A few days ago, we posted about a new Google+ feature called Collections expected to launch in early May. An update to the social network's app appeared earlier today, and while it probably won't produce any noticeable changes to the interface for most of us, it's packing everything Google needs to begin rolling out Collections to everybody. There are also some reports that a few people are already gaining access to Collections a little earlier than expected without being a part of the initial test group.
In the midst of update Wednesday, Google has just pushed a brand new version of Chrome to the Play Store - Chrome Dev.
For those unaware, Google's browser comes in four main channels - Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary. As you descend the list, you get closer to the bleeding edge. So while you can see some of what's next in Chrome Beta, the Dev channel shows what Google is working on "right now," giving a peek into "whatever code [Google's] got."
The Play Store listing of course warns that any new functionality in the Dev version of Chrome may be "rough around the edges," but Google says this release will be updated "on roughly the same schedule as other platform Dev channels."
Google's long awaited carrier play was announced recently as Project Fi, an MVNO running on Sprint and T-Mobile that will begin as a Nexus 6 exclusive. The official Project Fi app is now live in the Play Store—not that it will do you a lot of good without an invite, which no one seems to have yet.
Back in January, Google announced initial support for forty third-party apps (including Runtastic, Zillow, Waze, and more) hooking into Google Now. Even if Google limited participation to hand-picked partners, the news was exciting - it marked Google's first publicly visible steps toward opening Now to users' favorite apps in ways that developers could control.
Google is still keeping details about developer participation close, but today 70 new apps have been added to the Google Now roster.
Google is often accused of having a heavy focus on the United States. That's certainly true, but come on - it's a US company. Nobody seems to mind that Samsung sells a ton of phones in South Korea, or that Japan gets the newest and hottest Canon cameras before anyone else. Can you really blame a company with limited hardware resources for prioritizing a new product launch in certain markets?
Well, maybe not your patent in particular - odds are pretty good that they're only interested in technology and software patents, and even then, only so that some fly-by-night LLC with a dozen lawyers and no physical address won't sue them in the future.
The 2013 Nexus 7 might not be available from Google anymore, but it's still one of the best devices in its form factor. There are a lot of impressive deals available for this tablet, usually falling well below the $150 mark. So it is with one of Groupon's deals today: you can grab a 16GB WiFi N7 for $149.99, but if you add in the coupon code sale3 to the mix before you check out, you can take an extra $15 off that price.
Over the past few days, we have learned of two new ways that Google has been integrating its desktop Search with Android devices: finding your phone and sending directions to yourself. The Google Operating Systems blog (not associated with Google) found that other similar "searches" now make it possible to set an alarm or send a note to your phone as well.
To send a note to yourself, you simply search for "note to self," or "send a note." A card appears with a text field to write the content of the note and a device picker so you can choose which phone or tablet to send it to.
The Nexus Player is (so far) the only consumer device available that runs Android TV, which means a considerable portion of the people who own one are serious Android fans. It follows that they're prime candidates for ROM flashing (not to mention Android Police readership), so they'll be happy to know that they can now install CyanogenMod on their set-top box. CM 12.1 (based on Android 5.1) is now available in nightly form for the Nexus Player.
Google likes a good easter egg. That is evident by the company's multitude of weird, unexpected, and fun little things that it sprinkles inside its apps, websites, and services. Case in point: Project Fi. The network's experience page prominently and repeatedly displays the same phone number: (404)-978-9316.
A nosy reader's curiosity was piqued as to the specificity and focus on that particular set of ten digits. He decided to dial it up and see what happens. Is it Larry Page's hotline?