There are three major functions of Wear: a Google Now-style "homescreen" with a a scrollable list of cards, a notification system that alerts you to information from your smartphone, and a series of contextual tools that pop up during certain activities.
Almost perfectly timed with Google's Android Wear announcement, Motorola has laid out its new smart watch plans. The Moto 360 is a round smart watch running on Android Wear that you will be able to actually purchase this summer. I know, this seems like the future all of a sudden.
Last December, Google announced LiquidFun, a cross-platform physics engine developers could use to create realistic gaming experiences. Now, as a part of Google Developer Day at this year's Game Developers Conference, the company has released version 1.0 out into the wild. It's also provided no shortage of videos demoing what the project is capable of.
Google has just announced its plans for Android wearables, and this could make all those other smart watches look like they're standing still. Android Wear is an open Android-powered platform that lets developers plug into existing apps and take advantage of Google services like Now and voice search. There is a preview SDK available right now, and Google says wearables based on this platform are coming in 2014.
Google Now is a powerful tool. A step toward Google's vision of a Star Trek computer in the palm of your hand, Now is built to serve up information that you need, exactly when you need it, without you asking for it.
To that end, the service has seen many improvements since its debut. It will tell you when your favorite teams are playing, when you need to leave to make it to the airport on time, whether your plane is delayed, and plenty of info about your destination and surrounding attractions, among numerous other things.
No, you're not alone – Google Hangouts has crashed and burned this morning. Reports are popping up all over the web, and none of us are able to connect on the desktop or web. There's no word from Google yet, but there are probably engineers running frantically around a data center somewhere in California right now.
There are definitely a few features lacking in the way paid content is handled in Google Play – gift codes and free-to-paid app transition, for starters. According Google's GDC announcement, the company isn't addressing those issues in particular, but some other features are coming to Google Play in the form of some new developer options and support for in-game gifts.
Our friends across the pond will no longer have to resort to importing a Chromecast from the US as of March 19th. That's apparently the day Google's streaming dongle is set to hit shelves in the UK. At least one retailer already has the device in stock and has alerted employees to the impeding launch.
Google has updated its support pages and started sending out emails to alert users of Google Wallet to an upcoming change in the way NFC payments work. As of April 14th, tap and pay will require KitKat or higher. Older devices will no longer be supported after that date.
The reason for the change is Google's desire to only use Host Card Emulation (HCE) to make NFC payments work. That feature was introduced in Android 4.4, so it's the end of the line for Jelly Bean and earlier devices.