Google is certainly no stranger to testing new features slowly. Most recently, it released an update to YouTube's UI that's been in testing for at least four months. And for Google, this is a good thing. Testing new features with limited samples of users helps get data not only on their usefulness, but also on how they augment user experience and engagement.
That brings us to the Play Store, an app where nothing is more important than engagement. Google appears to be testing a new feature called "Related Interests," which lists off various categories with round chips similar to the chips used for artists on Google Play Music's web interface. Read More
Sometimes Google's voicemail transcription is good enough to get the point across, and other times it's a seemingly random collection of words that only make sense when you're under the influence of really great narcotics. But maybe no more. Google has announced that better transcriptions are rolling out with a 49% reduction in the error rate. This applies to both Google Voice and Project Fi. Read More
There's a subtle change to the Android voice input system, and you probably already have it on your phone without realizing. Some time ago, users started reporting that a delete button had appeared on the dictation keyboard, and now we're seeing it too. The most likely cause is an update to the Google app, which contains the voice settings.
Last month Expansys USA was willing to sell you a Nexus 9 LTE for $380. That was and remains significantly less than the $600 the Google Store charges for the same device. At the time, it was also less than Amazon, but that company has since dropped its price down to $375.
So, why are we all gathered here around this blog post then? Because Expansys USA is now ready to sell you a Nexus 9, still with LTE, for just $340. That's $25 less than Amazon, and it's nearly half as much as what Google wants. Heck, it's cheaper than the official starting price of the 32GB Wi-Fi model. Read More
You won't be able to stubbornly cling to the old Google+ Photos much longer (assuming people are doing that). The official Google+ account has confirmed that August 1st is the shutdown date for Google+ Photos. It won't be a huge adjustment for most users—the new Google Photos already has all your stuff stored and organized. Read More
Since its inception it seems that Inbox, by Google's Gmail team, has had the goal of streamlining your email experience in mind. To accomplish that goal, it makes every email a task, lets you quickly triage messages, and pulls out highlights like reservations, plane tickets, or attachments for faster access. But, according to the official Gmail blog, Inbox is getting one more cool feature starting now: the ability to automatically choose the best snooze date for your messages. For those unfamiliar, a "snoozed" message is temporarily dismissed, bubbling back up to your inbox at the selected date and time.
With this new feature, the app will take a look at certain types of emails to pull out the relevant date and provide a perfect time option in the snooze menu. Read More
Last year we received information that Google was working on an initiative called "Nearby" that would enable Android devices to communicate with people, places, and devices that were in close proximity. In the time since, things have mostly been silent. We've seen similar functionality pop up in the likes of Chromecast guest mode and trusted devices, but not the full shebang.
Now, Google is taking the feature public. In a post over on its developers blog, the company details ways in which Nearby will make sharing information with someone nearby easier than exchanging account information or scanning QR codes. Read More
We've all done it—you need to make sure you have a note or reminder so you email it to yourself. Google's Inbox app now gently urges you not to be such an impatient savage and use the proper tools instead. If you try to email yourself, it'll offer to create an Inbox reminder.
Pop over to the Play Store website on your computer real quick. I'll wait. Notice anything different? It's very likely that you're seeing the new app pages that started showing up months ago for users who weren't logged in. Now it sounds like almost everyone has the new look (everyone at APHQ is seeing it as well).