Google Play services 7.3 started rolling out to Android devices a little less than 2 weeks ago, making some small, but much needed changes in the process. It turns out that wasn't the only purpose for that release, as it also brings some cool new capabilities developers can use in their apps. Now that the rollout is finished, Google has released an updated Play Services SDK with new capabilities for Android Wear, Google Fit, and Location Services. Read More
Back in January, Google announced initial support for forty third-party apps (including Runtastic, Zillow, Waze, and more) hooking into Google Now. Even if Google limited participation to hand-picked partners, the news was exciting - it marked Google's first publicly visible steps toward opening Now to users' favorite apps in ways that developers could control.
Google is still keeping details about developer participation close, but today 70 new apps have been added to the Google Now roster. Read More
The world of technology patents is in bad shape. When John Oliver decides that he needs to spend 15 minutes explaining exactly how bad patent trolling has become, you know something rots in the USPTO. Google is trying to stem the tide of patent trolling and litigation via the simple expedient of throwing a ton of cash at the problem. They want to buy your patents.
Well, maybe not your patent in particular - odds are pretty good that they're only interested in technology and software patents, and even then, only so that some fly-by-night LLC with a dozen lawyers and no physical address won't sue them in the future. Read More
Over the past few days, we have learned of two new ways that Google has been integrating its desktop Search with Android devices: finding your phone and sending directions to yourself. The Google Operating Systems blog (not associated with Google) found that other similar "searches" now make it possible to set an alarm or send a note to your phone as well.
To send a note to yourself, you simply search for "note to self," or "send a note." A card appears with a text field to write the content of the note and a device picker so you can choose which phone or tablet to send it to. Read More
Google likes a good easter egg. That is evident by the company's multitude of weird, unexpected, and fun little things that it sprinkles inside its apps, websites, and services. Case in point: Project Fi. The network's experience page prominently and repeatedly displays the same phone number: (404)-978-9316.
A nosy reader's curiosity was piqued as to the specificity and focus on that particular set of ten digits. He decided to dial it up and see what happens. Is it Larry Page's hotline? Read More
Just last month, YouTube added support for 360-degree videos, giving us yet another way to thoroughly confound our grandparents with the cool new stuff that can be done with gadgets. We had an early warning this was coming after a Teardown exposed an option to filter search results for "spherical" and 4k videos. A subsequent update to the YouTube app enabled the filter for 4k videos, but mysteriously ignored spherical videos. Read More
According to a tipster (and a report over at DroidLife), Google is testing a new feature for Google+ that could be big news for the platform. For now, it's called "Collections," and it's being tested for an unspecified release target.
The basic idea behind Collections is curated content sets - like Pinterest boards or Dribbble buckets, users could curate pieces of content into their collection, with others viewing, sharing, and following those collections as they please. Read More
Feel free to change the channel if you've seen this one before, but the widely used SeriesGuide app has disappeared from Google Play. This piece of phone and tablet-friendly software is great for tracking which episodes and series you've watched and keeping up with new releases. Earlier today the developers sent out a tweet alerting users to the app's removal.
Google hasn't updated Chrome Remote Desktop on Android for a while, but today it's jumping from v39 to v43 to match the latest Chrome release. The good news is the app no longer looks like a relic from the holo age, but I'm not seeing any feature additions as of yet.
Left: Old, Right: New Read More