12
Mar
yt

The app updates just keep coming. Joining Maps, Translate, and Wallet on the list of updated Google apps today, YouTube got a bump to 5.5.26, an update which brought with it several UI tweaks, and a new icon. Actually, the icon appears to be a mistake. Google has shipped out the Dogfood version of YouTube, meant for internal testing. As such, the updated app has a previously unseen "dogfood" settings screen with a few options related to "ExoPlayer."

Screenshot_2014-03-12-19-34-46 Screenshot_2014-03-12-19-34-40

Elsewhere, there are considerable UI tweaks that appear to represent a move toward higher information density, and an effort to put things where users will find them more naturally.

09
Mar
1363620952_sundar-pichai
Last Updated: March 18th, 2014

It's no mystery that Google has been poking around wearable gadgets for quite some time. The list of projects seems to keep growing as we hear about rumors of an LG-made smartwatch, another prototype watch designed by Motorola, and of course, Google's own Glass. Earlier today at SXSW, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to announce plans to release a brand new SDK for Android-based wearable devices in about two weeks.

05
Mar
image

I love Update Wednesdays, and today we've already seen pretty decent updates to several Google apps. As you've already seen, Google Play Games was updated to v1.5, but the one I'm excited about the most is, without a doubt, Google TTS v3.0, which made a jump today from v2.4.

What’s New

So, what's so cool about TTS 3.0?

High-quality voices

First and foremost, Text-to-Speech 3.0 adds support for high quality voices.

04
Mar
unnamed (10)

Google has been buffing up the capabilities of the Chromecast as of late by opening up app access with the SDK, and it looks like even first-party apps are getting in on the action. The latest release of the beta version of Chrome for Android adds in Chromecast capability for YouTube videos. Theoretically, it should work for any standard HTML5 video as well. Now you don't need a laptop to cast web videos to your television.

02
Mar
unnamed

Were you excited to hear the Google Play is getting an expanded list of game categories? Well curb your enthusiasm - the switch to the expanded list was tentatively scheduled for "February," but as one reader noticed, the new categories haven't been implemented yet. The relevant Play Store support page has been modified, and now it says that the change will come sometime "around March."

nexusae0_2013-12-10-14.51.43

Switching from the old list of just six categories to an expanded 17 (which contain the original six plus more specific sub-genres) would be a boon to both Android users and developers.

01
Mar
glass9

After the rollout of XE12 in mid-December and the announcement that January would not bring an update, Glass Explorers have been anxiously awaiting the release of XE14, originally due in February. As it turns out, they were to be disappointed. In a posting to the private Glass Community forum late yesterday, Teresa Z explained that XE14 had missed its February deadline. The reason: it simply wasn't ready to be released. Unfortunately, no details were given with regard to the timeline for the next update.

28
Feb
1

We're all excited by the prospects of Project Ara, Google's upcoming lick-and-stick modular phone that will essentially allow users to upgrade the device's hardware on the fly. Recently, one of the Ara team members showed off a non-functional model of the device at LAUNCH, which gives us a very good idea of how swapping components will work.

They waste no time getting right into the juicy details, so give it a watch.

28
Feb
Search-Thumb

Searching for a restaurant that can satisfy everyone's culinary preferences isn't particularly easy on a smartphone's data connection. The process typically involves searching for a specific website, hoping there's a mobile version (nope), and searching around for a menu. Now Google's rolling out a feature in the US that should streamline things a bit. Just search Google for the menu and watch it appear as the top result.

26
Feb
Ara-Thumb

Remember Project Ara? We haven't heard much about it since Motorola revealed its existence back in October, exciting us with the real possibility that one day we will be able to effectively build and customize phones to suit our tastes. As it turns out, the Advanced Technology and Projects team (now owned by Google) is still working full-steam ahead. Today they've announced the first Ara Developers' Conference, which will take place online from April 15 - 16th.

25
Feb
image

A few days ago, we published a story about Google's possibly upcoming smartwatch. Current rumors suggest that the watch may be ready in time for Google I/O, and that it might be made by LG. We also mentioned that we had heard of a Motorola prototype previously - a prototype that may have been scrapped in favor of a new design from the manufacturer who made the Nexus 4 and 5.

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