Google's search engine first attracted users because it was a fast and useful way to find the information. The faster you send users away, the faster they come back, the thinking went. These days Google has no shortage of services to keep us from ever leaving its servers. But some new features keep that original vibe of Google-y awesomeness. This latest addition to Search is one such feature.
Now when you search for a local restaurant, Google will show the option to place an order. Read More
A new report from Bloomberg claims Google is about to revamp the way privacy is handled in Android apps. The changes would allow users to approve permissions individually for things like the camera, location, or the contact list. With Android M expected at I/O later this month, it seems like a perfect time to make this happen. It's long overdue.
To say that Nexus 9 owners are somewhat miffed that Google's flagship tablet is currently lagging several versions behind the latest Android release is something of an understatement. The Nexus 9's slow software update rollout, well behind the rest of the Nexus line and even some third-party devices, is as odd as it is irritating. Read More
There's a nifty feature lurking in the latest Chrome Beta (and dev, for that matter) version on Android. If you download a file and there happens to be a file of the same name already in your downloads directory, Chrome asks if you want to replace it. That's a kindness even desktop Chrome doesn't provide.
Besides a dogfood version of Play Games, update Wednesday brought us a new version of Play Books - 3.4.5. The changes in this update aren't major (or even immediately apparent), but they are worth taking a quick look at.
First up, there's a brand new translation interface. Rather than a toolbar and sheet overlay, the new translate interface lives on a card, just like the existing notes and dictionary interfaces. Read More
There are a lot (a lot) of caveats when it comes to Google's just-announced Project Fi mobile service. Aside from all the phone and network tomfoolery, Google Voice users have some tough choices to make as signing up for Fi essentially nukes your Voice account. It's nice to know that at least you can go back, according to Fi product manager Simon Arscott. Read More
Last year, we shared some fascinating information surrounding a rumored effort called "Nearby." According to our information at the time, Nearby would enable Android devices to communicate with people, places, and devices that were, well, nearby.
At the time, we had evidence that the feature would come with a future version of Play Services, with a friendly overview for users explaining that the service could use device sensors to communicate with nearby things. Read More
Touchscreens are okay, but what about putting those pipes to better use? The description of one of Google's talks at I/O later this month points to an interesting new feature called Voice Access. Basically, instead of touching the phone, you talk to it to control apps. So essentially Star Trek? That'd be rad. Read More
We first saw Ultraviolet, Google's Hangouts app for Chrome, back in August. Just a couple of months later, the app went live for Chrome users with an interesting new chat heads-style interface that put your Hangouts conversations on top of everything else as floating circles.
For the most part, Ultraviolet currently resembles the Android app - it's got green toolbars, and a one-at-a-time approach to viewing conversations or the conversation list. Read More
Google's monthly platform distribution numbers are in, and there's finally a respectable showing for Lollipop. Meanwhile, the remainder of the versions ticked downward as the Android device ecosystem marches slowly into the future.