We're all excited by the prospects of Project Ara, Google's upcoming lick-and-stick modular phone that will essentially allow users to upgrade the device's hardware on the fly. Recently, one of the Ara team members showed off a non-functional model of the device at LAUNCH, which gives us a very good idea of how swapping components will work.
They waste no time getting right into the juicy details, so give it a watch. The total runtime is about 25 minutes, so there's quite a bit of info packed into the video:
Aside from showing off the modular aspects of Ara, they also get into pricing information, which of course has been a question for everyone.
Users with great big ebooks have reason to celebrate today – Google has doubled the file size limit for Google Books uploads to 100MB. The change came with little fanfare, just a small update on the Google Books support page listing the new limit as 100MB per file.
Searching for a restaurant that can satisfy everyone's culinary preferences isn't particularly easy on a smartphone's data connection. The process typically involves searching for a specific website, hoping there's a mobile version (nope), and searching around for a menu. Now Google's rolling out a feature in the US that should streamline things a bit. Just search Google for the menu and watch it appear as the top result.
It's time for another Google+ update, and this one's all about photos. Don't use Google+ for pictures? Tough. Let's dive in.
Google+ now supports non-destructive photo editing across multiple devices, so if you start an edit on one device, you can tweak it again or start over using another. And if you don't like what you see, you can still revert back to the original image at any time.
Inside you will find new filters and enhancements inspired by Snapseed. You also get your standard set of tools for cropping and rotating images.
If you've used Snapseed, the interface will look familiar.
Remember Project Ara? We haven't heard much about it since Motorola revealed its existence back in October, exciting us with the real possibility that one day we will be able to effectively build and customize phones to suit our tastes. As it turns out, the Advanced Technology and Projects team (now owned by Google) is still working full-steam ahead. Today they've announced the first Ara Developers' Conference, which will take place online from April 15 - 16th. Registrants will get to ask questions and participate via a live webstream, and a select few are invited to attend in-person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
It's finally happening. After months of leaks and speculation, the Google Now Launcher (previously known informally at the Google Experience Launcher) has been dropped into the Play Store. This is essentially just an updated stub app that will enable the home screen functionality in the Google search app on most Android devices. However, this isn't a universal release.
The first official version of the Google Now Launcher is only installable on the Nexus and Google Play Edition devices running KitKat. Devices running custom ROMs based on KitKat (like CM 11) may also be compatible. A future version might open it up, but we'll have to wait on Google to chime in.
A few days ago, we published a story about Google's possibly upcoming smartwatch. Current rumors suggest that the watch may be ready in time for Google I/O, and that it might be made by LG. We also mentioned that we had heard of a Motorola prototype previously - a prototype that may have been scrapped in favor of a new design from the manufacturer who made the Nexus 4 and 5.
We've decided to put a few of our cards on the table and give readers a peek at the Motorola prototype that never became a real product. According to our anonymous source, the device was allegedly going by the name Google Watch, with the official code name Gem, and fell into the Nexus category of devices.
Love it or hate it, the smartwatch is a category that seemingly every manufacturer still wants to conquer. No matter how many devices debut, and no matter how they perform, it seems there are those companies who still think that they have the right solution. According to TechCrunch, @evleaks, and others, Google is one such company, and plans to debut its own smartwatch before or during this year's Google I/O conference.
What's more, the watch is rumored (by TechCrunch and othersources) to be manufactured by LG. While many posited before that the watch would be made by Motorola (we've seen a Motorola prototype), LG manufacturing the device wouldn't be a total surprise.
When it comes right down to it, there’s a pretty short list of things everybody simply expects a cell phone to be able to do well: making and receiving calls and text messages. We must be able to trust that our phones aren’t failing at the most basic types of communication. Unfortunately, some people have found that the Nexus 5 can’t always be trusted to let them know when somebody is calling or texting them.
There aren’t a lot of variations in the complaints for this one. At seemingly random times, the Nexus 5 will simply cease to respond to incoming calls or text messages.