It was almost a year ago that Google posted the session list for I/O 2015 with an interesting "voice access" talk. That was eventually removed from the schedule and we didn't hear anything about it in Android M. Now, Google has announced Voice Actions as a beta in the Play Store (Android 5.0 and higher). Once you join up, you can install the app and literally control your entire phone by voice. It's incredibly cool. Read More
It sometimes may feel like the Google Photos web app gets a little left behind in the wake of its Android brethren, but today is the day: a post on Google+ from the Photos team has detailed the latest update, which brings improvements in the upload procedure and all-new keyboard shortcuts.
Photos can now be uploaded directly to an album, instead of having to upload photos and then add them to an album after they've uploaded. This should make it much easier to upload large batches of photos from a DSLR or other camera which doesn't connect to Google Photos. The keyboard shortcuts, meanwhile, will hopefully make navigation through the web interface more efficient, making it easier to move through photos or perform actions on an individual photo, such as editing or deleting. Read More
We already know at least one improvement with the latest Chrome Dev build (v51): the complete removal of the 'Merge Tabs and Apps' option. Well, here's the second improvement: a brand new widget. Or rather, a revamped version of an older widget.
The bookmarks widget, formerly with big, largely useless thumbnails, has been re-designed to use a list item style instead of a grid, and material design navigation. The result is a much cleaner-looking widget, with better, easier to understand navigation to boot. It has shown me how disorganised my bookmarks are, though.
Of course, the widget won't make your bookmarks any more organised - we can only hope that feature will come to Google Now in the future - but maybe it will encourage you to organise them into folders and such. Read More
Who doesn't love a good update? That's a rhetorical question, of course. A few app updates rolled out today, including one for Google+ on Android. A look through it shows that this update was pretty well dedicated to polishing things up on the Notification screen. A previously announced feature is finally locked in, and some of the top requests from users have been addressed. As usual, we've got a link at the bottom if you're eager to get this one downloaded, or just keep reading to find out what's new. Read More
Google made a lot of changes to the Android UI in Lollipop, many of them successful. Chrome merged tabs was not one of those features. After first making the old style tab management the default again several weeks back, the latest Chrome Dev build removes the merged tabs option entirely. Read More
Google added reminder support to Google calendar late last year, but the feature felt oddly incomplete without full support for reminders on the web. That's a thing now, so you can create and manage reminders in Google Calendar on the web. It's not showing up for me just yet, but everyone should see reminders on the web soon. Read More
Google Search can do many wondrous things: set up a reminder item, imitate a metronome, show (reasonably) accurate weather predictions...or play animal sounds. That's right, the newest feature to come to the platform is a function to play a requested animal sound, which may make you feel like you're in a zoo, but might come in handy one day.
So what animals are there to choose from? Well, there're cats and dogs, alongside a range of 'farmyard' animals, such as pigs, cows, horses, turkeys, and roosters. Then there's the 'wildlife' contingency of the animal kingdom - tigers, zebras, lions, apes, raccoons, and elephants. Read More
Google is rolling out a new version of Android Auto in its usual staged fashion, and it's a major update. The new v1.6 build addresses one of the major issues with Android Auto going all the way back to the original release. You can finally browse your full Play Music library from the Android Auto interface. Well, that's what Google says anyway. It doesn't seem to work yet. Read More
The original Chromecast was a streaming sensation thanks to ease of use and a low price point. The second generation, while generally well-received, still hasn't made its way to all of Google's various international markets. The next countries to get a chance to buy the Chromecast 2015 and its little brother the Chromecast Audio appear to be India and Taiwan. Both countries were recently added to Google's official hardware availability page. Read More