Messenger is Google's basic alternative to Hangouts for sending SMS messages, and today it has received an update bringing along a widely-requested feature. No reason to tease you about it. Let's jump in.
Quick Reply is the ability to respond to a message without having to switch to the full app. Now when the notification comes in and you hit the reply button, you can tap out a response and go about your day.
Google is turning app developers loose on Google Now, but search data is still finding its way into the feed in new ways as well. If you haven't already, you'll soon start to see cards that tell you when a product you've searched for goes on sale. Google previously did this with flight data, but now it seems to work with all kinds of stuff.
In the midst of update Wednesday, Google has just pushed a brand new version of Chrome to the Play Store - Chrome Dev.
For those unaware, Google's browser comes in four main channels - Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary. As you descend the list, you get closer to the bleeding edge. So while you can see some of what's next in Chrome Beta, the Dev channel shows what Google is working on "right now," giving a peek into "whatever code [Google's] got."
The Play Store listing of course warns that any new functionality in the Dev version of Chrome may be "rough around the edges," but Google says this release will be updated "on roughly the same schedule as other platform Dev channels."
Google's long awaited carrier play was announced recently as Project Fi, an MVNO running on Sprint and T-Mobile that will begin as a Nexus 6 exclusive. The official Project Fi app is now live in the Play Store—not that it will do you a lot of good without an invite, which no one seems to have yet.
It's Update Wednesday, and you know what that means. Yes, time to sideload some APKs, because staged rollouts are lame. First on your to-do list is the new My Tracks update, which runners will be happy to see has a new map option. You can now see your path with an "Earth" overlay.
Does the lack of $1000+ status symbols available for the Android Wear market really get you down? If it does, then start saving your pennies now. According to Bloomberg, TAG Heuer and its owner LVMH intend to release a luxury smartwatch in either October or November of this year, with a price tag expected to be around $1400. That's much, much more expensive than even the priciest Android Wear devices to date, about entry-level for a TAG watch, and approximately one tenth the price of the most expensive Apple Watch.
Google Play services 7.3 started rolling out to Android devices a little less than 2 weeks ago, making some small, but much needed changes in the process. It turns out that wasn't the only purpose for that release, as it also brings some cool new capabilities developers can use in their apps. Now that the rollout is finished, Google has released an updated Play Services SDK with new capabilities for Android Wear, Google Fit, and Location Services.
Back in January, Google announced initial support for forty third-party apps (including Runtastic, Zillow, Waze, and more) hooking into Google Now. Even if Google limited participation to hand-picked partners, the news was exciting - it marked Google's first publicly visible steps toward opening Now to users' favorite apps in ways that developers could control.
Google is still keeping details about developer participation close, but today 70 new apps have been added to the Google Now roster.
Well, maybe not your patent in particular - odds are pretty good that they're only interested in technology and software patents, and even then, only so that some fly-by-night LLC with a dozen lawyers and no physical address won't sue them in the future.
Over the past few days, we have learned of two new ways that Google has been integrating its desktop Search with Android devices: finding your phone and sending directions to yourself. The Google Operating Systems blog (not associated with Google) found that other similar "searches" now make it possible to set an alarm or send a note to your phone as well.
To send a note to yourself, you simply search for "note to self," or "send a note." A card appears with a text field to write the content of the note and a device picker so you can choose which phone or tablet to send it to.