We've received word that Google is doing another limited rollout test, this time surrounding weather, one of their favourite topics to trial with users. Searching "weather" might show you a card asking if you'd like to "Access weather instantly from your Home screen." If you tap add, a shortcut will show up on the homescreen. It appears to work almost exactly like Chrome's Add to homescreen function, except this opens the native Search and not a browser.
This may seem a little superfluous, as Google has weather available through Google Now, and possibly in your notifications too. That might be why they're testing it. Read More
It feels like Google is always adding new cards to Search, and it's just quietly released another one: a metronome. Simply search for 'metronome,' and a card will pop up showing a beats-per-minute slider and a play button. Press play and you get a clicking noise. Voila, a metronome.
The beats-per-minute value is set at 120 by default, but can be changed to any number between 40 and 208. When you tweak the value, the color changes from blue to orange, and when you press play, the button animates, pulsating according to the selected value. The card works with both desktop and mobile search, so you can play the piano and have a beat without needing a computer. Read More
Everyone knows someone who has made the switch from iPhone to Android. This latest convert will surprise you though. It’s GoogleBot – the all-important web crawler used by Google.
GoogleBot is a vital cog in the Google search engine. In its most simplified form, it works by going from website to website and sucking up as much information as it possibly can. The data is then passed to other Google algorithms, where it is processed, ranked, and transformed into search results.
In order for GoogleBot to get all perspectives of a website, it masquerades as different types of devices – a desktop browser, a feature-phone browser, and a smartphone browser. Read More
At GDC, Google announced a few new game-focused tools for developers that should make launching, promoting, and monetizing titles easier. There's now a full blog post on the changes, and they look like a big deal for developers, especially those who consider themselves "indie." Read More
A couple of days ago, Google revamped the Android Wear website to make it more interactive and today it's rolling out an update to another website: Android Auto. This time though, it's not the whole site that's getting completely overhauled, just the section at the bottom for supported manufacturers.
Previously, that only listed car and head unit manufacturers with links to their websites' landing pages - not even a specific Android Auto section on their site. Now, that list has been moved to the second Brands tab, with a new Models tab taking the first place. This has a list of all manufacturers with the exact models of cars and head units that support Auto. Read More
When you make a voice search or any other voice input on Android, there's a complex process that goes on behind the scenes. Your voice is recorded, transmitted to Google's servers, analyzed and converted into a text string, then either passed on to the relevant web service (like Google Search) or sent back to your device. It's usually almost instantaneous if you have a decent Internet connection, but therein lies its one weakness: you do have to have that connection in order for it to work. The rudimentary offline system (in Android since Jelly Bean) relies on a relatively unsophisticated vocabulary and detection system that's slow and less powerful than the connected version. Read More
Google's Android Wear site is a great place to get started learning about the operating system for your wrist, from the different watches you can buy to the features available to you, the apps you can use to make even more use of it, and the watchfaces and bands that help you customize the look even further.
The site just got an overhaul that puts visuals first and makes the entire experience even more interactive. Specifically, the different sections of Try these apps are now dynamic, changing the screenshot on the watch as you hover over the icons to show you exactly what to expect from each application. Read More
Each of the major social networks has evolved to place emphasis on something that they have excelled beyond all others. Twitter is the king of what's current. Facebook is all about planning events and staying in touch with family and friends. And despite a constant narrative about its impending doom, Google+ has become one of the best places for actual content creators to share their work. Photographers, writers, chefs, and other adventurous, interesting, and creative people have come together to share their passions.
Yesterday, Google announced a new program called Google+ Create that will fuel this trend by featuring great collections and the people that put them together. Read More
We're deep in the woods with Android N news, but that doesn't mean everything else has stopped. This is still Update Wednesday and there are apks to be investigated. Earlier this morning a new version of Google+ turned up and it has at least a couple of changes worth looking at. The post pinning feature is back after a long hiatus, and the Circle Streams feature might be getting a few improvements of its own. If you're just looking for the update, a link is at the bottom of the post.
Pin to profile returns
The one definite feature of this release is the return of 'Pin to profile' for non-collection, non-community posts. Read More
Are you developing things with Google technologies? Can you be at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California on May 18, 19, and 20th? Are you willing to part with $900 for a ticket to Google I/O ($300 for students)? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you might want to get over to the Google I/O site and apply for a ticket.
Registration opened up at 9 AM PST this morning and it will remain open until 5 PM PST on March 10th, so you've got a couple of days to get your name into the pot if this isn't a good time. Read More