Google Now has evolved into a surprisingly great contextual search and information system, but it still relies on user information for most of its content. According to a recent interview with Google's VP of search and assist Johanna Wright, that may be changing. QZ.com spoke to Wright, who let a few details on the possible addition of a local news card for Now.
One thing we’re testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card,” says Wright. “Which is really useful—it teaches me things about my neighborhood. For example, I found out Miss Mexico came to my son’s school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was stabbed in the park near my house.
A small but very much helpful update was announced for the Google Calendar app today: sync of notification dismissals across multiple devices. And yes, this is a staged rollout, so you will have to wait patiently for the updated app to actually become available. Hopefully it won't take long.
That's really the only change, aside from the standard bug fixes. This new cross-device sync will not dismiss notifications for skinned calendar apps on devices like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One, of course, so you may just want to disable notifications for such apps and use Google Calendar exclusively at this point, because this is too convenient a feature to pass up. Read More
The new Verizon DROID devices announced last week had been thoroughly leaked before the event, but one thing nobody expected was Motorola's new X8 mobile computing platform. The Google subsidiary was intentionally vague when discussing the chip, leaving us scratching our heads. Now Motorola has opened up about the hardware powering those DROIDs, and maybe the Moto X, which will be announced tomorrow.
We already knew the X8 was based on a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. However, the X8 isn't a processor – it's not even a single system-on-a-chip. The Snapdragon serves as the SoC, with the new Motorola "contextual computing" and "natural language" processors nearby. Read More
Manufacturing smartphones is a competitive game. I'm talking playing StarCraft in South Korea rough. Succeeding in this market is akin to getting into an Ivy League university, then going on to join the NFL. It's not impossible, but neither is becoming president. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. It must be too hot for NEC, as they're bowing out of the smartphone market. Given that this was one of their latest models, the news doesn't come as too much of a surprise.
To be more specific, the Japanese multinational explained that it is ending the development, manufacturing, and sale of smartphones other than those that are currently available. Read More
When it comes to video games, all soldiers are expendable. But when it comes to online multiplayer shooters, they're also respawnable. That's right, there's no ambiguity in Zynga's latest title. The Respawnables is an action-packed shooter with pick-up-and-play multiplayer modes. This game was in a limited beta, but now it's found its way into the Play Store, and it doesn't cost a dime.
The Respawnable is a third-person shooter with over 100 single-player missions complete with fast-paced cartoony violence and unlockable characters. This is nice, but it's the multiplayer that is the star of the show, and players can jump into online games without having to create an account or deal with any other hassle. Read More
While the AT&T Galaxy S III received its Android 4.1 update way back in December 2012, it still had yet to get the Samsung "Premium Suite" upgrade with the much-vaunted multi window feature. Starting today, that update is rolling out - a full two months after even infamously-slow Verizon managed with its own S III. Better late than never, I guess.
Here's AT&T's brief changelog:
Software update includes
- Multi Window: You can open two different apps at the same time into two different windows on the mobile screen.
- Auto Share Shot with NFC: By setting the camera to "Auto Share Shot" mode, you can quickly share your photos and videos by simply tapping their GALAXY S III with other NFC and S-Beam enabled devices
- Camera features: Paper artist and best face options.
Thanks to an update released today, the AT&T Pantech Discover is making the jump to Android 4.1.2. It may be two versions behind at this point, but it still gives users access to Google Now, which is perhaps the biggest advancement that Jelly Bean has to offer. Now you would be forgiven for seeing this phone's brand and rolling your eyes, but the Discover is actually a competent device. With its 4.8 720p screen, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and massive 12.6 megapixel camera, this has the taste - if not the smell - of a high-end device. It only costs $49 from AT&T with a two-year contract, and it comes with an "easy experience" theme that perhaps makes this a compelling handset for users who would be otherwise intimidated by a vanilla Android device. Read More
Google's single biggest source of revenue is advertisements. The AdSense platform is a big part of that, allowing web content owners to manage their Google ads, revenue, and monitor performance. It's safe to say that, for Google, AdSense is a hugely important product. A hugely important product that didn't have an Android app until today, which is kind of weird!
The AdSense app will allow you to access information about revenue, top custom and URL channels, your ad units, various reports, and payment alerts. While it doesn't sound like it will let you to actually do much with AdSense from your phone, it does give you a bunch of useful stats and readouts that were previously a bit of a pain in the butt to access on mobile. Read More
At this very moment in time, the new Nexus 7 is probably the hottest tablet on the planet. There's a good reason for that, too: Google built on what it started last year with the first gen N7, improving it in almost every way. The new generation has a faster processor, double the RAM, and a higher-resolution display, just to name some of the most obvious changes. Early reviews of the device (worry not, ours is on the way) have praised it almost endlessly, proving that Google really hit the mark with its newest small tablet.
Naturally, as an Android user, you want this tablet. Read More
There's a large market for a device like the Vibease wearable smart vibrator, which has been on Indiegogo for all of a day and has already exceeded its $15,000 fundraising goal by a full $10,000. There are the proud independent women who swear they don't need a man. There are the husbands who just want to keep the misses happy, even though they don't really know how. There's the leagues of Fifty Shades of Grey fans who just found out kink is a thing and are now raring to dip their fingers in this brave new world. Then there are us young millennial couples who grew up learning about these things from the internet anyway, so why not give something like this a try? Read More