Google's bookmark revamp (which was sometimes referred to as "Stars") has had a rough ride over the past dozen or so months. After being spotted online, it showed up as a standalone Chrome extension and web interface, then resurfaced as the Bookmark Manager for Chrome. It seems however that the experiment wasn't as positive or fruitful as the team had hoped, and the redesign has been canned - at least as the default bookmarks view in Chrome. Read More
We heard at Google I/O about Google's plans to help improve the experience of users on slow connections, especially in parts of the world where even 3G speeds are few and far between. They gave us a peek at how the search interface would change under those circumstances to improve those load times. Now, in select markets, the pages you click on will also be optimized to load much faster.
Google's estimates have you loading the page 4x as fast compared to the unaltered version when on a slow connection, with 80% less data. They claim, appealing to webmasters, that this results in 50% more pageviews due to the better experience and lower wait. Read More
Yesterday, we took a look at the upcoming Hangouts 4.0, a yet unreleased update that promises to clean up the Hangouts interface in many ways. But there was one thing we didn't cover in that post - the Android Wear app that will apparently come with the update to 4.0. Since yesterday we've been playing with the app and thought it would be good to follow up with a quick overview of what it does.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
After Nest acquired Dropcam and started integrating some of its hardware with the security cam, it was only a matter of time before the company got its ducks in a row for an official Nest-branded camera. It seems that the wait is about to be over. Nest has a press event scheduled on June 17th, and among the possible announcements is the Nest Cam.
According to Droid-Life, this is the new Cam. It looks like a Dropcam, predictably, but slimmer, more modern, and like the result of a Stuart the minion and Mike Wazowski inspiration. Bee doo bee doo! Presumably, the Nest Cam will be capable of 1080p streaming and recording, though the report wasn't clear on whether that means local storage or Dropcam's expensive subscription tiers. Read More
Back in September, Hangouts switched from gray to green in its 2.3 update, ostensibly making the first baby steps on its journey toward joining Google's material design parade. Then in December we first spied a slightly more material version of the app. Now, users are running version 3.3 and many aren't satisfied with the app's layouts or structure. Things like the seemingly unnecessary contacts tab, the somewhat messy drawer, and the non-standard toolbar are common complaints.
It looks like Google is working on fixing a lot of issues with an upcoming update to Hangouts 4.0 though. We've heard rumblings from Reddit of the new update, and now we've got an early look at the app. Read More
Android Auto is starting to finally show up in cars and third-party head units, but there are still a handful of compatibility issues to work out, it seems. The latest update to the Android Auto app includes compatibility for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.
Google made some big changes to Gmail when it retired the stock email app. You have the ability to manage non-Google email accounts in the app these days, but here comes something new. Today's Gmail app update has improved matters further by adding Oauth support for Yahoo and Microsoft accounts. Read More
Google's Camera app isn't exactly feature-rich, at least not when it is compared to alternatives offered by OEMs and many independent developers. Of course, that may be one of the reasons it is fairly popular – the interface remains simple and the features that did make it in, like Photospheres, are pretty cool. After looking through the latest update, it looks like Google is working toward another major feature addition called Smart Burst, and it might just become the best way to take photos of your friends.
Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
Last week, Google added several long-wanted features to Inbox by Gmail, like signatures and swipe-to-delete. That server-side update also brought along trip bundles, which will group all the emails you get about a single stretch of travel into one place to help you keep track of things. Today, Google was kind enough to give a formal walk-through for those of us who haven't received any qualifying emails since the update rolled out.
The featured image of this post shows how a trip bundle will look from the default view of your inbox. And as the time for your flight (if there is one) approaches, it will change to give you Google Now-esque updates on flight times:
When you tap on the bundle card, it expands into a list of emails just like any other category of emails. Read More
There are a lot of choices for weather apps on Android - you can see the best in Rita El Khoury's roundup from yesterday. But if you prefer to have as few apps on your phone as possible (because Windows RAM-saving behavior dies hard), Google has just improved the built-in weather function of its mobile search. Specifically, the Knowledge Graph function that shows you weather for a specific location now extends for ten days.
It's not a huge change, but it makes it easier to figure out the long-range forecast at a glance. The Search function even allows you to break down the day-by-day forecast by hour with a handy slider. Read More