God bless its heart, Microsoft is trying hard to keep its apps updated and interesting on Android. Some of them are quite popular (50M downloads and above) while others like Bing Search are... hanging on. But that's not for lack of effort.
In the latest Bing update, there are quite a few nice video features being sprinkled in. You can preview videos inline (with sound off) in the search results. You can also tap videos after doing a music search to play them synchronously with the lyrics. Read More
One thing has always annoyed me about Hangouts: there's no search option. How can you have a messaging service and not allow people to search through their conversations inside the service?! That's beyond comprehension. Of course there's a way to circumvent it by searching through chats in Gmail. But that neither was intuitive nor made sense unless you were familiar with the feature.
According to screenshots we've received from a test preview version of Allo, Google's new messaging app doesn't suffer from that silly limitation. Search is well implemented and it's universal throughout the app. There's a search icon on the top right of the main screen that lets you look for a contact/group's name (in case you have lots of chats and need to quickly find a specific person/group) or any word(s) inside a chat. Read More
The Rio Olympics are about to kick off, and Google has added some neat glanceable info to search results in preparation for it. You can get instant access to Google's rundown of the happening in Rio with a special shortcut. It's not available in your app drawer, though. Just search for something related to the Olympics, and Google will offer to make the shortcut. Read More
Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro. 2016. Right, now that we've hit all of the ridiculous trademarks claimed by the International Olympic Committee and the cease-and-desist letters are already on their way, we can talk about Google's latest Doodles. As explained on the official Search blog, the company's latest fanciful logo reinterpretations hide a selection of minigames, all of which are rather vaguely themed after the upcoming events in Rio. Read More
The updates are flowing steadily today and Google+ is playing along with its own set of tweaks and enhancements. This version looks like it's mostly centered around subtle refinements and closing some old to-do items. The biggest visible change seems to be profile pictures that appear in the comment previews below posts. That doesn't mean there aren't a few other things to check out. A teardown adds to the fun the promise of configurable "flair" on your own profile, tap-to-reveal covers for potentially inappropriate images, and the setup for privacy settings. Read More
In case you missed it, there's a national election approaching here in the US. I know, it's understandable if you mistook the nonstop campaigning for our idea of good TV. It might as well be. But one way or another, years of campaigning are about to come to an end... for a few days before starting back up again.
Despite holding elections every year or so for hundreds of years, the process is still a messy one. Each state has its own requirements and rules for registering to vote. I majored in political science, and I have to search to figure out some of this stuff. Read More
Google Now on Tap sounded really cool when it was announced as part of Android M, but the reality of using it has been largely disappointing so far. Google has been adding new features in an attempt to make On Tap more engaging, and today there are three additions. In the latest round of updates, you'll have easier access to translation, content discovery, and barcode scanning. Read More
Most of us probably use the Google app for searching on our phones, rather than through Chrome or - *gasp* - another search engine. I've often found that on slow connections, the Google app can take ages to bring up results - think 2G or even 3G mobile networks. To combat this, it appears that Google is either testing or rolling out a notification to tell you when the app has completed searching and showing results.
Three Google Search notifications. Note: this is MIUI, which is why it looks a bit... iOS-y.
This may not be used only for slow connections, but will probably come in handy the most on a network where speed is hard to come by. Read More
Google wants as many people to use the web as possible, because at this point it can reliably count on more or less every internet user earning the company revenue. Having a decent connection is a big part of that, and while there are plenty of adequate speed tests available, apparently Google wants one right in the search interface. To that end, they're testing an integrated speed test created with the help of Measurement Lab. Read More