Occasionally, an OS update will bring around features that really change things. Android 3.0 brought the Android experience to tablets. 4.0 completely revamped the UI and added guidelines that made Android look cohesive for the first time. 4.4 added Svelte, which promised to seat Android comfortably on an even broader range of devices. We have reason to believe another one of those changes is right around the corner, and it's known internally as Hera.
In a bit of unexpected news, the Verge has just posted images and descriptions of Android TV, based on information provided to them by an unnamed source.
Android TV, according to the Verge, is Google's renewed bid for the living room, looking to put Google TV in the rear view mirror, and deliver content in a cohesive experience that users will actually want to do. It does this by focusing on being an entertainment platform, rather than making your TV function like a large tablet with a remote.
Google's Project Ara might be the very definition of a geek pipe dream: an idea that makes a lot of sense, but isn't quite possible with current technology, being made real with applied engineering and creativity. Even with Motorola being sold to Lenovo, the Ara modular phone project is still full speed ahead at the Googleplex under the new ATAP team. Dave Hakkens of Phonebloks, who presented a very similar concept back in September, was recently given a tour of ATAP's progress.
Attention residents of the UK, Canada, and Australia: Google would like to ask you some questions. In exchange you will be paid exactly one pittance. Don't complain or they'll cut it to, like, 0.75 of a pittance. But hey, free money is free money. All you have to do is grab the newly updated Google Opinion Rewards app and wait patiently for Google to call your number.
According to a report from The Information, Google held a series of talks with Verizon Wireless in January covering a range of issues. A source familiar with the talks says one item on the agenda was Google's interest in becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in markets where it offers Google Fiber. This isn't the first time a Google phone carrier has been rumored, but this might be the first time Android is strong enough to withstand the inevitable blowback from established carriers.
Sometime last month, the beta version of SwiftKey gained the ability to pull from Evernote and Google+ to learn which words a user's trying to say. These joined the already long list of supported sources ranging from SMS and Gmail to Facebook and Twitter. The core functionality remains the same - just permit SwiftKey to access your social accounts and let those fingers fly.
SwiftKey learns a user's typing habits by scanning through their emails and posts, ultimately improving the quality of text predictions.