The rumors of Google buying a stake in SpaceX started percolating a few days ago, and now it's official. Google and Fidelity have invested a total of $1 billion in the private space firm, which gives them about 10% share. SpaceX says the new funding will go toward the development of reusable rocket technology and satellite manufacturing.
Google doesn't want developers naming their apps in ways that could imply association with or endorsement from Android, so instead of the Android Music Player, it prefers Music Player for Android. The idea is that this distinction makes it clearer to users that the folks who make Android had nothing to do with the creation of this particular app.
Now the Big G has expanded this guideline to all other brands. Android developers who visit the company's support page on the topic will see a new section dedicated entirely to this.
Field Trip is one of Google's less-known official apps (from the same people who work on Ingress), and appropriately, one of the most unique. The urban exploration app gets its 2.0 update today, bringing the user interface in line with Material Design standards introduced with Android 5.0. As nice as it is to see Google keeping its apps fresh, I have to say that the redesign takes something away in this case.
Google Maps, for its part this Update Wednesday, has received a bump to version 9.3. The changes aren't immediately apparent to users just opening the app, but there are at least a couple of things worth mentioning in the new update.
First, shareable directions. Once a user looks up directions or navigation to a destination, they can share the directions with any app in the normal share menu or - if Google Glass is connected - to Glass.
We had an exclusive preview of upcoming changes to the Google Translate app last month, and Google just announced an update that matches exactly with our information. The new version of Translate is rolling out on Android and iOS with built-in Word Lens translation via the camera and a smarter conversation mode that can listen to both languages at once.
Update: With the Google Classroom mobile app, teachers and students get some features that aren't available on a traditional computer. For starters, they can use their phone cameras to take photos and attach them directly to assignments.
When Google and HTC announced the Nexus 9, they showed it off in the now-standard black, white, and gold "sand" color options. The off-brown color wasn't seen on launch day, though considering the low initial manufacturing runs that Nexus devices seem cursed with, that's not overly surprising. In the small hours of this morning the sand option appeared on the Play Store in the United States - you can pick up a 32GB model now for $479.
It seems like we can't go a day without hearing about how the Play Store review process is broken and annoying. Earlier this week the media management app Mizuu was removed (again) without warning. Google sent a cryptic email like it usually does, but now the developer has all the details. Turns out Google just wanted to make sure the app was properly licensed to display movie data.
While it might be hard to understand this latest change to Google Chrome at first, you will be very happy once you grasp it. On mobile, websites that have fixed elements - that is, headers or other content that stays in the same place on your screen regardless of which part of the page you are on - can be very annoying. This is especially true when you zoom in, because you often can no longer see the entire element.
The totally awesome Play Store review process strikes again. The developer of popular (and /r/AndroidCircleJerk approved) app Reddit Sync has gotten the dreaded automated support email indicating the app is on track to be pulled. The reason? Impersonating or leveraging another product or service. No, you're not having déjà vu—this has, in fact, happened before.