You've already got Google voice commands, but what about something with a little more personality? Microsoft has got you covered, or rather, it will in a few weeks. Redmond is working on a version of its Cortana virtual assistant app for Android.
Google's current Photos app uses some image processing smarts to piece together auto-awesome compilations and Stories, but the new Photos experience pushes the limits of computer vision. Not only does it pick out and identify faces, it recognizes objects like cars and food. It's not perfect, but it's sometimes creepily accurate.
Roman Nurik works for Google, but he also develops really cool (and free) Android apps from time to time. He's the man behind Dash Clock, Muzei, and now the FORM Watch Face for Android Wear. You can grab it right now and enjoy it all on its own, or you can take advantage of the sweet Muzei functionality.
We gave you an overview of the new Google Photos app earlier today, but there's a lot more to see than can be covered in a single post. We're breaking some of the new features out so we can go over them in detail. First up, the new link sharing component of Google Photos. Not only can you share photos or videos in a snap, you can preserve some of your privacy while doing it.
Apps with tens of millions of users tend to either spend a lot of time and effort conforming to Android's visual standards... or spend none at all, considering their own cross-platform UI more important. Dropbox has tended to fall into the former category, but it's taken them a while to get on board with the Material Design standards introduced with Android 5.0. That changes today: version 184.108.40.206 adds a new UI that follows the Material Design playbook.
There's little doubt in anyone's mind that Microsoft has been marching forward with its cross-platform strategy over the past months. The company has been releasing more and more apps for Android and iOS, trying to spread its wings beyond its own operating systems and grab a few users across the pond. While some of these apps are the serious productive tools that we expect from Redmond, others have been quirky, experimental, and sometimes even wtf-worthy. That's not the case with OneClip.
Most updates to the Chromecast app don't warrant a full post around here, but holy crap, you guys. This one has backdrop history, finally. The app will now let you page through the last few images displayed on your Chromecast so you can find out what they were.
In Part 1 of this teardown, we saw what may be the return of Android@Home, or at least something similar. There were also new pieces to Nearby, Google's unique technology for finding two devices (and people) in close proximity, and a possible (subtle) change to the way Smart Lock responds to wearable devices. In Part 2, we'll continue with the possible centralization of Chrome Sync to Play services, project Sidewinder, a mysterious appearance by Facebook, and more.
If you're looking for a nearby place to eat and want directions on how to get there, open Google Maps first. If you try using the Google Search app or the web, you probably won't get the results you want.
You see, Search is currently having a hard time giving out directions. If you tap the icon underneath a restaurant, it will open up Google Maps, but after that... nothing.