We all need a little positive reinforcement now and then, and Google's aiming to give that to you by surfacing a bit of data it's been keeping track of for a few years. If you head to your Google+ profile online, right next to your followers will be the number of views your content has gotten since Google started keeping track in October of 2012.
The kids who obsessed about Nintendo's Pokémon in the late 1990s are now the up-and-comers at some of the world's biggest technology companies. If you don't believe us, then check out the following video:
Yup, Google is back to its April 1st tricks, and they're going all-out this year. The video sets up an augmented reality game that lets you go out into the world and catch "real" Pokémon through you phone's camera.
Ready for another Google Now rumor? We've already seen evidence of contact-based reminders reliant on your proximity with another person, and "inferred events," whereby Now would pluck mentions of meetings or other appointments from your conversations to automatically create calendar entries. This time, we have something just as useful - a new bill pay card and interface, evidently headed for Google Now.
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Google has updated its Play Store developer policy with some tweaked language and a few new sections. As usual, Google is making changes to address worrying trends it is seeing in apps. Developers whose apps are not in line with the new policy risk getting booted from the store. Perhaps the most interesting alteration is a new section outlining unacceptable app promotion techniques.
Google sometimes gives us a hint of what it's working on if you're willing to dig for it. Buried in the new Chrome Beta for Android update is something called contextual search. It's not completely functional right now, but you can take a peek at some aspects of it.
To enable contextual search in Chrome Beta, go to chrome://flags/#contextual-searchin the address bar.
Google wants manufacturers to use Android in their products, and the company has no problem with them theming the software up all they want, as long as they adhere to a few ground rules. Going forward, explicitly mentioning that their devices are powered by Android will be one of them. How? By explicitly placing the words "powered by Android" at the bottom of bootup screens.
As first reported by Geek.com, Google is enforcing this via the latest Google Mobile Services license that manufacturers must abide by in order to ship devices with access to the Play Store or Google's suite of first-party apps.
Update: Judging from comments, it looks like these songs aren't available in many countries. They're downloadable for us, but your mileage may vary.
Over the course of ten years, Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia fame has produced quite a bit of music. Now his record label, Size Records, is working with Google to give away 150 songs entirely for free. That's right - free. That's roughly a full workday of non-stop electronic music.
It took Google a little longer than usual, but now the official site is up with the registration dates. You can try to sign up for I/O from April 8-10th, however remember that the tickets will be handed out randomly this year. Don't be too bummed out, though. There are some fun animated puzzles at the top of the page to play around with (they react to sound from your mic).
You can finally say goodbye to that desktop Music Manager app for Google Play Music. Well, as long as you don't mind venturing into the Play Music labs. Google has added a new Chrome app toggle in the labs that enables drag-and-drop music uploads and a cool little pop-out player interface.
Just head to the labs page and enable "Google Play Music for Chrome" and save your changes. Chrome will download the extension, and then you can drag any compatible song files into the Play Music window to upload.
Google will provide the definition for any word it knows, as long as you ask nicely (just typing "define" usually gets the job done). For anyone who doesn't get what I mean, here's an example.
As an English speaker, this functionality is just something I take for granted. But like everything else, it takes time to expand this out to other languages. Now Google's drawn attention to the feature's availability in Spanish.