Under the hood of Google Now, powering all those beautiful cards that pop up when you search for certain things, is Google's Knowledge Graph. In what might be the company's most ambitious project ever, Google aims to categorize and classify all information so that when you search for, say, Jeff Goldbum, the search engine knows you might also be interested in information about Chaos Theory or survival tips for raptor attacks.
One of the most common complaints against Google's Play Store is the lack of certain content or functionality in countries outside the US. Google has been making progress in expanding access to other corners of the globe, though. You may remember, for example, that Play Books hit France just last month after Play Movies opened for the French in March and for Spain in June.
Today, Google (finally) brought Play Movie rentals to Germany, much to the delight of German users who have been asking for more Play content for quite some time.
Not a bad week for German Android fans. First on the map in Europe with the recently-reviewed LG Optimus 4X HD, and now the release of books for sale in the Google Play store. The soccer team's not doing too badly, either.
Posted today on its Google+ account, Google Play announced the availability of book purchases effective immediately in Germany, including plenty of German-language bestsellers.
Apple is causing more mischief over in Germany today, having received an injunction from a Munich Regional Court against phone manufacturer Motorola for utilizing slide-to-unlock style lockscreen methods patented by Apple. Motorola intends to appeal the ruling. The basic point to take away is this: the court ruled that Apple's patent on the concept of moving a tracked image from left to right in order to unlock a phone is valid, and it seems likely that every slide-to-unlock implementation on Android would be infringing in their eyes.
In case you're unaware, Apple is in the process of suing just about everyone it competes with in the tablet/phone field. There's an abundance of irony in the entire situation - the most substantial of which I covered when Apple complained that Samsung and Motorola were anticompetitive because of their patents - but things just (at least, temporarily) took a turn for the awesome. A judge in Germany has ruled that 3G-enabled Apple products (including the iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G, but not specifically the iPhone 4S) infringe on a Motorola patent.
Second only to Google Voice Search in terms of popularity on Android, Vlingo received a major update today. What's new? The entire UI has been streamlined into a much more intuitive list format that makes learning Vlingo's various voice command capabilities, or quickly accessing them, a breeze.
You can send text messages, make phone calls, find places, open apps, get directions, buy movie tickets, and more. Vlingo also includes a handy InCar mode, which you can set to activate automatically whenever your phone connects to a Bluetooth headset.
Every once in a while we get a humorous tip that is just too good to pass up. Check out what happens when you translate "Android 2.3.4" from German to English with Google Translate:
Whoops! It looks like you'll get the same result when you search for any version with 3 digits, from 2.2.1 to 2.3.4. Hit the link below to see it for yourself.
If you use Dropbox on your Android device and either like to live on the edge or help the company test out the latest betas, you will want to check out this post on the Dropbox forums, announcing a new public beta v22.214.171.124 with some new translations, Honeycomb improvements, new Lock Code support for the security-conscious, and other fixes. Forum replies also indicated that some sort of a folder opening bug got fixed in the process, though I am not sure what exactly that bug was in the first place.
Google's mobile blog released some impressive numbers today in regard to the availability of Google Instant for mobile: the service is now ready for Android 2.2+ and iOS 4 devices in 28 different languages and 40 countries.
If you're a non-US Android (or iOS) user and want to check availability for your locale, simply go to the Google homepage on your device. If "Instant (beta) is off" appears hit "Turn on", and you'll be set to go.