Think of smartwatches now like smartphones were around 2008 - despite the fact that the idea has been around for a long time, everyone is still trying to figure out the best way to go about it. In Android Wear, Google is trying to make a super-simple interface based on short swipes, taps, and voice commands... which leaves a lot of users craving more conventional tools. So we've got a launcher, a web browser, a file explorer (ugh) and now a substitute for the Recent Apps menu in Android OS.
Here's something that you might not know about Chrome for Android: you can search for text within a web page by typing your query in the URL bar, without using the menu button to manually tap the "find in page" tool. When searching for non-URL queries, you can tap the first result with the magnifying glass icon in the corner to search the text of the current page.
(If Chrome's URL bar auto-fills an address, just press backspace.)
It's a little-known feature - in fact, an informal Google+ poll from our own Artem Russakovskii found that less than half of over 700 users even knew it was there.
Just like any open marketplace, there's a lot of crap in the Play Store. In a strange and roundabout way, I'm actually OK with that - separating the silver from the dross of Android apps is one of our core functions at Android Police. But a recent promotion from antivirus vendor Trend Micro painted an extremely dim picture of the Play Store. The company claimed, among other things, that the Play Store was full of "potentially evil doppelgangers...
Earlier this month, when we recapped all the rumor and leak posts we had published leading up to Google I/O, hands-free functionality called Android Eyes-Free (codenamed KITT) was marked as "partially live." For those in need of a refresher, our post outlined in-car functionality that would carry a stripped-down interface, notifications read aloud by Google, and a new hand-waving gesture used to wake the device.
While the hands-free hotword functionality has already debuted, the dedicated in-car interface, void of any visual chrome, has yet to be revealed (or even really hinted at) by Google.
Got an Android Wear device? If so, there's a mic on your wrist, so you might as well use it to keep track of all the insightful things that come tumbling out of your mouth. Or random craziness, whichever you're more prone to. Wear Audio Recorder lets you record voice notes from the watch, which are then pushed over to the phone.
Welcome to the future, ladies and gents. Your jacket isn't dry, your pizza isn't freeze-dried, and your car can't fly, but if it comes from Tesla, it's still pretty cool. If you also happen to have an Android Wear device, you can pretend to be Michael Knight by talking to your car through your watch, thanks to the unofficial Tesla Command app for Wear. Unfortunately it won't talk back, unless you count honking the horn.
Games are about a lot of things. This one is about emotions. Thomas Was Alone may not look it from the screenshots, but its characters are going to suck you in and stick with you for a long time. Yes, these little squares are absolutely endearing, and you're going to care about them more than you think before this journey is up.
If it isn't immediately obvious, Thomas Was Alone is no ordinary platformer.
Google added it's own version of Microsoft's "track changes" feature a few weeks back as part of its big I/O revamp of Drive. Starting today, Google Docs can import the tracked changes from a .docx file and load them up as Suggested Edits.
Update: The Android version of Shazam has now received this update as well. Here's the new changelog posted to the Play Store.
This release brings full track playback in Shazam, powered by Rdio. Once you’re connected, you can play any track and carry on listening to the music as you discover more in the app. Shazam a song to get started.
Shazam, the company whose app uses a phone or tablet's microphone to identify a song or TV show, has partnered with Rdio to offer users full in-app song playback.
It takes a lot for an Android web browser to get our attention. We've got Chrome in all its Googleyness, and we've got Dolphin if you need something more extensible. But the new Atlas browser beta, from NextApp (developers of SystemPanel App), may just warrant your attention. In addition to speedy rendering and surprising responsiveness, Atlas has some advanced features hidden behind a solid user interface. Oh, and did we mention it uses some Material Design cues in its visuals?