26
Aug
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Last Updated: August 27th, 2013

Just when you thought we were done with the already rather extensive Google Search teardown, another wild teardown appears. Yup, still the same good old Search 2.7, but this time, we found a hidden feature that you will really want, even more than custom hotwords. At least I think you will.

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Turns out, there's a secret flag within Search that lets you use the hotword, set by default to 'Google,' anywhere in search results instead of just the home Activity.

24
Aug
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Last Updated: August 26th, 2013

A couple of days ago, Google dropped a pretty sweet but surprising late-night update to Google Search with version 2.7.9. You can read about the announced features and download the APK here, if you haven't yet. After the dust settled, I jumped right into the multitude of under-the-hood changes and was able to uncover quite a few things not included in the changelog - both ones that are coming in the future and ones that are already here.

22
Aug
motorola-moto x-black-450x350

As expected, the long-rumored Moto X has debuted on AT&T for $199.99 on a two-year contract. The device is only available in white and black at this moment – Moto Maker is still not live, but it should be soon. This price is for the 16GB edition of the phone. No sign of the 32GB version yet.

2013-08-22 22_51_59-Moto X - White cell phone from AT&T

The device is online now with free shipping, or you should be able to swing by a store and grab one at the crack of dawn.

22
Aug
2013-google-nexus-7-1

That new Nexus 7 update slowly rolling out across the Google-sphere does more than patch the touchscreen issues. A Googler has confirmed that JSS15Q also fixes the GPS bug that users began reporting shortly after the device launched.

2013-08-22 16_25_37-Nexus 7 2013 GPS Searching Issue - Google Groups

The bug was causing the 2013 Nexus 7 to lose its GPS lock after prolonged use. Switching between multiple GPS-enabled apps (which is, you know, a lot of them) would accelerate the breakdown.

21
Aug
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The Field Trip app on Android is a fun little diversion. It pops up location-based cards that tell you about interesting things nearby. It could be a landmark, a historical event, or a place to grab a bite. But the app requires you to whip out your phone to see the notification. Field Trip has just been announced for Google Glass, and it looks like the perfect platform for it – this is what augmented reality is supposed to be.

20
Aug
2013-08-21 00_08_40-Helpouts by Google

Have you ever been stumped by a problem that's clearly outside your wheelhouse? Perhaps you've even fantasized about being able to just dial up an expert to pick their big meaty brain about the problem. That's exactly what Google has just announced with Helpouts. It's a cunning play on words, you see. It's like a Hangout, but it's used to help people. Google is clever.

2013-08-21 00_04_46-Helpouts by Google

The idea behind Helpouts is that folks with a certain area of expertise will set up an account with their skills, qualifications, availability, and rate.

14
Aug
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Earlier today, Google announced a pretty significant update to the Google+ app for Android. Version 4.1, which follows 4.0.2, brought the following new features:

  • Google Drive Photos integration, including viewing, easier sharing, and auto-awesome/auto-enhance.
  • Account switching without having to log out.
  • Better location sharing controls.
  • Google+ified swipe-down-to-refresh (like Gmail, except with funky fresh Google+ colored bars).
  • Messenger extermination (finally, the Messenger menu item is gone).
  • Google Apps for Business support.
14
Aug
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Update: The issue (#10230007) has been marked as resolved by the Play Store team. Apps should install and update fine now.

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For the last week or so, a great number of Android users have become increasingly frustrated with frequent "Package file is invalid" errors when updating or installing apps. A variety of supposed fixes have been put forward by the community, but have proven to be merely placebos. Now Google has confirmed there is an issue.

14
Aug
search

Google Now is quickly becoming an excellent aggregator for all the information that most users need on a regular basis – be it weather, that day's schedule, tracking shipments, and so much more. Aside from its already-useful functionality, though, Google has been working towards making most actions voice-searchable. For example, you can tell Now to set a reminder, play a particular artist in Music, and more. Today's Search update brings more voice actions to existing functions, making it even easier get quick access to important information:

  • Flights: Ask Google “Is my flight on time?” to get info on your upcoming flights and live status on your current flights.
14
Aug
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In a detailed post to Google+ this morning, Googler Virgil Dobjanschi announced new and enhanced features for the Google+ Android app. They'll be arriving in an update to version 4.1, set to go live today. According to Dobjanschi, the changes are focused on additions and revisions suggested by end users, and looking at the list, we're inclined to believe him.

1account-page-switch 3drive-photos

First of all: no more Google+ Messenger. Ha-lay-freakin-lujah. Since the new Hangouts app has effectively replaced G+ messenger on the web, the mobile version is following suit, meaning you won't ever have to see that extraneous icon in your app drawer again.

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