30
Mar
unnamed (6)

OK, Music Boss, admit it: you tried pretty hard to get our attention with the 1.8.1.4 update. I mean, Pebble smartwatches, streaming movies, and Chromecast all in the same story? How could we resist?

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Music Boss is a robust way to control playback of various media apps via your Pebble or Pebble Steel smartwatch, and it was also one of the very first additions to the official Pebble app store. The tool is light-years ahead of the basic music player built into the Pebble, allowing users to launch and switch Android music apps, adjust volume, and integrate with more esoteric apps like Tasker.

30
Mar
unnamed

Netflix. Google Play Movies. Hulu Plus. What do these services have in common? They're all better than VUDU, a long-standing streaming service for movies and television whose Android app leaves something to be desired. But it's a little more desirable starting today, as a reader tipped us: VUDU now allows users to stream rented or owned movies and TV to a handy Chromecast.

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VUDU didn't mention this in the app update text on the Play Store, and there are no peeks at the familiar Chromecast button in the screenshots.

29
Mar
bills

Ready for another Google Now rumor? We've already seen evidence of contact-based reminders reliant on your proximity with another person, and "inferred events," whereby Now would pluck mentions of meetings or other appointments from your conversations to automatically create calendar entries. This time, we have something just as useful - a new bill pay card and interface, evidently headed for Google Now.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.

27
Mar
cs
Last Updated: July 9th, 2014

The Chromecast is slowly worming its way into every part of the Google ecosystem, but there is at least one aspect you weren't supposed to see yet. There is incomplete screen casting support built into KitKat, but it has been surfacing in very odd ways for the last few months. Rest assured, you are not alone in spotting it. Update 7/9/14: It's live now

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26
Mar
Search-Thumb

Google will provide the definition for any word it knows, as long as you ask nicely (just typing "define" usually gets the job done). For anyone who doesn't get what I mean, here's an example.

Search1

As an English speaker, this functionality is just something I take for granted. But like everything else, it takes time to expand this out to other languages. Now Google's drawn attention to the feature's availability in Spanish.

25
Mar
L

There's nothing like a good rumor about the next version of Android. As we approach I/O 2014, we're sure to hear more and more rumors, some true, many false. The Information - generally reliable in the arena of leaks and rumors - has published one of the first "L Release" rumors, today indicating that Android's next major version bump (which the publication speculates could arrive as soon as I/O) will help Google make headway into the corporate adoption arena, convincing companies to adopt Android phones rather than the iPhone (which has already made significant gains in enterprise) as employee handset of choice.

24
Mar
wayfarer-bn-macro_0

The Google Glass team knows that if you're thinking about mounting a computer on your face, you should do it with some style. Today, Google and the Luxottica Group announced a partnership that will see the two companies working together to design stylish and comfortable frames to pair with Google Glass. This follows the the Glass team's own Titanium line of frames launched back in January.

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The Luxottica Group owns, manufactures, and distributes famous brands such as Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Persol.

24
Mar
newicons3

Now that the Chromecast is truly coming into its own, Google can turn its attention to the little things. Specifically, the icon. The current cast icon design works fine for some apps, but not so well for others. The new guidelines are aimed at making the status of the icon easier to discern across a range of apps designs.

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The old icon relied on a change in color to indicate connected/non-connected (see below).

22
Mar
geordi

"Smart contact lens." Get used to that term, even if it makes you cringe - a new patent from Google indicates that at least someone at Mountain View thinks it's a potentially viable idea. Patent Bolt reports on a Google application to the USPTO for "multi-sensor contact lenses," intended primarily as a method for blinking input or input augmentation for wearable devices, or just electronics in general. (Note: this shouldn't be confused with Google's other contact lenses, announced in January as a medical diagnostic device for diabetics.)

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The basic idea is that a number of sensors embedded into a contact lens could be used to detect blinks with incredible accuracy.

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