Attention residents of the UK, Canada, and Australia: Google would like to ask you some questions. In exchange you will be paid exactly one pittance. Don't complain or they'll cut it to, like, 0.75 of a pittance. But hey, free money is free money. All you have to do is grab the newly updated Google Opinion Rewards app and wait patiently for Google to call your number.
According to a report from The Information, Google held a series of talks with Verizon Wireless in January covering a range of issues. A source familiar with the talks says one item on the agenda was Google's interest in becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in markets where it offers Google Fiber. This isn't the first time a Google phone carrier has been rumored, but this might be the first time Android is strong enough to withstand the inevitable blowback from established carriers.
Sometime last month, the beta version of SwiftKey gained the ability to pull from Evernote and Google+ to learn which words a user's trying to say. These joined the already long list of supported sources ranging from SMS and Gmail to Facebook and Twitter. The core functionality remains the same - just permit SwiftKey to access your social accounts and let those fingers fly.
SwiftKey learns a user's typing habits by scanning through their emails and posts, ultimately improving the quality of text predictions.
It's hard not to be excited about the future of Google Now. It's already an incredibly powerful tool, on its way to being a do-anything personal assistant, and we've heard tell of even more functionality from bill pay reminders to inferred events entries to contact-based reminders.
Today, though, we've heard about something that many have asked for from Google Now for a long time now - actual timer functionality. Search may not be getting its own built-in timer, but it won't be side-stepping your request to set an alarm, either.
A new item just popped up in the Play Store sidebar called My Play Activity. Once it's fully deployed, this will act as a list of all the Play Store content you have reviewed and shared. It's essentially the web-based version of the recent activity page in the updated Play Store app.
Google has been posting versions of most of its first-party apps to the Play Store in an effort to update key features of Android (or at least Google's branded additions to the platform) without having to wait for carriers to push out software apps. According to a report from Engadget, the standard camera app will soon get an upgrade, presumably following the same path. At this point we'll consider this a rumor, since Engadget only cites "sources aware of Google's plans."
The report says that the updated camera app will include many of the bells and whistles that newer devices are getting, like the fake depth of field effect shown off on the HTC One M8.
Google is really heavy on the joke content this year. There's the Photobombing, Pokémon Maps, Signature Apps, and now Chromecast for Squirrels. What? Small mammals have video they want to watch on bigger screens too.
The video really drives the point home that Chromecast is all about squirrel empowerment and choice. No longer will squirrels have to watch human video content, because now there's Chromecast. As for the paw-friendly app situation, Google is working on that.