There are a lot of challenges to running a small business effectively. Some people just don't have the time, patience, or desire to deal with tasks that aren't part of the core business, like taxes and advertising. To help with the latter, Google created AdWords Express, a simplified version of AdWords that makes advertising simple to set up and track without having to dedicate much effort. Today, Google also launched a handy app to make managing your AdWords Express account from your phone as simple as possible.
Google blew a lot of minds with its Android Wear announcement yesterday. The ambitious project, which aims to put a specialized version of Android on as many wearables (for now watches) as possible, has been talked about, analyzed, and previewed heavily for the past 24 hours, but there's still more to discuss.
Today, we've got the Android Wear launcher (extracted from the emulator) as it currently exists. This is an early version of the home launcher that you'll see on the Moto 360 and likely other wearable devices coming in the near future.
Have you ever been in a situation that warranted the need for instant access to your phone's camera? Then you fumbled around, unlocking things and swiping all over, only to miss the moment. Shame, really. If only there were a way to grab your phone and say "take a picture!" and make it happen.
Google apparently knows your pain, so you know what it did? Added "take a picture" to the voice actions in Search.
Last month Qualcomm released the SDK for its Toq smartwatch, inviting developers to create much needed apps for the device. Unsurprisingly, software hasn't exactly flooded in. Nevertheless, the Toq has just scored its largest win yet - the latest Augmented SmartWatch Pro update adds support for Qualcomm's wristwatch.
Primary features center around real-time alerts. Here are some fuzzy screens showing a Fitbit card and a weather alert.
The app also supports up to three Tasker tasks, with opening the card serving as the trigger.
For people who have a Comcast cable subscription, the Xfinity TV Go app is quite the nice piece of software. Rather than just providing shows for immediate streaming, which is less groundbreaking these days than it used to be, Comcast provides quite a few channels for live streaming. Now many more networks are available, including A&E, Cooking Channel, DIY, Food Network, HGTV, History Channel, MUN2 (companion to Telemundo), Sprout, Starz, TBS, TRUtv, TNT, and the Travel Channel.
For our readers across the pond, BBC iPlayer takes some of the network's shows and provides them for easy viewing on Android devices. What about the TV? The latest version of the app has that covered too. This would be a surprise, but we already spilled the beans on this release a few days ago. We knew this update was to coincide with the launch of Chromecasts in the UK on March 19th, and now it's here.
Today, Skype is delivering on a promise that it made back in July of last year. That's a long while to wait for an update, but this one is pretty major. In short, the team has carefully crafted an update for Skype for Android that allows it to run in the background with virtually no impact on battery life. That's what they're claiming, anyway.
Essentially, the application (and the service as a whole) had to undergo some major re-thinking, which led to a "transformation" of the way Skype actually works.
Sometimes Android fans outside of the US feel a bit left out by Google. Not without good reason (and not without telling us and everyone else about it) - Google tends to focus on America for major products and features and expand them to the rest of the world at their leisure. Well Android users down under can now use the voice activation in Google Search and Google Now, or at least use it with a little more ease.
Google's messaging situation has been a mess. When Hangouts first appeared, it replaced Google+ Messenger and Google Talk, bringing the company's list of similarly-named Android apps from four down to three. Once Hangouts gained SMS support and replaced Messenger, that dropped the number down to two. Voice is all that remains, and if a report by 9to5 Google is to be believed, we only have a handful of months to wait for it to kick the bucket, with a possible Google I/O announcement seeming increasingly likely.