Manually entering your payment information every time you check out on a new site (or app) is incredibly annoying. In fact, Google says virtual shopping carts are abandoned twice as often on mobile for that very reason. To help alleviate this problem, it looks like Google is working on a PayPal-like payment API that works on desktop and mobile. Read More
A brand new Pixel Launcher UI has been spotted at Google I/O during a sandbox session on Instant Apps. We've not seen anything official about it yet, so it's either going to be debuted soon, or somebody messed up and it's not even a fully tested product. It seems the unreleased launcher was being used to demo new functionality relating to the now more widely available Instant Apps, which it can show in search results alongside those on the Play Store. Previously, the launcher could only display apps already installed on your device. Read More
Google's speech recognition error rate is getting lower and lower - yesterday, the company said it's now under 5% and has dropped from 8.5% this time last year. And I find that to be more and more the case in my own use: Google seems to recognize almost everything I throw at it now, even when I add Lebanese/Arabic names from my contacts list that I wouldn't expect it to get right.
But if you're wondering how Google's speech recognition fares in comparison to other voice assistants, Wired has made a video in conjunction with Andy Wood and Matt Kirshen (from Probably Science) to show you just that. Read More
Last weekend, a huge turmoil swept the root-enthusiast Android community as it was discovered then confirmed that the Netflix app was being blocked from showing up in search results on the Play Store for rooted devices. At the time, Netflix said it was using Widevine to block unsupported devices, but that made no sense to us: the app was still functional if it was sideloaded, it was only not showing up as compatible in the Play Store. So what sorcery was Netflix really using?! Turns out it's a new function of the Google Play Console.
As part of the updates announced for the Play Console at I/O 2017, Google mentions a new Device Catalog section under Release management that lets developers choose with intricate granularity which devices their app supports on the Play Store. Read More
Yesterday we learned that Google Assistant is about to offer more capabilities on your phones and gain several smart and interesting features, but there's one other piece of interesting news: it's also now adding support for more smart home devices and appliances. Read More
The ability to Go Live on YouTube (not to be confused with the entirely unrelated YouTube Go) previously required that you have 1,000 subscribers, and before that the requirement was set at 10K. In a bid to compete with other services, it looks like that limit has been dropped further, all the way to zero. That's right, now everyone can Go Live on YouTube without any subscribers. The only requirements are a verified channel and no live stream restrictions in the last 90 days. We've reached out to the YouTube team to confirm the change. Read More
One of the unique features of Google's Inbox mail application was smart replies. Inbox tries to predict what the message is about, and provides three quick replies. I'll admit, I don't use it much, but it's pretty nice if you're quickly exchanging messages. Read More
Animations in apps can often be jerky or unrealistic, but in Android O Google plans to give developers tools to make animations buttery smooth and natural with the power of physics. It should also be much simpler to make animations with this system. Read More
MediaTek has just announced a new chipset for two of Google's favorite recent projects: Google Assistant and Android Things. The descriptively named MT8516 is a 64-bit ARM platform that includes wireless radios and is designed specifically for voice assistants applications. It looks like Google has one more hardware partner behind Intel and Qualcomm for its future IoT plans. Read More
The I/O news is starting to turn to developer-centric topics, and one of the more significant things to come out of the keynote is an official declaration that Google is now officially supporting Kotlin as a first-class language for developing Android apps. Starting with Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin is included out-of-the-box, so there are no additional setup steps or add-ons to install. Read More