As a recent (and mostly happy) convert to Google's Project Fi carrier experiment, I've taken up the task of covering Fi news for AP including updates to the Fi app, Google's super simple app for managing your account and keeping tabs on data use.
Today, the app got an update to E.1.3 that brings a few small improvements and one big one - cross-device account management. Basically, Fi users can now install the app on their other devices and manage their accounts from any of them, rather than being stuck to just the Nexus 6.
The update also brings an improved experience for initial setup/activation. Read More
When Dell launched the Venue 8 7000 tablet, a sleek device that's insanely thin, it included a bunch of extra cameras. They provided the hardware necessary for Intel RealSense, which adds depth-sensing capability for images. The end result was kind of awkward, but hey, it's an innovation in progress.
Today at the Intel Developer Forum, the company announced that it has worked with Google to develop a Project Tango developer kit for smartphones utilizing RealSense. To accompany this news, there's a smartphone sporting a 6-inch display and a bunch of cameras on the back. Engadget has shared several photos of the device, which looks a bit like the top half of a Nintendo 3DS. Read More
Google has been branching out into new areas recently with the acquisition of Nest and Dropcam, but now it has partnered with TP-Link to make something new—a WiFi router called the OnHub. I know, you've already got a router, but this one looks pretty great as far as routers go. It will automatically adjust channels and bandwidth to suit your usage, it remembers your devices, it's got a speaker/Bluetooth, and there's a mobile app to manage it all. Read More
You've probably heard of Shazam. You fire up the app when a song is playing that you can't remember the name of. It will do a little magic trick, then come back with the answer and maybe even lyrics. Google's Sound Search widget does something similar, and following the update contained within the latest Android Marshmallow developer preview, it looks more up-to-date doing it.
The widget doesn't just come with a new style. The developers have also tweaked the functionality. Now the widget launches into the Google Search app's sound recognition interface rather than inside the widget itself. And there's a 1x1 widget option to choose from. Read More
Between the Chrome extension, the Chrome app, Gmail, Inbox, and Google+, there are plenty of ways you can sign in to Hangouts while you're at a computer. But maybe you need one more. Today Google has launched hangouts.google.com. You're welcome.
Hangouts' dedicated website provides a single obvious way to access your contacts list and start chatting, as the URL is one you could probably guess. The site lets you open up multiple conversations at once just as you've been doing in Gmail since the dawn of time. You can also start group conversations, place a voice call, or fire up the webcam. Read More
The news late last week for Google's modular smartphone initiative was not good. After promising a real world test of Project Ara would take place in 2015, Google finally had to pull back and cancel those plans. A series of tweets today at least provides some clues as to what's next for Ara. There are three tweets which conveniently answer the questions—when, where, and why? Read More
All over the world, countries and the people who live in them are looking for ways to tap into renewable energy. Solar power seems like one of the more obvious ways to reduce our environmental impact and maybe even save money, but the process of getting started serves as a deal-breaker for many of us. How much does installation cost, and will it even be worth it?
Since this is 2015, Google is one of the first places we turn to with these questions. Seeing this, Google has announced an initiative that will consolidate this information in one place. It's calling this effort Project Sunroof. Read More
It has been almost a month since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out to users, and as of yesterday, it is in wide release to everybody. A previous blog post by Google discussed the big new feature for developers would be the Nearby Messages API, but it turns out there are a couple of other additions worth checking out. In a new post on the Android Developers blog, Google announced a new Mobile Vision API with the ability to detect the presence, orientation, and some details of faces when they are in frame on an active camera. Read More
Google's Niantic Labs is perhaps best known as the developer of the popular augmented reality game Ingress (it also makes the exploration app Field Trip). In the wake of the Alphabet announcement, Niantic is leaving Google behind, but not in the way you think. Google is spinning off the developer completely, turning it into an independent company. Read More
We rarely talk about apps losing features, but that's what has happened to Google+ today, but it's not such a bad thing. The latest update to v6.1 has started rolling out to users and it finally removes access to the Google+ Photos functionality that remained after the introduction of Google Photos at I/O 2015. A previous update warned users that the Google+ Photos functionality wasn't long for this world back in June, and about a month later Google officially announced it would be shut down on August 1st.
It may be a little behind schedule, but we all knew this update would be coming soon. Read More