After a controversial edit or two appeared in Map Maker alongside an uptick in spam, Google decided to halt user submissions while it figured out a way to deal with things. Now the company is starting to open Map Maker back up to users. It's doing so gradually. The first phase announced includes the countries of Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Philippines, and Ukraine.
Previously Google automatically approved most submissions. A Googler would then review edits manually, especially if community members brought something to the company's attention. Read More
Google co-founder and CEO (or should I say former CEO?) Larry Page just dropped a real bombshell. He and fellow Google founder Sergey Brin have started a new company called Alphabet, an umbrella for Google and other Googley companies. Along with this change, Android and Chrome boss Sundar Pichai has been appointed as the CEO of a new, more streamlined Google. Read More
According to a report from 9to5Google, an affiliate program for the Play Store is in the works that would allow individuals and companies to earn money by directing people to content in Google's ecosystem. This would start with music and movies, but could expand to cover just about everything that Google sells. Read More
Google's Deep Dream program is a method for computers to analyze and recognize images with an artificial neural network. When visualized, its effects range from strangely appealing to completely terrifying (at least to our boring human eyes). Google showed off a visual version of some of its processing tools last month, then opened up the source code for developers. At least one or two of them probably got really excited and incorporated the code into new and interesting projects. The rest proceeded to use Deep Dream to turn Gawker and Buzzfeed into an extended LSD trip for about a week.
Want to join in the fun? Read More
Yesterday, we took a look at the YouTube Gaming app (at least the creator preview). Navigating through the app, users will see several elements obviously informed by YouTube's existing design - the video player can be minimized and dismissed, the navigation model relies entirely on tabs, and getting users to discover more content is the name of the game. But the app branches off from YouTube's design and UX - and the design of all of Google's Android apps - in some really remarkable and unique ways.
For that reason, I thought it may be fun to take a closer look at the design of YouTube Gaming (Creator Preview). Read More
A couple of months back, rumors that Google was working on a gamer-focused video streaming service first appeared. And so we waited. Now that the appropriately named YouTube Gaming is finally here, it plans to go head to head with Twitch.tv - easily the most popular such service in the world. Google has a tremendous amount of experience in the video streaming space in the form of YouTube, but it has never offered anything that was geared toward gamers. YouTube Gaming is hailed as the brand-new service that aims to fill that gap.
Currently, YouTube Gaming is only available as a beta program. Read More
The news of the Stagefright exploit appears to have precipitated a much needed update commitment from Google and various Android OEMs. After Samsung announced its new Android security update process and Google revealed the details of a new Nexus update policy, LG is following suit and promising similar monthly security patch updates.
Although it hasn't been officially announced by the company, the news comes from a couple of reliable sources. First, speaking at the security conference Black Hat 2015, Googler Adrian Ludwig revealed that LG has made the same commitment to send the monthly security patches that it receives from Google to end users. This, supposedly, should last for three years after a handset is announced, the same as Nexus phones. Read More
Another long design test appears to be drawing to a close for Google. After apparently beginning a wider rollout for the new mobile search UI (in testing since April), it seems that Google is making the revised image results UI final too.
This layout has been popping up since at least May, with a brighter, more crisp interface that offers more iconography, refined typography, and - yes - a section for related images. Read More
If there's one thing we've learned from Google's various camera and photo products lately, it's that the company is focusing on using some pretty crazy technology to make your image-capture and sharing experience more automagical. Next on Google's list? Annoying reflections and foreground obstructions that make your pictures kind of terrible. Specifically, things like cyclone fences and reflections in windows or other glass. Basically, it's best to just visualize it.
Google and MIT teamed up on this technology, and they'll present a paper on it at the Siggraph 2015 conference this month. Here's a closer look at the process on a panorama photo. Read More
After adding the feature to the web version of Keep in May, Google has updated the Android app to allow users to easily convert their notes into Docs. Sometimes what starts as a stray thought or two that you dump into a note becomes something you want to expand upon. Rather than rewriting or copy and pasting, why not have your notes manager do the heavy lifting for you?
And by easy, I mean easy. Go to a note and head to the overflow menu. Tap "Copy to Google Doc" and the process begins. Keep tells you when it is finished on the bottom of your screen, giving you an "Open" link. Read More