This is it, folks. This is the version of Play Services that will be running on our phones and tablets when Google I/O 2015 kicks off in just 6 days. There are things in here that will certainly make the keynote, so if you don't want any spoilers, close this page immediately! There's no point in beating around the bush when we've got so much to talk about, so let's get to the good stuff. Read More
If you had eagerly waited for Project Fi's announcement and requested an invite as soon as they were public, you've likely been sitting over the past weeks tapping your foot impatiently and anticipating that acceptance email to hit your inbox so you can free yourself from the shackles of your operator.
The wait might be longer than expected though. An email is being sent to those who requested invites letting them know that due to the service's high-demand, invites might take until mid-summer to go out to everyone, but that there'll soon be an online tracker for checking the status of your request. Read More
As he is wont to do, Artem likes to grumble on Google+ about various apps, services, devices, and things that don't work as perfectly as he expects them to. His latest bout of complaints hit Inbox, Google's recent effort to modernize and simplify email management, and addressed the lack of Mark as unread, labels, signatures, and an easy way to trash items. If you've ever received an email from the man, you'd know he loves his "Sincerely, Artem" signature, which might come after a friendly request, a question, a thanks, or a command to fix something in an article as fast as (and preferably faster than) your fingers can type and click. Read More
So, the last couple of weeks have not been good ones for the Google Maps team. First some public-spirited Android fans decided to prove their pride with a bit of digital vandalism, using the Map Maker tool to show the Bugdroid mascot pissing on an Apple logo somewhere in Pakistan. That little mishap led Google to disable Map Maker submissions altogether. Then earlier this week, users found that searching for certain racist terms in Google Maps would lead to results for the White House, among other similar combinations. Read More
In the latest update on NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, The Intercept is reporting on the surveillance establishment's efforts to use the Google Play Store to distribute spyware. Another fun fact from the data dump is that these agencies found and exploited a security hole in the ultra-popular UC Browser for years until an activist group informed its developers about it just about a month ago.
The information comes from a set of slides distributed to agency specialists in 2012 discussing plans for the use of mobile devices in surveillance. Read More
We've been following the development of Google's Hangouts Chrome app for quite some time. The project referred to as Ultraviolet in August later launched in October as a floating chatheads-style experience. It was okay, but at the beginning of this month we caught wind of a change in the works that completely redoes the experience. That change has now gone live.
The new interface looks quite a bit like the Android app. Read More
The 'Internet of Things' is a bit of a nebulous concept, but it boils down to adding smart, connected features to the objects and tools you use in everyday life. Things like wearables can loosely be put into this category, but it's usually applied to less conventional products like connected thermostats, home monitors, "smart" appliances, remote car tech, et cetera. It's a growing if somewhat unfocused segment, and according to a report on The Information, Google wants to get in on the ground floor. Read More
Google has been rolling out updates to Smart Lock over the past months, adding On-body detection and Trusted voice, and while this recent change doesn't bring other options to the table, it does make the feature more user-friendly.
Previously, if you had set your Android phone or tablet to trust a certain place, Bluetooth device, or any of your physical attributes, it would keep your phone unlocked when those variables were in effect, but you'd still come across a secure lock screen if you left your handset untouched for a period of time. Read More
For many Nexus owners, the wait for Android 5.1.1 is finally over. Today, OTAs began rolling out for several Nexus devices which had thus far been stuck on Android 5.1. If waiting on an OTA update isn't your thing, you can now head on over to Google's Nexus developer page to get the latest factory images.
In order to flash these, you'll have to have some familiarity with unlocking bootloaders and using Google's Fastboot utility. Read More
Today is a good day to be the proud owner of a T-Mobile Nexus 7 2013. Lollipop 5.1.1 is here with bug fixes and security enhancements in tow. The OTA actually started to show up on some devices yesterday, but your device may not have been part of the first wave of tablets receiving the update availability notification. If you haven't been invited to update yet and can't bear to wait, then you can head over now to the system tab in settings to manually initiate the software download. Read More