A fresh update to the Google App, formerly Google Search, just started rolling out. Don't get too excited yet, it looks like the only user-facing change today is that Nicknames has finally gone into wide release for the users that didn't already have it. The good news is that a quick teardown shows that Trusted Voice might be launching soon, possibly even with this version. There's also a new experiment in the works called Seamless Hotword. Read More
A variety of users have begun reporting problems with setting reminders using voice controls in the Google Search app, with the end result being an alarm rather than a reminder. This does not occur when entering the same command with the keyboard, so it would seem to be a server-side issue. Either way, you will want to look out for this bug if you tend to use voice commands for this purpose, because you may be in for a rude awakening - literally. Read More
The Google Search app plays host to quite a few features and capabilities we take for granted on our phones, especially for anybody that makes extensive use of Google Now and the Google Launcher. An update just started rolling out that brings the app up to v4.3, but there aren't any immediately obvious changes in this release, at least not from a user-facing perspective. It's likely that this release is preparing for the soon to be open Cards API that will allow developers to insert their own content into the Google Now stream. Read More
There are countless cocktail varieties out there and just as many ways to go about making them (one approach being to point at the menu when the waiter comes around). Going forward, folks looking to make their own won't even have to click a link to figure out a recipe. Google will start providing instructions right at the top of their search results.
The directions won't appear if you only search for the name of a cocktail. Read More
Google's search indexing is kind of a big deal - having a high spot in relevant searches for the world's biggest search engine can literally make or break a business. So if you don't want your site to lose its spot, you'd better make sure your website looks good when accessed from a mobile browser. Starting on April 21st, Google's search algorithm will incorporate whether or not a site is "mobile-friendly" when ranking its appearance in search results. Google announced the change on its Webmaster Central blog:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
We often refer to it as Update Wednesday, but that's only because the majority of Google's app releases tend to roll out in the middle of the week. In fact, new versions can turn up just about any day. This week, it looks like Google started the festivities a little bit earlier with an update to Search 4.2. If you can't wait to get started, we've got download links down below.
We've done a side-by-side comparison, but there don't appear to be any special changes beyond a new location for the About screen in Settings. Read More
Google has long dished out a page filled with links in response to search queries, confident you will be able to find what you're looking for in the list. But these days, the search giant has been rapidly rolling out ways to make your job easier. The company has simplified locating movies and learning about video games. You can use the search page to pull up basic healthcare information or even calculate your mortgage.
The latest enhancement returns the attention back to simply finding recent and relevant links. Instead of having to search through lengthy pages, Google will bundle together articles and videos from a single site into a scrollable carousel, which can appear when you're looking for a site directly or just when you're browsing for a particular keyword. Read More
Back in 2014, one of the changes spotted in Google Search was support for settings toggles through voice commands. At the time, the feature wasn't complete — it merely gave you a shortcut to open the corresponding settings panel. That wasn't helpful at all, since you had to use your fingers to make the change, which would have been done much faster through the drop-down quick settings. In Lollipop, starting with 5.0, some of these toggles work as they are supposed to, through voice commands alone and without the need for some third-party hack like Commandr.
"Turn on/off Wifi, Bluetooth, or Flashlight," are all currently working in Google Now. You get an audio feedback letting you know that the action has been triggered, then the magic happens. Read More
Performing a Google search for medical information is a crap shoot. It can lead you somewhere filled with quality content, or it can send you down a trail of wildly inaccurate speculation and conjecture (which isn't all that different from performing an Internet search for anything else, really). But now when you turn to Google for questions about certain health conditions, it will dish out relevant information at the top of the search straight from the Knowledge Graph.
So when you perform a search for the likes of frostbite or the measles, Google will touch on information such as symptoms, treatments, whether something is contagious, and which age ranges are the most susceptible. Read More
According to Bloomberg, Google and Twitter are renewing their vows after breaking up for a few years and recently figuring out through couples' counseling that they couldn't really live apart.
Between 2009 and 2011, the two companies had a deal where Twitter automatically provided its stream of data to Google, which then proceeded to surface relevant tweets in search results. But after the deal expired, Twitter's former COO, Ali Rowghani, was adamant about not renewing it, and Google had to resort to crawling Twitter like it would any other website. That "us against the world" strategy is changing with Twitter's new CEO, Dick Costolo, and the company's pressure to stop user growth bleed, improve tweet discoverability, and generate more revenue. Read More