Google Street View has always been a part of Google Maps on Android, even though it was technically a separate APK. Everything is changing today with the big v2.0 Street View update. For the first time ever, Street View is a standalone app in your app drawer with its own distinct functionality. There's a lot to sort through here, so let's dig in.
Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
Interoperable and open;
Optimized for the web;
Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.
It's new logo day at Google, and that means your favorite apps are getting a few icon tweaks. Several of Google's apps had the little 'g' somewhere, but that's no longer part of the logo. Now it's all about the big G, and Google is already updating icons on the web to reflect that.
Google has changed in unforeseeable ways since 1998, but its logo has remained largely the same. Things get smoother here, bolder there. Designers have tweaked the font and the shapes of letters, but we're always treated to the same six letters in the same four colors.
Today Google is continuing that tradition with its latest logo, though it has hit a new extreme. Letters are now completely flat. The font has gone sans-serif. It's simple and easier to picture on a gadget than in print.
In an apparent effort to boost app discoverability and engagement, it looks like Google is rolling out a beautiful new layout for "apps" search results on mobile. Doing a quick search for pretty much anything followed by the word "apps" will get you a grid of app results above the normal search results, each block colored according to the app's icon. Clicking the "expand" button opens up the grid, with more results smoothly flowing in. Check it out in motion below.
Worth noting is that these results seem to only appear on Android for now - the download numbers and ratings of course reflect Play Store stats, and each block will take you to the relevant Play Store listing.
Just as it promised yesterday, Google has opened YouTube Gaming to the public today. This new game streaming arm of YouTube has its own special site and app, which we've already torn asunder. You can head over right now and watch live streams of people getting completely wrecked in Hearthstone, replaying New Vegas, and endlessly slaying monsters in The Witcher 3.
It's been a while since we last heard anything about Project Soli - Google's radical post-touch experiment unveiled at I/O - but it looks like the project is still rolling right along. According to a tipster, Google has begun notifying interested parties of an impending "Soli Alpha DevKit," asking that those notified fill out an application for the chance to receive one.
Google says it's looking for pretty much everything when it comes to possible applications - health, art, interactive installations, robotics, HCI, VR, and more are all specifically called out as fair game in Google's email.
The email says that those selected to receive a DevKit will get a development board and SDK, along with the opportunity to participate in a Soli Alpha developer workshop at some point in the future.
If you grew up in Lebanon like I did, you'd consider potholes an unavoidable fact of hitting the road. Any road. You start planning your driving and lanes based on the placement of potholes, until you get surprised by a new one that just sprung up out of nowhere in the last 24 hours. Sometimes you have to take the wrong side of the street to escape one, other times the pothole is so huge you can't find any way to drive around it. And your car suffers the consequences day in and day out.
Google knows this and is apparently working on a pothole patrol and detection system that crowd-sources data from our collective cars as we drive down the streets.
Living life primarily as a Google Apps customer must be a rough existence. You get to see all the shiny new things regular Gmail users are getting, but when can you have it? Later. Much later. The latest old feature made new again for Apps customers is automatic Gmail event integration with Google Calendar. Yay.
This last spring, a couple of trolls took to Google Map Maker and created a park that looked like a bugdroid peeing on an Apple logo. Google's reaction to this was removing the ability to make edits using Map Maker altogether, and the community was told that the feature would be added in at a later time. A couple of weeks ago the service came back to life in six countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, the Philippines, and Ukraine. Notably missing from this list is the United States. Well as of yesterday, the USA and 44 other countries were added to the countries open to edits.