Brief refresher: in September 2012, Google acquired a company, Nik Software. Nik is now a Google subsidiary, but it still develops the software it made before the acquisition: Snapseed, a popular photo-editing app for iOS and Android, and Nik Collection.
Nik Collection is today's focus. Google is taking the price down from $150 to the grand total of free. Google dropped the price from $500 to $150 when it acquired Nik three years ago, so this is a pretty good deal. The Collection is nothing to be sniffed at, either: it consists of professional-level filter plug-ins for Adobe products, including Photoshop and Lightroom, and Apple's Aperture. Read More
Don't let the information-rich but ultimately sterile presentation fool you. Google's latest 360-degree video, which offers a virtual tour of the company's The Dalles, Oregon data center facility, is porn. Okay, so it's porn for people with incredibly specific tastes. People whose blood starts to boil at the sight of thousands of rack-mounted severs. People who are aroused by a bajillion miles of meticulously organized fiber optic cable. People who get excited at the sight of intense biometric security. But porn nonetheless. Read More
VentureBeat is claiming to have wind of a new app by YouTube, named 'Connect.' The app will reportedly be used for live-streaming, in much the same way as Periscope and Facebook. According to VentureBeat's sources, Connect has many of the same features as those two apps, including a 'news feed' to see which of your subscriptions are streaming or have shared video, and chat among users.
This marks the fourth YouTube spin-off app, following Gaming, Music, and Kids. It's interesting to note that Connect will introduce a social element to the internet's go-to video service. While YouTube does have a subscription feed updated with videos from creators you subscribe to, it's a poor rendition of a true news feed à la Facebook. Read More
Google+'s app redesign and changes might not be universally liked, but there's little doubt that the team is actively trying to add requested features, improve usability, and make the app and experience more enjoyable and less stressful with each update. With version 7.5, Google+ gets a lot of bug and issue fixes, improves the link preload feature that was introduced in version 7.3, and adds one new element.
As demonstrated in the screenshots above, there's a new notification when a post fails to send that takes you to a screen of pending posts where you can resend or delete any of them. Read More
Developers, we know you work hard on your apps. So does Google. But they also know that sometimes it's hard to make apps easy to use when you're elbow deep in their design. To that end, the new Accessibility Scanner app allows you to check other apps for potential problems or possible improvements in terms of accessibility. It's a free download in the Play Store, but at the moment it looks like it's limited to Android 6.0 devices. Read More
In the wake of the tragic events in Brussels today and the recent violence and bombings in Turkey, Google has made calls to both countries free via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice. Calls to people on Belgium's biggest carriers — Lycamobile, Mobistar, Proximus, and Telenet — are free, along with calls to all landlines in Turkey. Google's announcement follows earlier news of all major U.S. mobile carriers offering similar free calling and texting to Belgium (Turkey was not mentioned).
In addition, for the Brussels area, Google has been publishing Google Now cards with transit updates, keeping the public informed and up-to-date, plus a direct link to the Government Crisis Centre. Read More
Google Photos already has some "smart" features that try to make your photos easier to manage, and today it's getting another one. Google is rolling out "smarter albums" to the app. From now on, when you take pictures while on a trip or attending an event, Google Photos will automatically assemble your best shots into albums for easy sharing. Read More
The ever-evolving Google Photos has another new feature hidden in the recent 1.16 update: the app will now share slow-motion videos to other apps, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote and not mess up the timing. Videos have of course been exportable and shareable through Photos since the start, but this marks the first time a video with slow-mo frames can be exported without the whole video being converted into slow-motion, rather than just a section. In the same way, you have long been able to edit a video to slow either a portion of the video, or the entire thing, down to 120 frames-per-second, the standard slow-motion video framerate. Read More
Google is on a roll with the app-less updates this week. After trialing a new homescreen weather shortcut for a small amount of users a few days ago, users have been noticing that there is a new feature in Google Now to block any site from showing up in the 'Stories to read' section. Therefore, if you see a card you'd rather not see, it can now be banished and will go back to whence it came.
Blocking sites in Now has been around for a while, but only for select cards; namely the ones that specifically show up for sites you've visited before. As of the update, likely to be a server-side rollout, the blocking ability has been upgraded to apply to any card. Read More
Google Now's purpose is to give you useful information before you even think to ask, and additions continue to roll out that make the service better at its job.
A reader has reached out to us with a screenshot of a Refueling options card in Google Now. It shows the names of individual stations, how far away they are, and how long they're open. Interestingly, as mentioned at the bottom of the card, this information is appearing because the recipient has to return a rental car to the area. It's also worth noting that the reader was using Google to manage his travel itinerary. Read More