Remember Google Voice? Google's first stab at a voice-over-IP system is still up and running, though much of its functionality has been absorbed or augmented by the SMS and calling functions of Hangouts. It's a bit dusty in the Voice closet - the desktop web version of the service looks like a relic, and the Android app has only received a couple of maintenance updates in the last year and a half. But users who still rely on Google Voice as their primary phone number (like me!) have reason to be hopeful that the service hasn't been completely abandoned. Read More
Ever since Google+'s web interface was revamped, one function has been absent from the new redesign: image drag-and-drop. This meant that you had to click on the image picker, browse through a file system, then choose the image you want to insert into a new post or a comment. It's especially counter-productive when you're already flipping through your images and you think you've found one that you want to share on G+. Read More
I'm sure many of you, like myself, use Google Chrome as your main browser. Chrome was built from scratch, with the exception of its engine (which was WebKit at the time), to be for the modern web. The internet is no longer a series of text-only pages with images, and Chrome was built with modern web applications and security in mind.
If you don't know, a rendering engine is the part of a web browser that displays content. Chrome and Opera use Blink, Safari uses WebKit, and so on. Firefox's engine, called Gecko, has been around for ages. In fact, it was originally developed for Netscape Navigator all the way back in 1997 to replace their existing rendering engine. Read More
Google has long offered related searches at the bottom of search results, but this is a bit different. The above widget, which now appears for some users when you tap on a search result and then go back, shows relevant searches to whatever page you tapped on.
As opposed to the related search results at the bottom of each results page, this appears directly under whatever link you picked. Considering the vast amount of searches I do on my phone don't require me to scroll all the way down to the bottom, it makes sense to add recommendations directly into results. Additionally, the results seem to be tailored to the link itself, as opposed to being based on your query. Read More
Finding that one important file hidden in a sea of unrelated documents is never fun. Thankfully, Google is seeking to help solve that problem - at least for Google Drive users. Starting today, the Google Drive search bar on the web app can use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help you find documents. For example, searching "show me presentations from last year" brings up all your documents modified in last year with a presentation file type.
Google claims that this feature will only become more accurate as time goes on, so don't get your hopes up for perfect results quite yet. For example, I have a collection of old operating systems on ISO files, and when I search "iso files," a single JPEG file appears. Read More
Ugh, I have to think of another way to respond to this inane email. People always expect me to take care of their problems, but they never include enough information for me to have any idea what they're talking about.
Huh, what are these buttons at the bottom of the email? "Leave me alone." "Not this again." "You broke it, you fix it."
Google, you know me so well. But, this is a little creepy. Where are these responses coming from? Read More
Stop me if you've heard this one before, Google+ on the web now lets you pin posts to the top of your profile page. Okay, maybe you have. See, when Google recently redesigned the web interface for its version of addition (still available as a preview, not an official launch), the company left off some previous functionality. These days it's working on bringing some of those things back. Read More
The Google+ redesign from last week may look pretty, but it's also missing a lot of features that were available in the classic layout. This is true of every product revamp or relaunch: there will always be a tradeoff between getting all the bells and whistles of the new version and keeping the things you're used to on the old one. There's a whole help page that lays out most of the changes and features that the redesign still lacks, ranging from the simplification of profile pages to the (temporary) removal of polls from the web version. Fortunately, upgrading is still entirely optional, so for now you can stick with the classic version of Google+ if that suits you better. Read More
Another long design test appears to be drawing to a close for Google. After apparently beginning a wider rollout for the new mobile search UI (in testing since April), it seems that Google is making the revised image results UI final too.
This layout has been popping up since at least May, with a brighter, more crisp interface that offers more iconography, refined typography, and - yes - a section for related images. Read More
If you have opened a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation in a web browser on your mobile device in the past week, you may have noticed that Google is rolling out a new look.
The updated interface is simpler, and the changes are consistent across all three services. An action bar stretches across the top that lets you go back or start editing. The title of the document sits in the center. In most cases the bar is gray, but it turns dark when viewing slides.
Google is taking this time to phase out the ability to edit Docs files on the web. Read More