In Part 1 of this teardown, we saw what may be the return of Android@Home, or at least something similar. There were also new pieces to Nearby, Google's unique technology for finding two devices (and people) in close proximity, and a possible (subtle) change to the way Smart Lock responds to wearable devices. In Part 2, we'll continue with the possible centralization of Chrome Sync to Play services, project Sidewinder, a mysterious appearance by Facebook, and more. Read More
If you're looking for a nearby place to eat and want directions on how to get there, open Google Maps first. If you try using the Google Search app or the web, you probably won't get the results you want.
You see, Search is currently having a hard time giving out directions. If you tap the icon underneath a restaurant, it will open up Google Maps, but after that... nothing.
Yup, as you can see, I'm somewhere in Virginia. Read More
Google is no stranger to testing new features or design tweaks on its live products, and search has been receiving quite a bit of attention lately. It doesn't necessarily come as a surprise, then, to see new design tweaks appearing for some users in Google's image search results.
The new design, which so far appears to be in very limited testing, offers a brighter layout for individual images - the background is a light #eeeeee as opposed to the solid black seen in its current iteration, and there's a relocated "close" button along with a new way to show image details.
In the current layout (as you'll see below), details are behind an overflow button. Read More
If you had eagerly waited for Project Fi's announcement and requested an invite as soon as they were public, you've likely been sitting over the past weeks tapping your foot impatiently and anticipating that acceptance email to hit your inbox so you can free yourself from the shackles of your operator.
The wait might be longer than expected though. An email is being sent to those who requested invites letting them know that due to the service's high-demand, invites might take until mid-summer to go out to everyone, but that there'll soon be an online tracker for checking the status of your request. Read More
So, the last couple of weeks have not been good ones for the Google Maps team. First some public-spirited Android fans decided to prove their pride with a bit of digital vandalism, using the Map Maker tool to show the Bugdroid mascot pissing on an Apple logo somewhere in Pakistan. That little mishap led Google to disable Map Maker submissions altogether. Then earlier this week, users found that searching for certain racist terms in Google Maps would lead to results for the White House, among other similar combinations.
Amazingly, this is not the least classy part of this story.
Google is sorry. Read More
We've been following the development of Google's Hangouts Chrome app for quite some time. The project referred to as Ultraviolet in August later launched in October as a floating chatheads-style experience. It was okay, but at the beginning of this month we caught wind of a change in the works that completely redoes the experience. That change has now gone live.
The new interface looks quite a bit like the Android app. You have one panel with contacts, messages, and calls on the left, and the active conversation thread is visible to the right. A floating action button lets you open up a new conversation. Read More
The 'Internet of Things' is a bit of a nebulous concept, but it boils down to adding smart, connected features to the objects and tools you use in everyday life. Things like wearables can loosely be put into this category, but it's usually applied to less conventional products like connected thermostats, home monitors, "smart" appliances, remote car tech, et cetera. It's a growing if somewhat unfocused segment, and according to a report on The Information, Google wants to get in on the ground floor.
An oven with an Android-powered manager and companion app. Photo source: Engadget
The project, codenamed "Brillo," would create software specifically to power and connect this new class of device. Read More
We've gotten a few reports today of a new feature hitting the YouTube app, and it's a big one. After an extended public outcry, Google appears to be adding support for 60fps video to Android. Videos shot in 60fps look much smoother and more realistic, but this doesn't seem to be live for everyone yet.
It has been nearly a year since Google announced Android Auto, and it's still available almost nowhere. No car companies have built the technology into their 2015 vehicles (though some may get a software update with support later), and only a handful of aftermarket head units have the software. So what's the deal? Is it worth getting excited for? I've finally gotten my hands on one of Pioneer's Android Auto units (the 8100NEX), and here's how I'm feeling about it after a few days.
A new report from Bloomberg claims that Google is in the final stages of prepping its new online photo tool, which has been rumored for months. Importantly, this tool would not be built into the Google+ website or app as the current Photos client is. Let's skip the part where we predict the downfall of Google+ and talk about what this really means. Read More