One of the more exciting revelations at the opening keynote of Google I/O 2016 is "Assistant," Google's upcoming expansion of its search tools. Explaining exactly what Assistant is and isn't is a bit tricky, because it both integrates a lot of existing Google technology and spills over into other upcoming services, like Google Home and Allo. Essentially, it's a new way to interact with Google Search, with the intention being that you "speak" with it in a more human fashion. Read More
Years back, pressing the guide button on your remote and browse through TV listings was a luxury. It meant being able to see what was playing without channel surfing or purchasing a physical TV guide. But these days, the idea of scanning through even a digital guide strikes many of us as downright tedious.
We search online instead. And pretty soon, Google will start displaying live TV listings at the top of search results when you look for a show. Read More
Google Search can do many wondrous things: set up a reminder item, imitate a metronome, show (reasonably) accurate weather predictions...or play animal sounds. That's right, the newest feature to come to the platform is a function to play a requested animal sound, which may make you feel like you're in a zoo, but might come in handy one day.
So what animals are there to choose from? Well, there're cats and dogs, alongside a range of 'farmyard' animals, such as pigs, cows, horses, turkeys, and roosters. Then there's the 'wildlife' contingency of the animal kingdom - tigers, zebras, lions, apes, raccoons, and elephants. Read More
We've received word that Google is doing another limited rollout test, this time surrounding weather, one of their favourite topics to trial with users. Searching "weather" might show you a card asking if you'd like to "Access weather instantly from your Home screen." If you tap add, a shortcut will show up on the homescreen. It appears to work almost exactly like Chrome's Add to homescreen function, except this opens the native Search and not a browser.
This may seem a little superfluous, as Google has weather available through Google Now, and possibly in your notifications too. That might be why they're testing it. Read More
It feels like Google is always adding new cards to Search, and it's just quietly released another one: a metronome. Simply search for 'metronome,' and a card will pop up showing a beats-per-minute slider and a play button. Press play and you get a clicking noise. Voila, a metronome.
The beats-per-minute value is set at 120 by default, but can be changed to any number between 40 and 208. When you tweak the value, the color changes from blue to orange, and when you press play, the button animates, pulsating according to the selected value. The card works with both desktop and mobile search, so you can play the piano and have a beat without needing a computer. Read More
Two years ago, I had to plan a vacation trip to London and all I remember was spending countless hours online checking airline ticket prices, hotel prices, and switching back and forth between different dates to see which combination resulted in the most affordable trip for me. That's not to mention the days of extensive research into London's theatre scene, events, restaurants, tourist attractions, and more, to find the places I knew I'd enjoy most. If I was to plan that same trip now, I'd have a much better way of doing it through Google's new Destinations.
Google is integrating its almighty knowledge of places with its Google Flight, Hotel search, weather history, itineraries, and more to become the travel agent you always wanted to have and that you can always pester for questions and new details. 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
We first spotted the rollout yesterday, but today Google made it official that its AMP initiative will be enjoying a wide launch effective immediately. AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a new feature to Google's search interface on mobile browsers that will load an optimized version of news articles far more efficiently than the conventional way of navigating to a separate webpage. While Google emphasizes that there is much more to be done, it is going to be prioritizing compatible news and displaying the AMP wording and lightning bolt logo in mobile search by default.
The program involves an open-source, HTML-based format for web developers to use in order to function correctly. Read More
If you're an American and you've heard the tongue-twisting country music ballad "I've Been Everywhere," odds are that you've heard the most popular version from Johnny Cash, or perhaps the earlier version by the unequaled Hank Snow. There have been dozens of adaptations of the song, for everywhere from Texas to Singapore. But the original was written by Geoff Mack way back in 1959 and popularized by Lucky Starr, and the first set of lyrics was exclusively tailored to cities, towns, and regions in Australia. The song featured such multi-syllabic municipalities as Megalong, Tamborine, Woodenbong, and Grong Grong. Read More