Long, long ago, in a forest far away, there lived a squirrel (I can't say for sure which forest it was, or which squirrel in particular, so you'll just have to trust me on this one). And this squirrel loved nuts. Hard nuts, soft nuts, furry nuts, big nuts, small nuts, black nuts, white nuts, red nuts...he just loved nuts. He thought about nuts all the time. He went to sleep thinking of nuts, and woke thinking of nuts.
A minor OTA update is now rolling out to the small population of people who happen to own Google Glass. This release, XE19.1, brings improved network connectivity, so Glass should now do a better job of handling spotty network issues when issuing voice commands. This is good considering how much Google's voice search relies on the web.
XE19.1 also brings in a slight visual revamp, as Glass now has a cleaner look for voice actions.
Google has certainly been busy today with all sorts of Play Store improvements, and here's a new version of the Android client to top it all off. Version 4.8.19 has started rolling out to devices, and we've got the APK below for you to install on your own.
We're digging in to see what's new. We already knew about the PayPal and some UI tweaks, but it's looking like there's more going on.
Google officially pulled the HTC One M7, Galaxy S4, Xperia Z Ultra, and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition devices from the Play Store not too long ago. Since then we've seen a couple of them pop up on sale across various distributors. When an eBay seller offered the Galaxy S4 for $499 ($150 off) last month, we considered that a deal. Before that, Expansys USA offered the Z Ultra for the low price of $349, $100 less than what Google last asked for it.
Since the beginning of Google+ itself, the service has required as part of its registration process that users fill out their real names in order to create a profile. Since the beginning of Google+ itself, people have found various ways to skirt this requirement, Google has added support for 'established' pseudonyms, and dropped the real name requirement for Google+ pages.
A lot of this, it seemed, was an effort to reign in the anonymous hate speech and trolling rampant on things like, I don't know, YouTube.
While we can't exactly call it Cards Against Humanity (they're a bit picky about that), there's a new game out for Android that works with your Chromecast to let you play basically-Cards-Against-Humanity with your friends, and it's called Cardcast. Cardcast allows you to create decks, download decks (including most of the official CAH decks), and all you need to play it are some friends, a Chromecast, and an Android device for each player.
Human society didn't really enter the modern era until we invented the remote control, because let's face it, no one wants to get up. The freedom to loaf around is an important part of life, and Universal Remote brings that to your PC. With today's update, it's much more attractive and useful. Unlike you... because of all that loafing around.
Update: This update is limited to Australia, New Zealand, and India, and addresses carrier support / fixes in those regions.
If you're seeing an update notification on your Nexus 5, you're not alone - Google is pushing a maintenance release of Android 4.4.4 to the smartphone, though this one appears to limited to a few corners of the world. New Zealand, Australia, and India should be seeing the OTA, which contains a new radio image, likely addressing issues with networks in those regions.
Google's HDMI dongle continues to spread across the world, bringing streaming video to bigger screens. This time the Chromecast has landed in Ireland just days after Google Play Movies became available. How convenient.
The device will cost €39 from the Play Store, which is somewhat higher than the US price when you figure in conversion. Until Android TV comes out, the Chromecast is the only way to beam content from all those cast-enabled apps to a TV.