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
Google Now on Tap sounded ridiculously cool when it was announced last year, but the reality of the feature has been lackluster to say the least. Google is apparently toying with a feature that could make it much more useful. Some users are seeing optical character recognition (OCR) as part of On Tap, but the implementation seems very early. Read More
Android is killing it, so last year, Google expanded into the mobile space in a bigger way. The company introduced Project Fi and became a smartphone carrier. Okay, technically it's a mobile virtual network operator like Ting and Republic Wireless, but instead of being limited to Sprint's towers, Google has kicked off a way to hop back and forth between both Sprint and T-Mobile.
For the past ten months, Project Fi has been invite-only. That's now changing. Google is making the service available to anyone in the US who wants in. Read More
There's a particularly neat feature lurking in the flags in the latest version of Chrome Dev. If you toggle "enable-ntp-snippets" you'll get a handy list of content from around the web on the new tab page, complete with text snippet previews. Read More
You can use Google+ on your phone, but you can also use it on the web. That's how these things work. If you're using the preview version of Google+ in your browser, a couple of additions have made their way into the experience. Read More