At an event in California earlier today, Volkswagen officially announced that upcoming 2016 VW models will be Android Auto-ready. Which models? For now, what we know is this: most model year 2016 VWs at "SE" trim and above will likely pack the generation two MIB infotainment system, which has Android Auto (and Apple CarPlay). There are 6.5" and 8" versions of MIB 2, but both offer the same Auto experience.
Having an FM radio built right into your phone seems like a really good idea, but for some reason the feature seems to be relegated to "value" phones like the Moto G in the US. In fact, the OEM chipsets for a lot of devices (including many of Qualcomm's super-popular Snapdragon SoCs) include FM capability, but the manufacturer disables it for whatever reason. According to a quoted report on RadioWorld.com, that's going to change for Android phones on AT&T in 2016.
Xbox Music is now Groove. This is news that Microsoft detailed weeks ago, but it's only now—coinciding with the release of Windows 10—that we're seeing the name change on Android.
In the latest version, the rebranding has taken place. Microsoft highlights the ability to upload your music to OneDrive, stream music with a Music Pass subscription ($9.99 a month or $99 a year), and save files for offline use.
Real-time strategy seems to be all about hundreds of actions per minute these days, if you can even find a strategy game that's not a clone of Clash of Clans or League of Legends or Army of Alliteration. SPACECOM takes a different approach: it's a minimal sci-fi game where your captured star systems are just solar diagrams, your ships and fleets are a series of triangles, and there's a definite lack of guns or explosions.
If you've ever played Wing Commander: Armada, SPACECOM plays out like a real-time version of the strategy portions of that game (minus the full 3D space battles, of course).
Google started showing a few ads in the Play Store phone client earlier this year, but the feature has been in testing this whole time. Play Store ads are now available to all interested parties, so get ready to see a lot more of them.
Arrrrrrrrrre you ready for a new pirate game? No, not pirated. Pirate. We don't advocate stealing on this site. Well, unless you're a pirate—the sailing kind. Captain Sabertooth will let your family members have fun pirating in the good sort of way.
Users are reporting that Google has started slashing and burning old accounts in recent days, seemingly with no warning. The first sign something is wrong comes in the form of an alert sent to the user's backup email informing them their Google account has been deleted because of an unresolved terms of service violation. Whatever is going on, it's probably time to backup any unused accounts you have sitting around.
The Gmail support forums are packed with users reporting their old accounts have been nuked, and several Reddit threads have popped up in the last few days as well. Most affected users say the deleted accounts hadn't been used in a long time, possibly years.
Welcome to the future. No, really, it's the future, right here and right now. And not just because we've got mobile processors that can calculate Pi to the ten trillionth digit, or because our video games are starting to look more like movies than games. Nope, what makes me feel like I'm living in The Future(TM) more than anything else is how all that pie-in-the-sky Moore's Law tech gets applied to solving very human problems, like figuring out where the exit is in the Jakarta airport.
Case in point: Google's Translate app is applying the Word Lens visual translate tool, which lets you point your phone's camera to a sign or piece of paper and see the text in your native language, to 20 new languages.
If you have opened a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation in a web browser on your mobile device in the past week, you may have noticed that Google is rolling out a new look.
The updated interface is simpler, and the changes are consistent across all three services. An action bar stretches across the top that lets you go back or start editing. The title of the document sits in the center. In most cases the bar is gray, but it turns dark when viewing slides.
Google is taking this time to phase out the ability to edit Docs files on the web.
Do you like to frequent places when they're at their busiest or do you prefer to slip in when no one else is around? No matter. Google Search will now help you do both. When you search for certain establishments, Google will show you which times of the day are the most popular.
Just search for a place's name and click on its card in the search results. Underneath the address and phone number you might see a scrollable chart showing when folks tend to stop by.
Results will vary. I had success when trying Blue Bottle Williamsburg, the coffee shop in Google's example.