Whoa. It's not easy for me to be impressed by a keyboard. I have been a staunch Google Keyboard user on all of my devices from the day it was released as a standalone app on the Play Store many moons ago. Every other keyboard I have tried — and I've tried plenty — fails to even register within the usable spectrum for me: lags and/or lack of precision have killed many revered third-party options.
I confess, I'd never tried Chrooma before today, mainly because I'd given up on finding any third-party keyboard, regardless of how many cool options it has, that lets me type as efficiently and comfortably as Google Keyboard has. Read More
Google Now On Tap has been, to put it gently, less than totally useful to most people. While the high-minded concepts behind Now On Tap were quite impressive, Google has had a harder time than I think many of us thought it would actually making it into a consistently helpful and intuitive product. It appears that in the last couple of days Google has been rolling out an all-new set of features to Now On Tap that honestly make it a bit more of a virtual assistant than a contextual search engine.
What you see in the hero image above are two new card streams, one for nearby places, the other for common tasks you might ask of your phone. Read More
One might assume that anyone who's enthusiastic enough to enable Google Now On Tap, the contextual search engine that uses screenshots and optical character recognition, would also want access to Google Now cards, which depend more on location, time, and search history. But you know what they say about making assumptions. Previously Now On Tap did indeed depend on the more vanilla Google Now, or at least was linked to it, but the latest version of the Google search app for Android seems to have reduced the interdependency of these two tools. Read More
Dear international Android Police readers: thank you. Our staff is relatively small, so we can only be on the ground (so to speak) in a handful of countries... most of which are the US. So when a bunch of you from one particular place start telling us that something big is happening, we listen. The latest one is Google Now On Tap, the contextual screen-based search tool, which appears to be rolling out in Brazil right now. If you're in the country (and happen to be running Android M), give it a shot.
Update: Turns out Google Now on Tap is now enabled for the Portuguese locale rather than specific countries. Read More
Google Now on Tap, the search engine's contextual tool for Android, hides some pretty neat tricks up its sleeve. But perhaps none is so handy to music lovers as this option, spotted by an Android Police reader: Now on Tap can serve up song lyrics directly from music apps with just a few on-screen taps. Google's Knowledge Graph system can already find lyrics fairly easily, but the way it's been integrated into the retrieval system for Android is fairly slick. Read More
In the wake of the tragic events in Brussels today and the recent violence and bombings in Turkey, Google has made calls to both countries free via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice. Calls to people on Belgium's biggest carriers — Lycamobile, Mobistar, Proximus, and Telenet — are free, along with calls to all landlines in Turkey. Google's announcement follows earlier news of all major U.S. mobile carriers offering similar free calling and texting to Belgium (Turkey was not mentioned).
In addition, for the Brussels area, Google has been publishing Google Now cards with transit updates, keeping the public informed and up-to-date, plus a direct link to the Government Crisis Centre. Read More
Google is on a roll with the app-less updates this week. After trialing a new homescreen weather shortcut for a small amount of users a few days ago, users have been noticing that there is a new feature in Google Now to block any site from showing up in the 'Stories to read' section. Therefore, if you see a card you'd rather not see, it can now be banished and will go back to whence it came.
Blocking sites in Now has been around for a while, but only for select cards; namely the ones that specifically show up for sites you've visited before. As of the update, likely to be a server-side rollout, the blocking ability has been upgraded to apply to any card. Read More
Google Now's purpose is to give you useful information before you even think to ask, and additions continue to roll out that make the service better at its job.
A reader has reached out to us with a screenshot of a Refueling options card in Google Now. It shows the names of individual stations, how far away they are, and how long they're open. Interestingly, as mentioned at the bottom of the card, this information is appearing because the recipient has to return a rental car to the area. It's also worth noting that the reader was using Google to manage his travel itinerary. Read More
The Google App's version 5.10 update rolled out to the beta channel yesterday with a new waiting animation, but one change that was lurking behind is the option to open links from search results and Now cards in Chrome Custom Tabs instead of redirecting to the full Chrome browser (or your other default browser).
The option was first discovered by Cody in the APK teardown of version 5.5, but it appears to have just been activated now in the app. But, as with all things Google, there are a few asterisks attached to when it does and doesn't work. I have a Nexus 5X (Marshmallow 6.0.1) and an LG G4 (Lollipop 5.1), both running the Google App 5.10.23 and an old version of Play Services 8.4.89. Read More