One of the cool things about Google Now is that Mountain View can tweak the way information is displayed by flipping a switch on its end. No action on your part is required to make the cards better and more informative. To that end, Google has been testing an updated version of the weather card for a few weeks, and judging by the barrage of tips we're getting, it looks like it's rolling out now.
Google's Text-to-Speech app isn't exactly one that grabs headlines, but it's certainly useful for those who rely on it. Today it gets a little more useful as Google has added a handful of languages for its speech output support. The latest update adds support for selecting and speaking text in Dutch, Polish, and Russian, and better support for at least some dialects of English spoken in India has been added as well.
It's been more than six months since we revealed changes in the code of the YouTube Android app that indicated the long-rumored YouTube streaming service was imminent. So what's the holdup? A rocky relationship between YouTube and independent music publishers may be to blame. Late last week the Worldwide Independent Network, a trade organization for indie musicians and labels, issued a press release decrying Google's treatment of independent labels.
The press release explicitly states that YouTube has approached labels both big and small with contracts for a new music service...
Google's always adding new tidbits to Google Now voice search, like that tweak to reminders we posted earlier today. According to ye olde Google Twitter account, you can also ask Google search about your rental car reservations.
Google is expanding support for Play Movies in a few more nations today, according to Google's support page. Get ready to kick back and relax with some streaming video in Belgium, Philippines, Switzerland, and Uganda.
Google's social boss was kind enough to give us the rundown of what was in the new G+ update this morning, but he did omit a few key details. One feature in particular that didn't get mentioned finally makes that location screen worth using. You can now jump directly into turn-by-turn navigation to make your way to wherever your friends are on the map.
The Google+ app has long had a number of annoying UI quirks, but a leaked redesign last month gave us hope big changes were on the horizon. Today is the day we finally get out hands on that new UI. Google+ head honcho Dave Besbris has kindly provided a complete changelog for the update, and it's a big one.
Gmail just got an update to version 4.8, an update that brings with it some refreshing UI changes, and a few other features too. First, we'll take a look at the UI tweaks.
First up, the pull-to-refresh animation has been brought into line with the Google Search app - it now cycles through Google's red, yellow, blue, and green brand colors rather than using a simple blue animation. The length of swipe necessary to trigger a refresh has also been shortened.
Google has bought Divide, a startup that secures smartphones to make them enterprise-friendly. It uses containers, a concept that should not sound unfamiliar around these parts thanks to the likes of Samsung KNOX. The approach separates a user's personal data from work-related files, effectively isolating them from one another on the same device. Google's purchase could imply a desire to tighten up Android's security out of the box and better attract the interest of enterprise customers.
Asus has lately become the king of anime-style transforming electronics, with their Transformer tablet line and Padfone devices. It looks like Google is paying attention, at least when it comes to conceptual hardware. US patent 8,649,821, granted to Google in February of this year, describes a laptop with a built-in and detachable cell phone, with the two working in tandem for various functions. While Android and Chromebooks aren't specifically mentioned in the patent documentation, it's easy to assume they were on the engineers' minds, since it was filed in September of 2012.