It's that time of the week again, namely Update Wednesday. With that in mind, there's a new update to Google+ which should bring a smile to many a person's face.
This release contains a bunch of bug fixes, as well as a few small, but nevertheless very welcome, new features:
10 bugs fixed
4 accessibility issues addressed
Ability to filter your notifications by All, Unread & Other
Several Community moderation tools
Delete multiple items in Activity Log at once
Hide the top bar when scrolling Collections & Communities
Even faster Web browsing on WiFi
In addition, search autocomplete has been re-enabled in this release.
Google added voice typing to Docs last year, but it was fairly limited. Today, Google is rolling out more features to voice typing in Docs. You now have control over formatting like text selection, punctuation, and copy / paste. While this is not strictly Android, it's pretty close and we think it's cool.
A new version of Gmail is rolling out, and Google was kind enough to provide a blog post so we know just what's new this time around. In Gmail v6.0, you can finally use rich text formatting in emails and RSVP faster without opening separate apps.
Google has been fiddling around with Project Tango for a few years, but there have yet to be any consumer devices. That's expected to change this summer when Lenovo releases a Tango phone, which it previously announced at CES. Now, Google and Lenovo have set up shop in a Barcelona museum to show what Tango can do for you.
It's time for text messaging to improve. Sending brief bursts of texts is fine, but appending an image turns a largely reliable form of communication into a coin toss. MMS, despite being available on traditional flip phones, is still a headache for many smartphone owners.
Last year, Google marked its return to public exhibition at Mobile World Congress, but with a whole new twist: it wasn't really exhibiting any of its own or any of its partner's products, it was all just in the name of fun. You see, at trade shows like MWC, business is the predominant subject of conversation, and while quite a few consumer product announcements may occur, they're often secondary to the whole issue of "things which cause money to change hands." MWC isn't open to the public, either, and so attendees are largely in the mobile business in one form or another, or members of the media.
Google started allowing non-Gmail email accounts in the Gmail app about a year ago, but you would lose all of the cool Googley features that come with Gmail. Now, you can get some of the Google magic in your email without migrating to a Gmail address. All you have to do is "Gmailify" it.
You may have heard: YouTube is getting into music in a big way. The Google-owned service has been a hotbed of music videos and independent artists almost since its inception, and lately pushes like YouTube Music and YouTube Red are formalizing that relationship. The latest progression comes out of left field: YouTube (and by extension, Google/Alphabet) has purchased BandPage, a service that helps artists and groups create website profiles specifically for music.
The acquisition was announced on BandPage's company blog, and the terms of the sale were not disclosed. BandPage uses a WYSIWIG editor for easy website creation, and publishing music or videos on the site allows for easy distribution on YouTube, Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, and other music and social websites all over the Internet.
Before Google+ and Google Photos, Picasa was Google's photo sharing and management product. You may not be aware, but it has continued to exist all this time—well, languish may actually be a better term. There have been no improvements to Picasa lately, and now Google is closing it down.
Google handed out the first Cardboard viewers at I/O a few years ago, and at the time it seemed like a bit of a joke. It wasn't really a joke for long, though. VR has been growing in recent years, and the low barrier to entry made Cardboard a hit. Now, sources report that Google is looking to release a standalone VR headset that doesn't require a phone to function.