The new activity recognition features introduced in the latest Google Play services update are just two days old, but SmarterApps has already released an AutomateIt update in the Play Store that takes advantage of the new functionality. The latest version touts the ability to make your phone smart enough to automate different tasks depending on if you're walking, running, biking, or driving.
The new sync adapter brought in via Wednesday's Google Play services update introduces a location reporting API, a task that previously was performed within apps themselves locally.
There is no arguing that the new Hangouts Android app, which replaces Google Talk and aims to unify several communication methods, has had a rough start. One of the main issues we've run into from the very beginning was wonky tablet support. In fact, most people couldn't install it at all because instead of the Update button, only a lone "Open" button would show up on tablets. Dan Morrill, one of our favorite Android engineers (HOLOYOLO!
We've covered MyScript Calculator several times here at AP, as its handwriting recognition / conversion is, simply put, pretty damn impressive. The developers behind this app have now taken the same technology and brought it to the note-taking table with its newest app, MyScript Notes. Check it out.
Pretty slick, no? This tablet-only app supports palm rejection, sync with popular apps like Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, S-Note, and more; and has nine available languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, Korean, and Japanese.
Field Trip is an oddity in Google's app lineup. It comes from Niantic Labs (the people who went on to create Ingress), looks fantastic, and it's made for a very specific kind of user. The app highlights attractions of historical, cultural, and entertainment value in your immediate area, using GPS and services like Thrillist, Zagat, and Cool Hunting to create a "hyperlocal" experience. Of course, any travel app is only good if it works where you are, which was a sticking point for international users.
Throughout the course of time, the US banking system has gone largely unchanged. There have been a variety of micro-evolutions – from cash to check, check to debit, and the like – but the way we interact with banks has remained much the same. Many people take comfort in the fact that they can walk into a local branch and speak with someone should a problem arise, but therein also lies the problem with banking as we know it: physicalbranches.
Hey, have you heard? Google Hangouts is now a thing. And by a thing, I mean Google's new universal, cross-platform chat solution. Ron's closer look hands-on should give you an idea of how Hangouts works (and how it doesn't). But the launch of Google's Talk / G+ Messenger replacement hasn't gone entirely smoothly, and there remain a few bumps to be ironed out - bumps Google has promised to fix.
The Nexus Q has had a tough life so far – that goes without saying. Things just got a little worse for the handful of us that use (and enjoy) the Q though – Google has seemingly sliced streaming support from the latest Play Music update, further reducing the impact of the Q's admittedly very limited use case.
Some users have actually reported problems with Q streaming dating all the way back to mid-March, and Google today responded to a thread on its Product Forums with the following:
Google made a big deal out of its improvements to the Play Store in the massive keynote that kicked off I/O, and at least some of them are live right now. Probably the most important for tablet owners is the ability to highlight apps specifically designed for tablets, or at least, the ones that have given some thought to layout and interface on larger screens. The updated tablet view is being rolled out right now, and on at least some devices (read:mine) it includes the option to filter out the smartphone chaff from the tablet wheat.
Between Hangouts, the gorgeous new Maps, Play Music All Access, and everything else discussed in I/O's opening keynote this morning, several revisions to the Play Store developer's console were announced.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to the console will be an organized method for alpha and beta testing, and staged rollouts. Basically, developers can select alpha and beta testers, receiving all feedback directly (instead of through reviews) and, when the time comes, roll out the app to certain percentages of the user base.
Google asserts that over 97% of mobile shoppers abandon their shopping carts because the process simply makes them jump through too many hoops. To free Android users from this heavy burden, Google has launched a new Google Wallet Instant Buy API that will allow mobile shoppers in Android apps to check out in as little as two clicks. No more poking out lengthy street address and re-looking up credit card information.