Google Now has evolved into a surprisingly great contextual search and information system, but it still relies on user information for most of its content. According to a recent interview with Google's VP of search and assist Johanna Wright, that may be changing. QZ.com spoke to Wright, who let a few details on the possible addition of a local news card for Now.
A small but very much helpful update was announced for the Google Calendar app today: sync of notification dismissals across multiple devices. And yes, this is a staged rollout, so you will have to wait patiently for the updated app to actually become available. Hopefully it won't take long.
That's really the only change, aside from the standard bug fixes. This new cross-device sync will not dismiss notifications for skinned calendar apps on devices like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One, of course, so you may just want to disable notifications for such apps and use Google Calendar exclusively at this point, because this is too convenient a feature to pass up.
Google's single biggest source of revenue is advertisements. The AdSense platform is a big part of that, allowing web content owners to manage their Google ads, revenue, and monitor performance. It's safe to say that, for Google, AdSense is a hugely important product. A hugely important product that didn't have an Android app until today, which is kind of weird!
The AdSense app will allow you to access information about revenue, top custom and URL channels, your ad units, various reports, and payment alerts.
Word processors were designed for desktop computers. Given that many of us still sit down at laptops or desktops when it's time to type, that isn't too much of issue. We generally consider those to be better devices for typing than tablets or smartphones, but how much of this stems from our reliance on software that isn't designed to truly adapt to mobile screens and interfaces? Quip is a freemium new word processing app designed explicitly for mobile devices, and it's hoping to change word processing to match our new lifestyles.
Chainfire has been a busy, busy developer. Just a few days ago he released the first working root app for Android 4.3, and now he's sharing an early alpha of his new location tracking project, GeoLog. It's similar to other coordinate logging applications, but takes full advantage of Google's new Fused Location Provider and Activity Recognition APIs (check out Google's demonstration at I/O) to determine how precisely it should be tracking your position, and if it should even be actively logging at all.
The Isis mobile payment platform backed by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile hasn't exactly taken off, but that's to be expected: today it's only available as a trial program in Austin and Salt Lake City. The latest press release from Isis announces that the NFC-powered platform will expand nationwide later this year, though a specific date was not mentioned. Isis is widely regarded as the reason that Google Wallet remains inaccessible to most Android users on the networks of its three founding companies.
The power button is supposed to wake up your phone, and ideally it should work every single time. On Android 4.3, however, that is not necessarily the case. Running the Netflix app seems to invariably cause the device to freeze the next time it is put to sleep. It's an annoying bug, but Googler Dan Morrill swung by a Reddit thread to confirm Google and Netflix are aware of the issue and have "top men" working on it.
It's here! Microsoft Office is finally here! Well, sort of. Following a similar release on the iPhone several months ago, Microsoft has released the official Office for 365 app for Android, as promised. It's a companion application for their cloud-enabled Office subscription service, and in order to use it, you'll need to be an Office 365 subscriber - plans start at $60 a year for a single user.
Office 365 is only available for Android phones.
As a Bank of America customer for almost ten years, I can give you a lot of reasons to hate them. But I must admit that the Android app isn't one. While initially a little shaky, the app has gently evolved into something that's perfectly serviceable, and today it gets another substantial update. The biggest addition is the ability to send or receive money through email addresses or phone numbers. Yes, that's exactly how PayPal works, but if you do it via BOFA, you won't have to wait 2-3 business days for another transfer.
I think photo spheres are pretty awesome, and they just got a big quality overhaul in Android 4.3, to boot. So when Google announces a new way to share this immersive images, that's always a good thing, and today, that's what happened. Views is a new community built into the new Google Maps for desktop web client, and it allows you to upload and view photo spheres inside Maps. You sign in with your Google+ profile, and from there, you can add photo spheres that have been synced to your Google+ Photos, or directly from your Android device by selecting "Maps" from the share dialog in the gallery.