Google Now is never short on surprises. The personal assistant/wizard living in Google's Search app (technically it's Google's "Google" app now) can do some amazing tricks, and no matter how long you've used the app, there are always new features being discovered, added, or improved.
One such feature that's come to our attention is Google's ability to show you a countdown to important events based on your reminders. Basically, if you have a reminder related to an event Google knows about (like Christmas, for instance), Google will pick up on that and - on your reminder card - serve you a countdown. Read More
With the obvious exception of watch faces themselves, there aren't many parts of Android Wear that actually benefit from the round screens of the Moto 360 and the upcoming G Watch R - not even Google's official apps. A new and relatively humble tip calculator is the first Wear app I've seen that makes really excellent use of the extra radial space. It's called (appropriately) Wear Tip Calculator.
The app uses a circular design. Read More
For the relentless proof-readers among us, we've got a quick tip pointed out today by Reddit user SuperNanoCat. When writing in an editable text box on Android, users can highlight a word or chunk of text, then press and hold to drag it around.
This feature has actually been around for quite some time, possibly as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's a feature most users have only used accidentally. Read More
It's time to point out a little-known feature in Chrome's omnibox that may save you a tap or two. If you're looking for something on the page you're currently viewing, rather than tapping on your overflow or menu button, going to "find in page" and typing your search string, you can do it via Chrome's omnibox as shown below. Take a look at the first option with the magnifying glass inside the box. Read More
It turns out Spotify Connect has a very useful feature that the company hasn't done much to make immediately obvious. The service, which lets you stream music to WiFi-connected speakers from your smartphone or tablet, also lets you pump music to other Android devices. The devices don't even have to be on the same network, for that matter. You can connect from an LTE network, as you can see in the screenshots below. Read More
When it comes time to pull the trigger on a new app, the reviews are typically what make or break the decision. If the app's instable, laden with malware, full of bugs, or is generally all-around janky, the reviews give us a heads up. The only problem is that it's difficult to sift through all the reviews to find the ones most relevant to our needs. This used to not be a problem, but the ability to filter reviews went the way of the dodo following the Play Store's relatively recent redesign. Read More
Gmail 4.5 started rolling out today to Android devices (have you installed your update yet?), and immediately some of you noticed that it has definitely shuffled some things around. The bottom bar moved up top, the navigation is now on the left, and the multi-select checkboxes are gone. Don't worry, though - multi-select functionality hasn't disappeared. In fact, it's still very easy to use.
Between Hangouts, the gorgeous new Maps, Play Music All Access, and everything else discussed in I/O's opening keynote this morning, several revisions to the Play Store developer's console were announced.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to the console will be an organized method for alpha and beta testing, and staged rollouts. Basically, developers can select alpha and beta testers, receiving all feedback directly (instead of through reviews) and, when the time comes, roll out the app to certain percentages of the user base. Read More
When I went hands-on with Facebook's new launcher a few days ago, I stepped away pleased with the overall experience, but felt that it lacked a lot of the features a power user (or even a regular user who does stuff) would like. Still, I found the "lock screen" functionality to be a very pleasant experience – turning my phone on to nothing more than a scrolling photo and the time is very minimal and relaxing. Read More
Remember that little diagonal arrow that used to appear next to suggestions in the Google Search box as you typed? The arrows could be used to insert suggestions into the search bar, while you kept typing away. For a while now, though, the arrows have been missing from Google Search. Those that want that feature back are in luck, however – astute Redditor Foxsbiscuits notes that a simple long-press will fling search suggestions into the search bar, providing essentially the same functionality with a slightly more discreet UI. Read More