According to a tipster (and a report over at DroidLife), Google is testing a new feature for Google+ that could be big news for the platform. For now, it's called "Collections," and it's being tested for an unspecified release target.
The basic idea behind Collections is curated content sets - like Pinterest boards or Dribbble buckets, users could curate pieces of content into their collection, with others viewing, sharing, and following those collections as they please.
There are a few ways to get directions from your computer to a phone, but Google just added this handy functionality to Google search. Simply search for "send directions," and Google will let you pick a location and device, then you're good to go.
Feel free to change the channel if you've seen this one before, but the widely used SeriesGuide app has disappeared from Google Play. This piece of phone and tablet-friendly software is great for tracking which episodes and series you've watched and keeping up with new releases. Earlier today the developers sent out a tweet alerting users to the app's removal.
SeriesGuide was removed from Google Play for violation of its Content Policy.
Google hasn't updated Chrome Remote Desktop on Android for a while, but today it's jumping from v39 to v43 to match the latest Chrome release. The good news is the app no longer looks like a relic from the holo age, but I'm not seeing any feature additions as of yet.
Ready for Google's vision of a modern cell phone service provider? So are we. Google Fi isn't quite prepared to open its doors, but right now it's accepting sign-ups for invitations at this site. The service isn't quite ready to launch, but according to the site and the video, lucky invitees will be allowed in sometime in the next week. Google will allow batches of customers in each week, but you should get a "yes" or "no" answer within 30 days.
We know pretty much what to expect from Google Fi thanks to a couple of high-profile leaks. Check it out here, after you're done getting your invitation in - there are likely to be hundreds of thousands of applicants, so do it quickly.
We've been hearing (and seeing) more and more about Google's possible wireless service lately, but WSJ published a report this evening indicating that the service's launch may be even sooner than we anticipated.
For those unaware, rumors have been swirling that Google might be ready to open up its own wireless service, an MVNO backed by Sprint and T-Mobile networks, codenamed "Nova."
Tonight's report from the Wall Street Journal suggests Google could be ready to announce the service as early as tomorrow, April 22. Additionally, the report corroborates previous whisperings that Nova would only charge customers for the amount of data they actually use every month, with totals being driven lower by the service's apparent emphasis on using WiFi for voice and data when possible.
In its ongoing effort to make classrooms, well, more Googley, Google has a new batch of updates for its Classroom program today.
In a post to its for Education blog, Google has announced a handful of new features for Classroom, the most notable being collaboration. Now, educators can invite other educators to collaborate on a class, so other teachers can give students feedback, create assignments, make announcements, and participate in student discussions.
In fact, Google says, invited teachers can do almost everything the main teacher can do - "everything except delete the class."
Additionally, Google announced the new ability to save announcements and assignments as drafts, which should streamline the workflow of planning classes.
Take a look at your phone. Open up the Google Experience launcher (the default one on Nexus devices), or if you're using Android 5.0 or later, tap the "Recents" button. Alternately, add the good old-fashioned Google search bar widget to your third-party homescreen. Now, take a look at the left side of the bar: do you see a Google logo? Is it grey, so as not to call attention to itself, or does it look like a spoonful of Froot Loops, like the Google web logo?
We've been getting tips from users who see the latter, colorful logo on Android for the last couple of days.
When we buy gadgets, it's usually with the expectation that their useful lifetime will carry us at least until we're ready to replace them, and hopefully well beyond. Most people assume their smartphones should last at least two years, in part because contract customers in the US are accustomed to unreasonably high upgrade prices for mid-term upgrades, and also because most manufacturers have adopted yearly release cycles that fit well with this pace. The expectations for tablets aren't as well defined, but most customers seem to want about 3 years or so. Even when we're done with a device, we want to be the ones to end the relationship, rather than wake up and find our hardware dead beyond hope.
The latest update for Google+ brings changes you probably won't notice unless you head to a community, in which case you will really notice. The main focus of the v5.3 version is a revamped UI for communities, which certainly makes things really pop. Here's a quick before-and-after look:
Left: v5.2 Right: v5.3
Now, an individual community has its own distinct look that makes it clear that you're not browsing through your main Google+ stream.