When we buy gadgets, it's usually with the expectation that their useful lifetime will carry us at least until we're ready to replace them, and hopefully well beyond. Most people assume their smartphones should last at least two years, in part because contract customers in the US are accustomed to unreasonably high upgrade prices for mid-term upgrades, and also because most manufacturers have adopted yearly release cycles that fit well with this pace. Read More
According to a Yahoo Finance exclusive, Google Wallet is now a little bit safer. Yahoo Finance reports that Google Wallet balances are now FDIC-insured, and that Google is accomplishing this by storing Wallet balances in FDIC-insured banking institutions. For reference, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures a depositor's funds for banking institutions up to $250,000.
As Yahoo Finance points out, services like Wallet, Paypal, or Venmo are considered "non-banking institutions," meaning that they aren't legally required to be federally insured, and indeed Paypal and Venmo currently aren't (though Paypal does offer its own account protection measures).
The report also notes that Google Wallet's current user agreement says balances are not FDIC-insured, but that "a Google spokesperson confirmed in a statement to Yahoo Finance that its current policy has changed."
Ultimately it seems as though Wallet's FDIC insurance will be of little consequence to users, except that it provides peace of mind in case the worst should happen. Read More
The latest update for Google+ brings changes you probably won't notice unless you head to a community, in which case you will really notice. The main focus of the v5.3 version is a revamped UI for communities, which certainly makes things really pop. Here's a quick before-and-after look:
Left: v5.2 Right: v5.3
Now, an individual community has its own distinct look that makes it clear that you're not browsing through your main Google+ stream. Read More
Remember 5.1? Psh, old news. The new hotness is Android 5.1.1, which Google has yet to officially acknowledge. However, it's almost a certainty now that two builds of the software have popped up on Google's Android audio latency info page.
When Google searching on a small screen, the part of the result that shows you a page URL isn't always very helpful. Anything but the top-level domain will probably be truncated. Especially within familiar sites, the mixture of page title and shortened URL may leave you unclear what part of the website you will navigate to once you click. Google is making a subtle change to clear things up. Let's jump straight to the example images:
Left: old way, right: new way
If you're not seeing it, look at the green text below the large blue text. You're seeing both aspects of the change, which is that it displays both the name of the site rather than the URL and the breadcrumbs. Read More
With Cardboard, it seems that Google is in the middle of an effort to push VR along as quickly as possible by inviting everyone to participate.
Since launching the viewer with an open-sourced design, Google has gone on to promote Cardboard-compatible apps, provide viewer specifications, and publish SDKs, encouraging more developers and would-be Cardboard manufacturers to join the party. Ostensibly the philosophy is that VR will reach its potential faster if everyone works together.
Today, Google has announced a new "Works with Cardboard" program to equip developers and manufacturers with even more tools.
For manufacturers, Google will release a tool that configures any viewer to work with all apps. Read More
It's that time again when Chrome's beta channel updates to give those of us who can't wait for the fun stuff a chance to test things out in a pretty stable environment. The latest iteration, v43, isn't exactly groundbreaking but ships several meaningful changes.
The addition of an API for MIDI devices, like keyboards, probably doesn't affect too many people. Those who will benefit, though, will do so quite a bit. I'm not aware of any web apps that would function for a good working example, but the API added in v43 will allow connected MIDI devices to input as they would with a desktop program. Read More
It seems like just yesterday when Google was testing a new layout for the search engine results page, with colorful underlines separating search results into individual cards.
That layout ended up sticking, and now it seems Google is at it again, testing some rather pleasing new tweaks for the SERP.
We can't be sure just yet who will see these changes or whether they'll become permanent, but check out the before and after shots provided by a tipster below.
left: current layout right: new layout
The new layout is undeniably more influenced by Google's material design. The only information missing in the new view is one search result and one line of text indicating that a user has visited a results page before (but that may be because the new layout appeared for our tipster only in incognito mode). Read More
Google is a digital genie. You type your wishes into a search bar and -POW- there it is, what you are looking for. Now you can even use Google to find tangible objects, as long as the object you are looking for is your Android phone. Just type the words 'find my phone' into any google search bar from your computer and in seconds Google will locate your device on a map and give you the option to make it ring. Nifty.
Android users have been able to find their devices remotely for a while now, but until today you had to log into Android Device Manager on another mobile device or your computer to start your search. Read More
In February, Google proclaimed "Android is ready for work," marking an official opening to the Android for Work effort first introduced at Google I/O 2014. Today, Google's official Android for Work app has hit the Play Store, ready to help users running Android 4.0-4.4W (since setup is built into Lollipop) and working with Android for Work partner solutions set up their device for work use.
For those out of the loop, Android for Work is Google's take on dual-persona device management, allowing users to have two copies of the same app - one for personal use and one for business. Read More