Google Maps has been performing solid, mostly thankless service for more than eight years now, and last week its most significant update yet was leaked. It's that time of year, so we naturally assumed that we'd be hearing more about it at today's Google I/O keynote, but someone in Mountain View must have been a little quick on the trigger. Droid Life spotted a signup page for the revamped web interface and managed to grab a few screenshots before it was hastily shoved back in the digital closet.
Even if you're not physically attending Google I/O, the official convention app might serve you well. It allows attendees to scan badges, view schedules, and just guide themselves around with vector-based maps. If you're not going to be in Moscone Center tomorrow, you can stream sessions with the app. Waiting just about as long as possible, Google has pushed an update to the I/O app, and it adds some cool stuff.
Listen up, Android users. If you're using Google Now, don't go to its Settings -> My Stuff and try to modify sports teams or stocks right now, as doing so completely borks the whole app. As soon as you go back to the main screen or click into Search, you will experience a force close. Repeated attempts to restart it will result in a crash as well:
The only thing that works is clearing out Google Search's data in Settings -> Applications, after which you need to re-enroll into Google Now.
Sometimes you have to assume that there are entire teams at Google whose sole job is to think up fodder for nostalgic technology bloggers. Case in point: for the 37th anniversary of the classic arcade game Breakout, Google has thrown together another one of its elaborate Easter eggs. Do a Google Image Search for "atari breakout", and the results will turn into the smashable blocks, with your mouse working as a control for the paddle.
If you've spent as much time on the Google Play Store as I have, you begin to recognize a pattern: developers asking (and sometimes begging) users to email them directly with complaints or bugs, because they can't reply to that snarky review left in lieu of a bug report. After years and years of frustration for devs who just want to make their apps better, Google has finally rolled out a direct reply feature.
Have you heard? The popped collar is coming back. But that's sooo last year now that we have Google Glass. Presenting: 5 popped Google Glasses (combined current value of $7,500 or more like $8k if you count taxes), because having 4 popped Glasses on isn't nearly as cool.
Right part of the image credit: +Adib Towfiq
Left part of the image credit: Someone on the Interwebs, who the hell knows.
As the start of Google I/O 2013 grows achingly close, Mountain View has seen fit to grace us with a pretty significant update of the official Google I/O app for this year's conference. For anyone attending the event, this app is going to be their golden ticket. The app should work on most Android form-factors (2.3 Gingerbread or higher), with a killer card-based UI that's consistent with Google's new design aesthetic.
The difference is huge - it's like it went from Cupcake days to Jelly Bean in the blink of an eye. It would be nice if you could update Android the same way, wouldn't it?
Here are some images of the old (visible at archive.org) and new sites side-by-side (can you guess which one is which?):
When we talk about Google Glass, we have a lot to be hopeful for and a lot to be worried about. Some of those worries might be a little less than rational. Like the fear that you'll potentially be monitored all the time, which is totally different from how it is now. So, for all the Glass skeptics out there, allow me to do you a favor and replace some less rational fears with some that are more reasonable: if Google Glass becomes popular, everyone is going to start looking at cat pictures on their glasses, no one will watch where they're going, and society will collectively walk into poles, open sewer holes, and each other.
If you're in the small portion of the Venn diagram where Google Ingress players and Google I/O attendees intersect, I'm about to make you very happy. It looks like the big G is paying quite a bit of attention to Niantic Labs' social geo-game, because every single registered attendee for Google I/O 2013 will be given an automatic invitation to Ingress, which is still in beta. Ingress will also be given at least some coverage in the initial I/O keynote on May 15th.