The Google+ redesign from last week may look pretty, but it's also missing a lot of features that were available in the classic layout. This is true of every product revamp or relaunch: there will always be a tradeoff between getting all the bells and whistles of the new version and keeping the things you're used to on the old one. There's a whole help page that lays out most of the changes and features that the redesign still lacks, ranging from the simplification of profile pages to the (temporary) removal of polls from the web version. Fortunately, upgrading is still entirely optional, so for now you can stick with the classic version of Google+ if that suits you better. Read More
I'm already a fan (and subscriber) of Project Fi, Google's experiment in being a wireless carrier, but photos popping up across Google+ suggest that the service just got a little more awesome.
Evidently, some Fi subscribers are receiving a holiday gift from Fi - a Lego kit that, when assembled, forms a charging stand for your phone.
A number of Google+ users have posted images of the Lego kit, showing the kit and its packaging - Fi's signature white box with bright Fi-colored materials inside. A green label on the outside wishes recipients "Happy Holidays," while an instructional booklet thanks subscribers for their support so far. Read More
Google updated its support pages with an interesting item recently. Down at the bottom of the gift card page, is a US-only option called "Google Play credit gifts." And sure enough, a new option to send a gift has popped up in the web Play Store. So, just in time for the holidays, you can give the gift of Google Play via email. Read More
Are the people you call with your shiny new Nexus 6P saying that they can't hear you? Then you might want to check out several threads on the Google Product Forum and XDA-Developers. A common problem among early adopters seems to be weak and spotty voice quality - that's the voice of the Nexus 6P owner, not the other call party. At the time of writing, several dozen owners across the two sites are reporting very similar problems, both in standard call mode and when using the speakerphone. Google representatives have responded on the official forum, and say that they're looking into it. Read More
Google famously pulled out of China in 2010 rather than continue censoring its search results as required by the Chinese government. However, Android has since come to dominate the Chinese market, and this has led the company to reconsider its position. According to a report by Reuters, Google plans to launch a China-specific version of the Play Store in 2016. Read More
Hey, do you use [insert instant messaging or video chatting service here]? No? Well, what do you use? Weird, no one else I know uses that. Here, just create an account real quick. Please?
Yeah, we're all tired of this conversation. Hangouts has managed to dodge it to some degree because so many people already have the required Google account. But what about those folks who don't? And do you really want to share your email address with this guy who's reaching out to you?
Soon, you won't have to. This week Google is pushing out an update to Hangouts that removes that requirement. Read More
Google announced a badge to make users aware of ad-supported apps in the "Designed for Families" program at I/O this year (see what that looks like above). Now, all apps will be subject to the same requirement going forward. Developers are getting email notifications of the change right now, and they have until January 11th to log in and state whether or not an app has ads. Read More
The Google+ app has gone through more UI revisions than Android itself, and the latest one is starting to roll out now. Version 6.8 of Google+ is starting to show up in the Play Store, and of course, we've got the APK below if you don't want to wait. Be aware, installing this APK won't immediately kick you over to the new design. It looks like this is a server-side switch that's only active for some users.
Yesterday brought the beginning of the rollout of a new and fresh Google+ website on both desktops and mobile browsers. The focus in Google's announcement was on the redesign, the bold colors, and the improved access to Collections and Communities, but there's a better story hiding there for everyone, especially me. (Excuse my selfishness.)
The previous Google+ page was a complete nightmare to load. I am bound by a stupid slow 512Kbps connection, and if you had ever tried to check Google+ on any connection slower than a few Mbps, you'd have a different outlook on life. While waiting for the home feed to load over the previous years, I've questioned the meaning of life, my annoying luck of being born in a country with such slow ADSL speeds, I've thanked my lucky stars for having access to an Internet connection to begin with, I've wanted to smash my computers and routers, I've laughed and teared up and played a bit of basketball and ate falafel and dispensed a few prescriptions to my patients, I've done some introspective thinking, watched half an episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine, and more... Read More