Words are awesome. For writers they're meat and drink, bread and butter, and everything else that goes on the dinner table. But even writers run into words we've never seen before, and at times like that Google Search is an awesome tool for expanding my vocabulary. Google Search just got a little better, because the definition cards have been updated to include word origins and their usage over time.
The origins aren't just a simple footnote, either, such as "Germanic" or "Latin." No, we're talking full trees of information, with base words, root words, prefixes, suffixes, alternate forms, transliterations, and all kinds of other goodies.
Duolingo, the much-loved app/game for learning new languages, got its second significant Android update this morning since being released back in May. Version 1.2 of the app brings with it the ability to store up to an hour of lessons on-device for offline use. Previously, Duolingo required an always-on internet connection in order to download your lessons and stay in sync with the server, but with the latest update this is no longer necessary.
There is a new Google Search update rolling out, and it's bringing a bunch of new functionality to Google Now. There are new cards for car rentals, concert tickets, commute sharing, NCAA football, updated transit, new TV info, and better reminders. It's like we're drowning in cards here.
The Chrome team is pushing out an update to all the good little Chromecasts of the world. This one doesn't come with any changes to the UI or new features, but it does promise to improve the stability for Google Play Movies playback, and should make Chromecast devices discoverable on more networks. You won't need to do anything to get this installed on your end, the OTA will automatically download and install when it's your turn.
Mozilla UI Engineer Lucas Rocha, in a post to his blog earlier today, announced Firefox's "biggest UI change … since [its] first native release back in June last year."
The UI update, Rocha explains, includes a completely redesigned and rewritten Awesomescreen, which combines the interactive and functional aspects of the start page and the old Awesomescreen into one page with super-smooth swipable tabs. For those who aren't familiar with Mozilla's mobile browser, the Awesomescreen allows users to quickly get a handle on their bookmarks and browsing history.
EA isn't letting its mega mobile racing franchise stagnate. The latest update to Real Racing 3 is version 1.3, adding iconic muscle cars from Dodge and Shelby. Four cars have been added to the roster: the 1969 Dodge Charger RT, 1971 Dodge Challenger RT, 1966 Shelby AC Cobra 427 (I think - going by a screenshot and some Wikipedia sleuthing), and the 1967 Mustang Cobra GT500.
According to the What's New text, there are also new events, new difficulty settings, tweaks to car physics and cameras, and "additional social networking options." Posters on the FireMonkeys developer forum say that means Google+ integration, as a G+ sign-in option has been added to the Settings page.
Given the major Keep update to v2 today, I got excited when I saw that Hangouts was updated as well a short time after. Unfortunately, it seems like it's a very minor bump: from 126.96.36.1993199 to 188.8.131.528356.
A quick teardown revealed updated translations and some minor under-the-hood code changes that aren't anything to write home about. The changelog hasn't been updated either and still lists the added emoji support and other stuff from the previous v1.1 update.
Automatic app updates are a convenient way to stay up-to-date. The problem is, not everyone wants every app to update automatically. Thus, the Play Store has had an option for a while to disable automatic updates for specific applications, which could then be manually updated at the user's discretion.
However, therein laid another problem: the "Update All" option ignored this setting, and, once tapped, updated all apps with new versions available – including those that were set to not auto-update.
After about a month of beta testing and several updates, SwiftKey 4.2 has entered the Play Store for both phones and tablets. Without a doubt, the most significant feature in today's update is cloud sync that synchronizes your personal dictionaries between multiple devices.
Cloud sync uses your Google account for authentication and, in addition to syncing predictions, can also periodically download currently trending phrases as well as data from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and RSS feeds.
If your device hasn't gotten the YouTube v5 update today yet, and you're just itching to see the new navigation and UI, and experience the in-app multitasking first hand, we have your fix down below. Simply flash this verified APK to your phone or tablet, and your YouTube app will suddenly look better than ever before.