Motorola's Valentine's Day deal on the Moto X was supposed to be up today, but the company is now extending the offer through February 22nd. You can still save $70 on the off-contract pricing on all Moto X models – that includes the standard Moto Maker devices, and the Developer Edition phones.
Google's had fun creating new Auto-Awesome animations that match the theme of every holiday season these days, but this latest one is rather amusing. For Valentines Day, Google has rolled out animated hearts that will automatically appear on any photos of people kissing. This can add a little extra spark to that loving picture of you and that special someone. As usual, the animation may not appear immediately, but Google+ will shoot you a notification when it's ready.
Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and you know what that means: bitter disappointment fruitlessly displaced with technology. (That might just be me.) Google's got you covered on the second part, at least if you have a Chromecast. A new visualizer option for Google Play Music ditches the bars and equalizers in favor of a looped video of a cozy fireplace. You'll have to supply your own music, of course.
The visualizer isn't on by default, but it's easy enough to enable.
We've been trying to keep our heads up about the Lenovo-Motorola deal, but let's be honest: news like this is not encouraging. A Wall Street Journal report claims that Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, whom many had credited with the company's impressive new product lines in 2013, is leaving for Dropbox. Woodside began working for Motorola after more than ten years at Google, succeeding Sanjay Jha after Google acquired the company.
The Wall Street Journal cites three anonymous sources in its detailed report, but Google confirmed the news shortly thereafter.
The cards have been creeping into more apps as of late, and now it looks like Google is testing a new mobile web interface for YouTube with some of that card-based Android flavor. There are more cards, a cleaner video pages, and a slide-out navigation drawer that could have been ripped right from Android.
The new web UI could easily be mistaken for the YouTube app at first glance.
Google was previously just testing Chromecasting from embedded YouTube videos (as opposed to those on YouTube.com), but it looks like the feature has now been rolled out to virtually all videos. Google's support page has been updated to say that "most embedded YouTube videos" are now supported for casting.
Companies file for new patents all the time with nothing ever coming of it, so Google's application shouldn't be taken as evidence that such a device is coming down the pipeline. Nevertheless, some concepts are just plain cool. Google has designed a computing device with dual e-ink displays that folds as though it were an actual book, according to a patent application that the US Patent and Trademark Office recently published.
You've got to give it to Google: the company has its finger on the pulse of the world's search habits. Take the upcoming Sochi Olympics - while Russia itself seems poised for an international embarrassment of epic proportions, Google has already tuned up its search engine with Sochi information for desktop and mobile searches. Most searches with "olympics" and an event will return a quick schedule and/or results card in the Knowledge Graph area.
An update to Chrome beta a few weeks ago came with the bizarre side effect that hotword detection no longer worked in the Google search app or in the Google Now Launcher (GNL). The next version of Chrome beta didn't do anything to fix it, either. Well, Google Search to the rescue – yesterday's big search update seems to have fixed hotword detection.