30
May
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Google's reinvention of the Chrome bookmark system, called Google Stars, was first spotted by Florian Kiersch nearly a month ago. Today, it looks like the Chrome extension and web interface are already live for the public, preceding any official word from Google about the burgeoning bookmarking service. For now, it looks like Stars is still in a dogfooding or testing phase.

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dogfood

Users who install the Chrome extension (linked at the bottom of the post) will be able to access the service's web interface, which will automatically "add the Google magic to your data," collecting a history of topics you're interested in or things you've bookmarked, arranged automatically by date.

28
May
search

Several days ago, it was brought to our attention that Google's Search app finally allowed completely touchless reminders, whereby a user could set a reminder from start to finish without touching the device. Previously, reminders required a touch confirmation at the end of the process. Now, the "voice of Google" simply asks if the user would like the reminder to be set. Saying "yes" will complete the interaction.

It seems this isn't the only server-side switch Google is pulling, though.

27
May
Chromecast-Thumb

Today's a big day for Chromecast. Earlier today we reported that Google's little magic media stick was ready to stream shows to TVs in Japan and Austrialia. Now we see that the device has also arrived in Belgium, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland as well.

Update: The devices section of Google Play may have just opened its virtual doors in Norway, but the Chromecast has actually been available in the country for two months now.

27
May
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Google doesn't so much hate Europe as it seems to be woefully indifferent to the plight of Android users in many of those nations who often lack choices in awesome devices. Well, things are looking up for a few more countries today. The Google Play device section is open to users in Norway and Switzerland starting now.

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Norwegian Play Store

27
May
chromecast

You guys like streaming Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and lots of others to your TV, right? Of course you do, because bigger is better when it comes to watching movies, videos, or TV. It's a scientific fact.

Today, users in both Australia and Japan are finally able to get that satisfied feeling of hitting the "Connect to Chromecast" button, as Google's nifty little streaming gadget is now available in both countries.

It'll set Australian users back $50, and is available from Google Play, Dick Smith, and JB HiFi, according to Ausdroid.

25
May
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It's been more than six months since we revealed changes in the code of the YouTube Android app that indicated the long-rumored YouTube streaming service was imminent. So what's the holdup? A rocky relationship between YouTube and independent music publishers may be to blame. Late last week the Worldwide Independent Network, a trade organization for indie musicians and labels, issued a press release decrying Google's treatment of independent labels.

ytmusic

The press release explicitly states that YouTube has approached labels both big and small with contracts for a new music service...

24
May
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During CES this year, Google and NVIDIA announced partnership with GM, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai in forming the Open Automotive Alliance. The initial announcement was predictably sparse on details, noting only the initiative's core principles, and the goal of bringing Android to cars. After hearing approximately nothing about the effort since then, we now have information that gives us a first look at Google's vision for Android in the Car, referred to internally as Gearhead.

23
May
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Last Updated: May 24th, 2014

Yoel Kaseb, who last month posted a series of screenshots purporting to show a revamped Google+ interface (which ended up being proven mostly accurate in a recent update), is back again, this time posting photos of what is allegedly a new Gmail interface.

Before we discuss, let's look at the photos. For the sake of clarity, I've used the photos to quickly create a clearer, full-res mockup of the interface shown.

23
May
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We've already seen that Google is working on some pretty incredible things with Project Tango, the space-aware smartphone project that's essentially capable of capturing 3D maps of indoor locations. The team behind Tango – Google's ATAP – is already working with NASA to use prototypes in autonomous robots to aid astronauts on the Space Station, but now it looks a Tango-esque device could be coming a lot closer to home than that.

21
May
nexusae0_ic_launcher_alarmclock_thumb

Back in April, we posted a rumor that Google Now was on track to properly handle timer queries (like "set a timer for five minutes") using the clock app's built in timer functionality, rather than simply setting an alarm.

Nearly a month later, we saw mention of the functionality in a teardown of the Search app itself, and today it looks like that functionality has finally been switched on.

Users who say "Set a timer for [time]" will be greeted with a card letting them know the timer is about to commence, with the option to skip straight to starting the timer.

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