It's Wednesday, and you know what that means – yes, Google is updating apps. This week we've got a search update to version 3.4 and it has some good stuff going on. We're still checking it out, but it looks like automatic parking detection is a go. Or stop... whatever.
Google is always trying new things, and one of those new things has been left where we can play with it. Yay! The LEGO redesign is an experimental sandbox for mobile search results. The overall look is a little different than the current one, but it's the animations in the results that set it apart. Check out the video below for a demo – left tab is LEGO and right is standard. Read More
Emoji convey a lot using very little, and now Yelp has tapped into this to speed up its searches. No, the results don't come in any faster. Rather, instead of typing out a word as long as "hamburger," just insert a picture of one. Want to hit up a bar? Head to the emoji section of your keyboard and drop in a frosty mug. Yelp will know what to do. Read More
Occasionally, an OS update will bring around features that really change things. Android 3.0 brought the Android experience to tablets. 4.0 completely revamped the UI and added guidelines that made Android look cohesive for the first time. 4.4 added Svelte, which promised to seat Android comfortably on an even broader range of devices. We have reason to believe another one of those changes is right around the corner, and it's known internally as Hera. Read More
Google is enhancing the previously announced app content indexing in mobile search results. This feature was previously only available with a few apps and in limited regions, but now it's going worldwide (for English language content) and includes a bunch of new apps.
It's hard not to be excited about the future of Google Now. It's already an incredibly powerful tool, on its way to being a do-anything personal assistant, and we've heard tell of even more functionality from bill pay reminders to inferred events entries to contact-based reminders.
Today, though, we've heard about something that many have asked for from Google Now for a long time now - actual timer functionality. Search may not be getting its own built-in timer, but it won't be side-stepping your request to set an alarm, either. Read More
Ready for another Google Now rumor? We've already seen evidence of contact-based reminders reliant on your proximity with another person, and "inferred events," whereby Now would pluck mentions of meetings or other appointments from your conversations to automatically create calendar entries. This time, we have something just as useful - a new bill pay card and interface, evidently headed for Google Now.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Update: The feature, dubbed touch to search, is live as of Chrome 38.
Google sometimes gives us a hint of what it's working on if you're willing to dig for it. Buried in the new Chrome Beta for Android update is something called contextual search. It's not completely functional right now, but you can take a peek at some aspects of it.
To enable contextual search in Chrome Beta, go to chrome://flags/#contextual-search in the address bar. Read More
Much of Android is open to tinkerers, but Google has gradually closed off more and more of the default functionality. The most awesome aspects of the KitKat dialer - its ability to search for businesses and contacts from within the app - were not included in the open source version. So what's a ROM developer to do? Why, create their own alternative. The OmniROM folks have previously shown off their work, and now the CyanogenMod team has packed similar functionality, albeit seemingly more powerful, into the latest nightlies. Read More
Android users have been enjoying Google Now for nearly two years, but Google's algorithmically generated info cards are finally reaching the desktop. After showing up in the developer and beta channels, Google Now is rolling out to Chrome stable beginning today.