuming that you tagged their location when you took them. Because you can never add too much contextual information to a picture of a taco truck.
Other additions include some usability tweaks to the Profile page, though the rest of the application pretty much apes the ubiquitous iPhone version.