Are you developing things with Google technologies? Can you be at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California on May 18, 19, and 20th? Are you willing to part with $900 for a ticket to Google I/O ($300 for students)? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you might want to get over to the Google I/O site and apply for a ticket.
Registration opened up at 9 AM PST this morning and it will remain open until 5 PM PST on March 10th, so you've got a couple of days to get your name into the pot if this isn't a good time. Read More
Google Now on Tap sounded ridiculously cool when it was announced last year, but the reality of the feature has been lackluster to say the least. Google is apparently toying with a feature that could make it much more useful. Some users are seeing optical character recognition (OCR) as part of On Tap, but the implementation seems very early. Read More
As is the (new-ish) tradition, Google rolls out security updates on the first Monday of each month. The factory images for March's updates are right on schedule with all of the recent fixes to shore up potential vulnerabilities in the operating system. LMY49H is the build number for the Nexus 10 update, which will remain cut off at Lollipop. Most of the other devices on the list are moving up to MMB29V, though a few other build numbers are available for special variants. Read More
It looks like there may still be a couple of missing images, like the Nexus 6P. Just keep checking back and they'll probably turn up shortly.
Android is killing it, so last year, Google expanded into the mobile space in a bigger way. The company introduced Project Fi and became a smartphone carrier. Okay, technically it's a mobile virtual network operator like Ting and Republic Wireless, but instead of being limited to Sprint's towers, Google has kicked off a way to hop back and forth between both Sprint and T-Mobile.
For the past ten months, Project Fi has been invite-only. That's now changing. Google is making the service available to anyone in the US who wants in. Read More
There's a particularly neat feature lurking in the flags in the latest version of Chrome Dev. If you toggle "enable-ntp-snippets" you'll get a handy list of content from around the web on the new tab page, complete with text snippet previews. Read More
Google is rolling out a new version of Photos today, and it's a pretty significant update. There's a new navigation paradigm you might remember from a different Google app, and the strangely named "Collections" section is no more. It's now called Albums. As usual, we have the new APK available for download. Read More
Google long ago teased Hands Free, a way to make mobile payments without even having to reach for your phone. Now it's launching a pilot program in the southern San Francisco Bay Area.
Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services to communicate with cash registers inside participating stores. Right now those partners are McDonald's, Papa John's, and some local restaurants. Read More
Google is constantly making changes to the Play Store layout, and these tweaks are often server-side. A new line here, a different dialog box there, and the experience changes. This time, Google appears to be testing a layout for reviews that takes away a dialog box when you leave a review. Instead, the review dialog is embedded in the page. Read More
Direct carrier billing is one of the easiest ways users can buy apps, games, and other content on the Play Store. In countries where credit cards aren't readily accessible, where gift cards haven't been circulated, and where other methods of payments are either unavailable or not so attainable for everyone, having your operator handle the transaction for you makes things a lot simpler (although usually a bit more expensive thanks to added fees).
Two countries have recently seen direct carrier billing enabled for them: Vietnam and Kuwait. In Vietnam, the top mobile network Viettel has enabled carrier billing (they even have a friendly how-to on their site), and even though Google's support document doesn't mention it, it looks like the second largest operator MobiFone will do the same soon. Read More