Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and you know what that means: bitter disappointment fruitlessly displaced with technology. (That might just be me.) Google's got you covered on the second part, at least if you have a Chromecast. A new visualizer option for Google Play Music ditches the bars and equalizers in favor of a looped video of a cozy fireplace. You'll have to supply your own music, of course.
The visualizer isn't on by default, but it's easy enough to enable. Read More
We've been trying to keep our heads up about the Lenovo-Motorola deal, but let's be honest: news like this is not encouraging. A Wall Street Journal report claims that Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, whom many had credited with the company's impressive new product lines in 2013, is leaving for Dropbox. Woodside began working for Motorola after more than ten years at Google, succeeding Sanjay Jha after Google acquired the company.
The Wall Street Journal cites three anonymous sources in its detailed report, but Google confirmed the news shortly thereafter. Read More
The cards have been creeping into more apps as of late, and now it looks like Google is testing a new mobile web interface for YouTube with some of that card-based Android flavor. There are more cards, a cleaner video pages, and a slide-out navigation drawer that could have been ripped right from Android.
The new web UI could easily be mistaken for the YouTube app at first glance. Read More
Google was previously just testing Chromecasting from embedded YouTube videos (as opposed to those on YouTube.com), but it looks like the feature has now been rolled out to virtually all videos. Google's support page has been updated to say that "most embedded YouTube videos" are now supported for casting.
Companies file for new patents all the time with nothing ever coming of it, so Google's application shouldn't be taken as evidence that such a device is coming down the pipeline. Nevertheless, some concepts are just plain cool. Google has designed a computing device with dual e-ink displays that folds as though it were an actual book, according to a patent application that the US Patent and Trademark Office recently published. Read More
You've got to give it to Google: the company has its finger on the pulse of the world's search habits. Take the upcoming Sochi Olympics - while Russia itself seems poised for an international embarrassment of epic proportions, Google has already tuned up its search engine with Sochi information for desktop and mobile searches. Most searches with "olympics" and an event will return a quick schedule and/or results card in the Knowledge Graph area. Read More
An update to Chrome beta a few weeks ago came with the bizarre side effect that hotword detection no longer worked in the Google search app or in the Google Now Launcher (GNL). The next version of Chrome beta didn't do anything to fix it, either. Well, Google Search to the rescue – yesterday's big search update seems to have fixed hotword detection.
We've been pawing through today's Google Search update and one item in particular deserves a little more attention. Some of the cards in Google Now are getting an interesting tweak – they're bundled and have a cool animation when opened.
Google's new head of YouTube will be Susan Wojcicki, formerly a Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce. She is replacing Salar Kamangar, who will remain with Google to work on other things. CEO Larry Page made the announcement earlier today in an emailed statement.
"Salar and the whole YouTube team have built something amazing. YouTube is a billion-person global community curating videos for every possibility. Anyone uploading their creative content can reach the whole world and even make money.
Google has pushed out an update to the Google Search app, which now means there's also an update to the Google Experience Launcher. We've got the APK for you to install below, and this is looking like a substantial update – it looks like the new (and probably official) name for the Google Experience Launcher is Google Now Launcher.