Google has found ways of letting us send text messages, perform search queries, and launch apps using our voice. Some of this functionality has made its way over to the desktop, such as asking Google questions. Starting now, if you open a tab to Google Docs, you can also write out documents.
If you're wondering when you'll be able to get your hands on those new Nexus phones that have been leaking like a newborn on laxatives, Cnet has an answer for you: September 29th. The tech news agency quotes "people familiar with the company's plans" in its unconfirmed post, saying that the two new devices from Huawei and LG will get their official debut at a press event in San Francisco. Google itself didn't comment, of course.
Remember Mobilegeddon? This was Google's search ranking change for searches done on smartphones that placed pages that are "mobile-friendly" higher. For people who don't run non-mobile-friendly websites, this was a relatively non-controversial change.
Of course, it is up to Google to decide what does and does not make a good website for the small screen. Today, they announced that a big prompt—also known as an interstitial—telling you to install an app makes a website not worthy of the "mobile-friendly" label and the benefits that come with it.
Unlike the original change, there are some real heavy hitters that use this tactic.
Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
Interoperable and open;
Optimized for the web;
Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.
Google's new logo is just the beginning. Naturally, given how many of the company's apps populate most of our Android devices, the change affects the experience we'll have on our smartphones and tablets. Google's new branding will obviously appear when you access the search engine in a mobile browser, but that's just the beginning. The changes are also finding their way into Android's dedicated Search app and Google Now cards.
Google has changed in unforeseeable ways since 1998, but its logo has remained largely the same. Things get smoother here, bolder there. Designers have tweaked the font and the shapes of letters, but we're always treated to the same six letters in the same four colors.
Today Google is continuing that tradition with its latest logo, though it has hit a new extreme. Letters are now completely flat. The font has gone sans-serif. It's simple and easier to picture on a gadget than in print.
We've received information from a reliable source detailing basic specifications for the upcoming 5.2" Nexus phone being produced by LG. First things first: we don't even know if Nexus 5 is the name. And because it's probably the most-wanted piece of information: we don't know excactly how much it will cost, other than to say it's likely it will be at a sub-flagship level. Does that mean $300? $400? $500? We really don't know, so your guess is as good as ours here.
Getting back to the major specifications, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808 will be powering the whole show, and that's no real surprise - the 808 has been consistently rumored to feature in one of the two alleged upcoming Nexus phones.
Earlier this month, Google surprised us with OnHub, a $200 WiFi router made in partnership with TP-Link that looks great and packs in some smart technology (even if it only has one ethernet port). We knew Google planned to release an app to pair with and control the OnHub, and today Google On hit the Play Store.
The app appears to be super straight-forward, guiding users through initial setup with a variety of simple, pleasing illustrations, and - after that - allowing for easy troubleshooting, speed testing, and network sharing. Users can also rename their network or change the password, and the app even has a feature to "remotely provide or receive help from friends and family." On's interface relies on shades of blue and teal that should be familiar to OnHub customers, matching the device's body and glowing light (assuming you went for the blue version).
If you use Google Play Music on your Chromecast on a regular basis, you may have noticed a few issues lately. According to this Google support forum thread, casting Play Music to a nearby Chromecast has been broken for about three weeks for at least some users. Once the music playback begins on the television it reports an error shortly thereafter. Multiple users began reporting the same problem and similar issues.
It doesn't seem to be universal - trying out the casting feature in Google Play Music on my Nexus 6 and SHIELD TV doesn't appear to be broken - but enough people are experiencing it that it's beginning to gain notice.
In an apparent effort to boost app discoverability and engagement, it looks like Google is rolling out a beautiful new layout for "apps" search results on mobile. Doing a quick search for pretty much anything followed by the word "apps" will get you a grid of app results above the normal search results, each block colored according to the app's icon. Clicking the "expand" button opens up the grid, with more results smoothly flowing in. Check it out in motion below.
Worth noting is that these results seem to only appear on Android for now - the download numbers and ratings of course reflect Play Store stats, and each block will take you to the relevant Play Store listing.