Update Wednesday is in full swing today with Chromecast, Google Camera, and now Gmail. It's not the Material Design update you were hoping for, but Gmail v4.9 adds at least one new feature in the form of Google Drive integration.
Google's Camera app just got a bump up to version 2.3 (rolling out in stages of course), which adds a very welcome feature - remote shutter functionality for Android Wear devices.
We saw hints of this functionality inside the code of a previous version of the Camera app, but now that Wear devices have hit release, it's finally live. Users need only open the Camera app on their phone or tablet, and Wear will automatically insert a card for remote capture.
Quick, if you're on a desktop browser, open a new tab and head for Google Drive. You might just see a new interface for Google's document and storage service, first announced back at Google I/O. Drive is getting a makeover to make it more like navigating files in a desktop file manager, complete with thumbnail views for all items and keyboard modifiers that let you manage multiple files at once.
We cover many Gmail updates around these parts, but the most important aspect of any email client remains the ability to read it. Today Google has announced support for an additional thirteen languages, bumping the total number up from 58 to 71. The change should benefit speakers from many corners of the globe, as the list shows languages from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
The thirteen new languages are:
- Azerbaijani (Azeri)
- Chinese (Hong Kong)
- French (Canada)
This support applies to the web version of Gmail, both on computers and mobile devices.
A fair number of you have probably used the ridiculously simple (and bizarre) workaround to get Okay Google Everywhere working on your device without waiting for Google, but there's a catch. If you turn on the lock screen functionality, it makes your phone a little less secure.
A particularly aggravating issue happens to be plaguing a number of Gmail users on Android as of late. Affected people report a complete loss of the ability to sync their accounts, both manually and automatically. The cause is still unknown, but users report experiencing it following the 4.8 update. Yet clearing updates and returning back to a previous version doesn't fix the problem, suggesting some other source is to blame.
One of the less exciting (but still important) announcements at Google I/O 2014 was that Google will be adopting part of Samsung KNOX as a security platform in Android itself. KNOX, which is currently only on Samsung devices, is a business-oriented security solution that keeps work and personal data separate and secure on a single device. Sounds pretty good, right? Not to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, but you know what is good enough?
Google started rolling out a massive improvement to voice search in the Google Search app last week by enabling "Ok Google" hotword detection everywhere. Really cool, but it has been slowly making its way to users on a per-account basis. Tired of waiting? Just a few taps, and you can (maybe) get instant access to the feature. Note: Probably US English only.
Wanna see something cool? Or, depending on your current location, hot? Then pop open the Google Now interface on your Android phone or tablet. The Weather card is a regular on the Now page, but you might see something new in there today if you have the recently updated stacked multi-city view showing, namely high and low temperatures values. Neat.
That's all there is, there isn't any more - check out the latest Search APK update, including device-wide "OK Google" activation, for more information.
Google has just announced its acquisition of music streaming and curation service Songza. We don't have any details on the value of the deal, but Songza is by no means a heavyweight in the music streaming ecosystem. The deal was rumored a few weeks ago with a possible purchase price for Songza at about $15 million (that's 0.015 Instagrams). Only in the land of Google acquisitions is that a small number.