The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.
Nest was already smarter than your average thermostat, coming with an app that serves as your mobile command and control center. But now that the hardware is integrated with Google Now, it's even easier to communicate with the device. Wish it were a little bit warmer? Just say the word.
We knew this functionality was coming, it was just a matter of waiting for Google to flip the switch. Now that everything's working, Nest will respond to any number of voice commands following the words OK Google, including change the temperature to, turn the thermostat to, set Nest at, alter the temp, and seemingly everything in between.
This fall HTC surrounded the launch of the Desire EYE with a series of camera-centric features that also trickled out to some of the manufacturer's other devices. The company made a big deal of these innovations, releasing no shortage of trailers showing off
gimmicks enhancements ranging from face tracking and capturing video using both cameras at once to fusing faces together and instantly applying makeup.
Now HTC has released an app into the Play Store that it can use to update the video chat-related features among the list.
It looks like the latest release of the YouTube app for Android has at least one more trick up its sleeve that escaped our notice in the APK Teardown. Reader Dan saw that when he opened up a live streaming video in the Android app, there was a new "Live Chat" option at the bottom. Tap the up arrow or slide the bar to the top of the window, and you can read the live chat going on in the YouTube channel.
Have you ever let the number of tabs in Google Chrome get out of hand? A nifty trick has popped up in Chrome Beta's tablet interface, now making it simple to deal with a large amount of tabs. Simply press and hold on the "X" you would normally use to close a single tab, and you will be prompted with a small dialogue that says "Close all tabs." Hit that and you have a clean slate.
OK, European readers. We know Google doesn't always put a rush on features and products outside of the United States. America got lane guidance (which tells you which lane to get into before you approach a turn or exit) way back in May. It looks like US roads were the only ones on which this feature was available, at least until yesterday, when Google announced lane guidance for some European countries on the official Google Europe blog.
Voracious readers and Word-A-Day calendar fans, this one is for you. While the latest update to Google Play Books isn't anywhere near as dramatic as the Material Design refresh six weeks ago, it nonetheless adds a couple of features that regular readers will find useful. First of all, version 3.3 adds a downloadable dictionary option to augment Play Books' instant lookup feature. To apply it, just highlight a word in any book and then tap the contextual "download" button.
One of the things I love about Android is the way it allows fantastic customization of its user interface, even without root or other major modifications. Take App Swap for example: this handy little app drawer replacement can launch either from a standard shortcut on your launcher (or alternative methods like SwipePad) or it can replace the default Google Now swipe-up-from-the-home-button gesture.
The latest update to this tool adds an even more useful feature: Quick Swipe.
For a long time, Google's My Tracks app was basically a niche app, if not just a novelty. However, the recent addition of Android Wear support started to get things to make more sense. Location tracking on a smart watch is more convenient and may render obsolete the GPS watches of yesteryear. With the new 2.0.9 update, My Tracks has Google Fit support, giving My Tracks some credibility as a fitness app.