The current boom in virtual reality tech is progressing along roughly two lines: big, complex, and expensive VR headsets driven by full-power gaming machines, like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and small, cheap headsets that slot a high-resolution smartphone in to pull double duty as processing unit and display, like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. Users who don't have four figures worth of money to burn have had to make do with the latter. But a new app is hoping to change that. Read More
Update Wednesday has been and gone, but we'll let it pass, as an app that doesn't get all that much attention has been updated! v2.12 of Google Street View is rolling out now, with some new Photo Sphere features and other improvements.
Photo Spheres are now automatically grouped, and connections can be created between them. Your own photo spheres can be multiple selected by long tapping, which is helpful, and the app works in landscape now. Curiously, Google has also added support for KitKat, but when you look at the latest distribution numbers and see that almost a third of Android users still use 4.4, it starts to make more sense. Read More
Google I/O is only a couple of weeks away and by now, if you haven't received an I/O lottery ticket, which started going out in mid March, you have probably given up on attending the conference. But hold your horses. It seems that Google still has a few open slots, probably after giving others who signed up the chance to buy a ticket and not hearing back from them. Their "no" could be your "yes."
Several users have reported to us getting an email from Google, giving them the chance to buy an I/O ticket between today and Monday May 9. Read More
This weekend many sons and daughters will be celebrating their mothers, and Google hopes Hangouts will be a part of the occasion. When you wish your mom a Happy Mother's Day, a random animation will pop up to mark the moment. Read More
Music is great, but what if you want some pretty pictures with your tunes? ProjectM is a good option for music visualization, but the UI looked pretty old-fashioned until now. A new update adds Chromecast support as well as a more modern material-ish UI. Read More
Need a Nexus device on the cheap? Well, then you clicked on the right article. Daily Steals has refurbished 32GB Nexus 5's on sale in black for $140 and white for $160. Yeah, the phone did come out in 2013, and yeah the battery life is not great, but hey, it's still running the latest Android software and $140 is less than a fourth of what you'll pay for a Nexus 6P.
The model being sold by Daily Steals is the US D820 variant, meaning it's compatible with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. Standard shipping is free and will get you your (refurbished) device in 3-7 business days. Read More
On the scale of meh to super duper exciting, this Google+ 7.8 version update falls low, really low. Unless you get excited about bug fixes, which I know is a legit reason to love an update if a specific bug had been ruining the app for you, but is as dry and drab a topic to read about as a 0.1 pH change in a cleaning solution, you can pretty much say that nothing significant has changed.
I know I'm telling you to close this tab and go read something else, but since you're still here and you're clearly interested in the littlest changes Google introduces in its apps, I'll satisfy your curiosity. Read More
About a week ago, a couple of readers reported to us that direct carrier billing was showing up for Idea Cellular subscribers in India, but it seemed at the time that the feature wasn't live for everyone and wasn't working reliably for those who had it. Now it's official: the Google Asia Pacific Blog has announced the availability of carrier billing on Idea Cellular.
The post explains how direct carrier billing has positively impacted purchases on Google Play, citing Indonesia as an example of 4x growth in the number of people who make app and in-app purchases after the introduction of operator billing. Read More
I've always found myself nervous when Q&A sessions come up at a talk or presentation - I want to ask a question but can never find the willpower to actually put my hand up and ask it. Slides Q&A, in the latest version of Slides, appears like it might remedy or at least go some way to fixing that situation with its digital, typically Google-y approach to question and answer sessions.
With the update, Q&A is open all through the talk, with a link on the presentation screen. The audience is able to submit questions to the speaker, which can then be voted up or down by other members of the audience. Read More
Cody found evidence of an improved smartburst for Google Photos in his v1.16 teardown, and on the v1.17 official changelog it listed 'Improved burst photo support' as one of the points. Now, just after the v1.19 update, it seems the new Smartburst is finally starting to rollout to general users via a server-side update. Read More