Google is 15 years old. Lets think about that for a moment: the company that has grown to have not one but two operating systems, develop self-driving cars, map much of the globe, manage most of our mail, offer an online collaborative office suite, and have a name ubiquitous enough to enter the dictionary, is younger than most of our readers. Google has only recently gone through puberty and is currently studying up for its driving exam.
Somewhere amid the rest of Google's app updates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.
First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.
Google's got a surprise for users across Asia and New Zealand today, bringing Play Books availability to nine new places: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand.
The company that claims the world's largest selection of online books has been slowly but surely making headway in spreading its Play products across the planet. Of course, it would be great if Google could simply flip a switch to bring Play to all Android users everywhere, but legal issues and other roadblocks mean it still takes some time to expand.
An Android app for Google Shopping Express has landed in the Play Store, and while it's available for anyone to download, it still only works in the San Francisco Bay area. I know, that blows, but if you live in the region and take part in Google's trial same-day shopping program, this new app gives you a quicker means to make purchases when your computer isn't within reach. Google has also extended access out to San Jose, so if you're a newly eligible resident who hasn't already signed up for the service, now may be a good time to do so.
YouTube comments have a reputation for being one of the most retched hives of scum and villainy this side of 4Chan. Things are about to change in YouTube land, though. Google has just announced that YouTube comments are switching over to Google+ in the coming months, starting with the channel discussion tab later this week.
YouTube currently floats the two most up-voted comments to the top, but when G+ takes over, it's going to factor in more variables.
As part of today's announcement of CyanogenMod as a company, CTO and founder Steve Kondik said one of the first goals the team had was to make the process of installing CyanogenMod easier. Kondik called the current process "hideous" and too difficult for "mere mortals." He also announced that the Android installer companion app will be released to Google Play in the coming weeks.
The Android app is only half of the equation, though – a Windows application will also be released.
Google will soon roll out changes to Voice intended to prevent unauthorized access to our voicemail inboxes. To access accounts via phone, you will now have to call from a verified forwarding number. If you're calling from a number Google doesn't recognize, you will be prompted to enter a verified number instead. In addition to this, PIN codes can now be up to 10 digits long. These changes will take effect starting on the first day of October, and anyone who signs in via a web browser should receive a notification giving them a head's up.
It is time to begin obsessively checking for updates on your 2013 Nexus 7. We're getting a number of reports of a system update to JSS15R hitting devices. Nevermind that there don't appear to be any user-facing changes, and it's only one letter away from the last minor update – this is new software and you must have it immediately, right?
The update clocks in at a whopping 8MB.
When the 8GB variant hit "out of inventory" status, Google told the Verge there were no plans to restock it, despite the promising "please check back soon" following the ominous inventory status.