In an update to Gmail's web interface, Google has added support for attaching files stored in Drive to your emails like conventional attachments. Before, you had no choice but to share Drive files as links or upload them yourself. This is especially useful when sharing files to people who aren't using Gmail and therefore don't enjoy the smooth integration with Drive that Gmail has. For those worried that Google would abandon Gmail with the recent focus on Inbox, this is encouraging news.
Among the feature additions in the latest Hangouts update is the ability to switch between Google Voice and carrier SMS without diving into the app settings. All you have to do is tap on the "spinner," the toggle in the conversation window that already allowed you to alternate between Hangouts and SMS. Now, provided you have a Voice and carrier number, you'll have two SMS options.
Lucky developers and Google I/O attendees who received an Android Wear watch and tried to use navigation commands must have noticed that this aspect of the experience wasn't working at all. Commands simply wouldn't carry through to the phone. This will all be fixed with the update to Google Maps version 8.1.1.
The update, which should be pushed to your device or coming shortly, squashes the regular bugs and adds support for Android Wear devices.
There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.
It was just last week that the Google Glass team started pushing out eagerly awaited update to XE16. It was followed less than 24 hours later by a silent hotfix dubbed XRE15C. Unfortunately, these updates left many Glass owners with complaints about stability and an even shorter battery life than the device was already known for. Yesterday, in a bid to resolve some of these issues, the team began rolling out a new update to XE16.1.
Developers have certainly made great use of the Alpha and Beta distribution channels in the Play Store since they became available last summer. There was one glaring oversight: developers could only write a single block of text for the "What's New" section. This often led to changelogs that left beta testers in the dark about changes or confusing regular users with promises of new features and fixes that hadn't yet materialized in the stable channel.
Sticking with the cryptozoological theme, the Ouya folks have released the first console update of 2014 and it's called Jackalope. The update should appear on consoles in short order, and you'll have to update if you want to continue playing. However, that won't be the case next time thanks to that Jackalope magic.
If you haven't heard, Google makes a ton of Android apps. It can be a real hassle to keep up with them all, as the company is occasionally prone to updating a handful of them at once. So today we're lumping together new versions of My Tracks, Google Fiber, Google TV Search, Google Shopping Express, and Voice Search for Google TV all in one post. Links and changelogs for all five apps are available below.