It was almost a year ago that Google posted the session list for I/O 2015 with an interesting "voice access" talk. That was eventually removed from the schedule and we didn't hear anything about it in Android M. Now, Google has announced Voice Actions as a beta in the Play Store (Android 5.0 and higher). Once you join up, you can install the app and literally control your entire phone by voice. It's incredibly cool. Read More
Jide Technology wants to give as many users the option to try out its own flavor of Android. This involved rolling out the 2.0 Beta to PC devices about a month ago with plenty of features that were missing from the alpha when we tested it a couple of months prior. But you don't have to have a PC to test Remix now as the OS has been released in beta for the Nexus 9 and Nexus 10. (Jide had previously released Remix OS 1.5 to these tablets, so this isn't the first time its software becomes available for them.)
The pages and downloads are available on Jide's website. Read More
Smartphones are, by their nature, iterative products. But if you've felt that this iteration has started to slow a bit in the last few years, you're not alone - and you're probably not wrong, either.
Think about it: smartphones have a pretty set list of characteristics and features we evaluate in order to judge the overall quality of a device. Some are more subjective than others - design, for example - but many are also quite objective, even if quite difficult to measure objectively sometimes. How fast is the phone? How long does the battery last? How good is the camera [at night, for video, in slow motion, etc.]? Read More
It sometimes may feel like the Google Photos web app gets a little left behind in the wake of its Android brethren, but today is the day: a post on Google+ from the Photos team has detailed the latest update, which brings improvements in the upload procedure and all-new keyboard shortcuts.
Photos can now be uploaded directly to an album, instead of having to upload photos and then add them to an album after they've uploaded. This should make it much easier to upload large batches of photos from a DSLR or other camera which doesn't connect to Google Photos. The keyboard shortcuts, meanwhile, will hopefully make navigation through the web interface more efficient, making it easier to move through photos or perform actions on an individual photo, such as editing or deleting. Read More
Alright, non-US readers, this one goes out to you. A seller has the international Nexus 5X on eBay, and they only want $229 for the phone. Take that in for a moment. Yeah, that's a great price for a current Nexus.
Chrome Remote Desktop had been stuck on version 44 since July 2015, until an update rolled out today to version 49 (it follows Chrome's version numbers). With it come a few interface improvements that make the app a lot more Material and a new touch mode that creates a new interaction method with your remote desktop.
First things first, the main interface has now gotten a better title bar, a spec-compliant side-menu, and the color scheme has switched from a mix of blue and green to a more unified blue. You will also notice from my screenshots that computers now show their status if they have been offline for a while. Read More
Google Search can do many wondrous things: set up a reminder item, imitate a metronome, show (reasonably) accurate weather predictions...or play animal sounds. That's right, the newest feature to come to the platform is a function to play a requested animal sound, which may make you feel like you're in a zoo, but might come in handy one day.
So what animals are there to choose from? Well, there're cats and dogs, alongside a range of 'farmyard' animals, such as pigs, cows, horses, turkeys, and roosters. Then there's the 'wildlife' contingency of the animal kingdom - tigers, zebras, lions, apes, raccoons, and elephants. Read More
The original Chromecast was a streaming sensation thanks to ease of use and a low price point. The second generation, while generally well-received, still hasn't made its way to all of Google's various international markets. The next countries to get a chance to buy the Chromecast 2015 and its little brother the Chromecast Audio appear to be India and Taiwan. Both countries were recently added to Google's official hardware availability page. Read More
Google has added six new countries to the list of countries with the ability to redeem Google Play balance promotional codes: Austria, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. To be clear, this doesn't mean that users can redeem app promo codes generated by developers: that functionality has been available since mid-January, and is available to any country where users can buy apps, as long as the specific app is available to download in that country.
When you buy a Chromecast, usually it comes with some form of voucher for Google Play credit, which is then spendable on apps, music, games, books, movies, or TV shows. Read More
Google probably has tons of projects in testing that we'll never hear about until they come out (assuming they do). One of these unannounced projects is an app called Spaces. It's part of a non-public beta in the Play Store, but we've gotten a look at the app. You can think of it as a group messaging app, but more focused. Read More