28
Mar
sprintlogothumb

We sure weren't expecting this, but today Sprint announced on its support site that the Epic 4G Touch (the Now Network's branded version of the Galaxy S II) is getting an update to Jelly Bean. Undoubtedly version 4.1, but this would still be a welcome upgrade as it brings with it the ability to access Google Now, among a host of other features.

2013-03-28_14h43_17

The update will require Samsung's Kies software to install.

01
Mar
galaxystellar
Last Updated: March 4th, 2013

Samsung seems to have gotten the hang of updating phones besides the major flagships. While it's still coming about nine months after the release of Jelly Bean and nearly six months after the release of the handset, the Galaxy Stellar will be upgraded to 4.1 "soon", according to these Verizon support docs. The OTA will bring the much-beloved Google Now as well as expandable notifications and all the other goodies of the newest tasty treat.

13
Feb
nexusae0_search-logo_thumb

The Google Search app just got updated, so that means it's teardown time! I still rip into every interesting Google update, but I only write an article when I find something interesting. Things have been slim lately, I know, but today there's good news! I found stuff.

Google Search is the hardest app teardown to do. You can never really be sure if what you've found is in the app or not, because everything is so predictive and context heavy.

13
Feb
search logo

Google just pushed an update to its Search app (which, as you know, includes Google Now). Among the new additions are the Google Now widget that we've all been hearing so much about, movie ratings, the ability to pull up movie passes purchased from Fandango, and real estate listings from Zillow when Google thinks you're in the market for a home. Now that's fancy.

fandango ticket nowrealestate1 nowrealestate3

Additionally, the update also adds a music button when a song is playing in voice mode, though that feature is currently limited to the U.S.

11
Feb
nexusae0_search-logo_thumb_thumb

Good news, basketball fans. Google has been gradually upgrading the Now service to include a wider range of sports teams, and today Division I NCAA basketball teams from all over the US can be manually added to your personal Now results. Go into the Google Now settings page, tap "Sports," and search for your favorite school. Only basketball is supported at the moment - here's hoping that football teams are added before the season starts.

11
Feb
stupidlookingkid

Yes, we know - the Nexus 4 is still thin on the ground basically everywhere. (Americans, both the 8GB and 16GB versions are currently shown as "ships in 2-3 weeks" on the Play Store.) Even so, the LG flagship is the logical showpiece for Google Now, and it's doing some fine service in Google's latest mobile search ad. This one shows off Now's ability to automatically bring up contextual information for your time or location.

04
Feb
Jelly-Bean-Logo
Last Updated: February 7th, 2013

A few months ago I wrote "Stock Android Isn't Perfect," an article where I turned my usual harsh UX critique on stock Android, instead of just picking on TouchWiz and Sense all the time in my reviews. The article went over pretty well, and even got a few responses from Googlers! I didn't cover everything that was wrong with Android, though, and there have been a bunch of updates since the original article, so it's about time I wrote a sequel.

30
Jan
nexusae0_search-logo_thumb

One of the most often requested additions to Google Now's card system is college sports for the US, and it looks like at least some people are finally starting to see it. A very small number of Google Now users have seen cards appear for their favorite NCAA football and basketball teams (sorry, women's ice hockey fans, no dice). The results seem to be entirely contextual at the moment; you can't add college teams in the settings menu yet, but a few sports fans are seeing the relevant cards appear after they search for their team.

01
Jan
android-a-look-back-to-2011-and-a-look-forward-to-2012
Last Updated: January 7th, 2013

Happy New Year! It's that time again; with the new year comes our new annual prediction post. I tackled this last year, and rather than do a bunch of crazy, pulled-from-thin-air predictions, I ended up with a link-filled research-fest for the year. It worked out pretty well, so that's what's on the docket for today. First though, I'll take a look and see just how many of last year's predictions and rumors came true, and provide some updates for the more important topics.

23
Dec
2012-12-23_14h22_26

While Android continues to get better about making its UI look gorgeous, there are still plenty of trends that have yet to be standardized in any meaningful way. Of course, part of that may be because they don't need to be. After all, Google doesn't want every app in the world to use the Google Now-style card view (though, so far, Google+, Search, and Currents are already among those that find inspiration from them).

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