Google Now has evolved into a surprisingly great contextual search and information system, but it still relies on user information for most of its content. According to a recent interview with Google's VP of search and assist Johanna Wright, that may be changing. QZ.com spoke to Wright, who let a few details on the possible addition of a local news card for Now.
One thing we’re testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card,” says Wright.
The power button is supposed to wake up your phone, and ideally it should work every single time. On Android 4.3, however, that is not necessarily the case. Running the Netflix app seems to invariably cause the device to freeze the next time it is put to sleep. It's an annoying bug, but Googler Dan Morrill swung by a Reddit thread to confirm Google and Netflix are aware of the issue and have "top men" working on it. Read More
Get this, Microsoft has drastically redesigned MSN for Android, introducing a new app to replace the outdated MSN World. I know, that's trippy. Apparently MSN is still a thing. This new release leaves the interface looking somewhat spiffy, as it now shows off tiles that would look at home on a Windows Phone device, yet still looks good mixed with Android's versatile Holo interface. That said, the bottom black toolbar might look crowded on devices with a virtual toolbar, and it gives me the impression that Microsoft figured it could update its Android app with the interface it threw together for the upcoming iOS 7. Read More
In their never-ending quest to bring CyanogenMod to every Android device on the face of the planet (or at least all of them with unlocked bootloaders, modern hardware, and a big user base - not all that many, in fact, forget I mentioned it) the CM team is expanding the 10.1 build to three new devices this weekend. The unlocked international LTE version of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) and Cricket's branded variant both get new nightly builds of the ROM, as does the WiFi-only version of Sony's Xperia Tablet Z. Read More
Syrian Electronic Army, a hacking group responsible for several visible attacks in the last few weeks, has evidently taken control of BSkyB's Sky apps in the Play Store, replacing the promo headers with SEA's logo, and the app descriptions with "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here."
In a tweet earlier, BSkyB's Twitter account (which we now know was also compromised) warned its users to uninstall all Sky apps, as they "were hacked and replaced." Indeed, BSkyB's apk files were replaced by the hacking group. Read More
Wavii, a service that promises to help you "keep up with everything you care about" has been snapped up by Google, according to Tech Crunch, for a sum totaling over $30 Million.
The deal, which signals an end to an apparent acquisition battle between Google and Apple, likely means that Wavii's language processing prowess will be integrated with Google services from the Knowledge Graph all the way down to (perhaps) Google Now. Read More
Facebook has been making numerous changes to its Android apps as of late, thanks to the arrival of Facebook Home. Sometimes, new features also bring "hidden" options – things that may not be quite ready for prime time but can be accessed within the app. Facebook Messenger has one such "feature" tucked away in its emoticon menu: stickers. Big ol' images with goofy faces and cats and other stuff. I'm not entirely sure why this is a thing that anyone wants, but it's there, and you can use these oversized emoticons now. Read More
Today, at a media event in New York, T-Mobile announced that it's finally ready to join the big-boy world of LTE networks. The initial round of activations match up just about perfectly with the earlier leaks. Major cities include Houston, Las Vegas, Washington D.C. and more. The proper 4G network can be used with the new "Uncarrier" plans that just went live a couple days ago.
Here's the full list of launch cities:
- Kansas City
- Las Vegas
- San Jose
- Washington, D.C.
The BBC News reader on Android got an update today that should please the pixel poppers among the audience. The app has been optimized to take advantage of Super Mega Ultra dense displays like on the Xperia Z and Droid DNA (to say nothing of the upcoming HTC One and Galaxy S 4). A pile of bugs have been squashed in the new update as well.
Here's the full change log:
What's in this version:
This is a major update of our app, with improved performance and image quality.