Google's Niantic Labs operates as a semi-autonomous company within Google that works on projects like Ingress and the travel app Field Trip. Ingress gets most of the attention, but now Field Trip might become a bigger part of all Android users' lives. Data from Field Trip is about to be integrated with Google Now to make sure you know what cool stuff is around when you're away from home.
Google has been doing its best to worm its way into business with Android and Chrome OS. At the same time, HP is anxious to sell more mobile devices based on Android (webOS didn't go so well). It just so happens HP has a lot of experience selling to businesses. According to The Information, the companies have been discussing combining efforts to increase business sales by enabling additional Google Now functionality specifically for business customers. Read More
Google buys a lot of companies, and the deals don't always make a lot of sense from the outside. However, the acquisition of messaging client Emu totally jives with Google's priorities lately. Emu uses context clues in your messages to automate actions—sound familiar?
It seems like it's hard to find a non-Nexus device that uses anything close to stock Android. Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Asus, Acer - everywhere you look there are customizations to a greater or lesser extent. Even Motorola, formerly Google's own subsidiary, uses a custom launcher. Chinese manufacturer ZTE is looking to break that trend, however. The company is planning to launch new smartphones that use the Google Now Launcher (AKA the Google Experience Launcher) by default. Read More
Commandr expands on Google Now by giving its users the ability to toggle hardware switches and control music with simple voice commands. There isn't a standardized way for third-party developers to do such a thing, but that hasn't stopped this developer from coming up with a product worth watching. The original release was more cool than practical, but version 2.0 goes a long way towards correcting this.
Previously Commandr required users to say "Note to self" before every action, resulting in the very awkward, "OK Google, Note to self, turn off wifi." Now the middle bit is no longer required. Read More
There are some things that you don't need to do every day, yet are still important enough to warrant a reminder. You know, like vacuuming, or checking your stock portfolio, or reminding yourself to tweet about how incredibly important it is to bring Firefly back to television. Google's got your back: at some point they added an "occasionally" option to Google Now's built-in reminders, triggered when you tell Now to "remind me" to do something. Read More
You probably know that you can use the "OK Google" command in Google Now (and just recently, anywhere else in Android) to do some cool things like set an alarm or check a flight number. But up to now, it hasn't been able to do much with the actual hardware on your phone. There's no easy way to expand Google Now functionality with third-party apps, but at least one developer found a work-around: meet Commandr, the new in-between service for flipping hardware switches in Google Now. Read More
Wanna see something cool? Or, depending on your current location, hot? Then pop open the Google Now interface on your Android phone or tablet. The Weather card is a regular on the Now page, but you might see something new in there today if you have the recently updated stacked multi-city view showing, namely high and low temperatures values. Neat.
That's all there is, there isn't any more - check out the latest Search APK update, including device-wide "OK Google" activation, for more information. Read More
During the presentation for the L release, Google talked a little bit about the new search experience in Google Now. Firstly, there's a huge focus on animations and fluidity, with animations running at a super fluid 60 FPS (this is LEGO). It looks so good.
Oh, look...a new keyboard.
Further, all installed, relevant apps will be able to launch from Google Now. This has been a feature available to a handful of apps for a while now (like IMDb, for example), but with the L release, the API is becoming available to every developer, so all apps can be incorporated into Now's search results. Update: This is live now. Read More