Back when we first took a look at the design initiative that would become "material design," we noted that Google planned to update apps incrementally, with changes happening over an unspecified period of time, until they'd evolved to full compliance. A couple of months ago Hangouts began its journey, but to many the app still doesn't feel quite up to par. A messy, improperly-layered drawer, lack of some familiar actions from the app's previous iteration, and of course no revised launcher icon are a few complaints begging for resolution.
A few months ago Google purchased the developer of the impressive WordLens app, which translates text and signs from another language into your own simply by pointing your camera at it. The text appears in your language through the lens, as if you had super-powered Translate-O-Vision. As with Waze and Google Maps, it looks like Google's own Translate app will soon see the benefit of that acquisition. Check out the screenshots below, taken from an upcoming version of Google Translate.
Update: It's live.
Last night, we revealed a project codenamed Bigtop that Google has been working on for a few years. And now, I feel confident enough to announce that it's launching later today as 'Inbox by Google' (not to be confused with Inbox).
According to multiple sources, the service, which has been in development since 2012, is going to be invite-only at launch, just like Gmail was, and will at first target Gmail users.
Reaching "Inbox zero" is not an easy task. Especially when there are those emails that might require future action, or those that hang in a nebulous state of still being useful despite the conversation having ended. It's also not very easy to parse out exactly what you need to get done after poring over a page of emails. To address both of these issues (and a few others), Google has been working on a project called Bigtop.
One of Samsung's claims to fame is a feature meant to improve productivity on mobile devices. One that users of stock Android and manufacturer skins alike have been yearning for for a while. That feature is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps on the screen at once, dragging and dropping between the two.
The problem is no one has been able to get it right yet. A company in the mobile space - in this writer's opinion - has yet to perfect the balance between utility and intuition when it comes to multi-window functionality on tablets (or phones, though I haven't used the Note 4 yet), but a post to Android Internals in March confirmed that Google had been working on the programmatic side of multi-window in stock Android.
Just a couple of days ago, we posted a quick look at what the next Nexus phone would look like (along with some spec confirmations), based on new information and materials we had seen. That image however, as stated before, was just a reproduction of what we'd seen (redrawn to protect our source and eliminate any possible identifiers). Today, though, we have what looks like a photo of the device.
If you've been keeping up with any tech blogs over the past couple of weeks, you know that the next Nexus phone has been a hot topic. We saw rumored specs and rumored hardware photos that only added to the confusion created back when we first reported on a possible 5.9" Nexus. Today, however, we have something special to share. We've been provided with new information about the next Nexus phone, and can confirm that it will be a 5.9" device called the Nexus 6.
Earlier last month, we posted an exclusive story about Google's explorations into a product called "Workshop," which would allow users to customize snap-on cases and live wallpapers for their Nexus phones. The effort would be a major step-up in what has historically been an inconsistent lineup of accessories for Google's devices.
From information made available to us, it appears Google plans to continue upping the offerings when HTC's nine-inch Nexus tablet becomes official.