After a controversial edit or two appeared in Map Maker alongside an uptick in spam, Google decided to halt user submissions while it figured out a way to deal with things. Now the company is starting to open Map Maker back up to users. It's doing so gradually. The first phase announced includes the countries of Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Philippines, and Ukraine.
Previously Google automatically approved most submissions. A Googler would then review edits manually, especially if community members brought something to the company's attention. Read More
To be honest, I'm still not sold on Vessel's business model, which posts original web video content a few days early to paying subscribers before it goes out to more general portals (usually YouTube). But the Android app seems more than serviceable even in its beta form, and the developers are adding features quickly. Case in point: the latest update adds Chromecast compatibility, which no video app should be without.
The feature works exactly as you'd expect it to: start a video and look for the Chromecast icon, then connect to a local Chromecast or Android TV device. You can connect on the main viewer screen as well, if you don't want to scramble to send your video as soon as it starts. Read More
Android One is an exciting program. Inexpensive devices with standard hardware running stock Android, with lightning-fast updates straight from Google - what's not to like? But according to a report this weekend, Android One hasn't been as successful in its premiere market as Google would have liked. The Financial Times, in an interview with Google's managing director for India and Southwest Asia, reports that big changes are coming to the series. First up: even cheaper Android-powered phones.
When One launched in India last year, the first set of phones were sold at around the 5000 Rupee mark - somewhere in the $80 range in USD. Read More
A couple of months back, rumors that Google was working on a gamer-focused video streaming service first appeared. And so we waited. Now that the appropriately named YouTube Gaming is finally here, it plans to go head to head with Twitch.tv - easily the most popular such service in the world. Google has a tremendous amount of experience in the video streaming space in the form of YouTube, but it has never offered anything that was geared toward gamers. YouTube Gaming is hailed as the brand-new service that aims to fill that gap.
Currently, YouTube Gaming is only available as a beta program. Read More
Another long design test appears to be drawing to a close for Google. After apparently beginning a wider rollout for the new mobile search UI (in testing since April), it seems that Google is making the revised image results UI final too.
This layout has been popping up since at least May, with a brighter, more crisp interface that offers more iconography, refined typography, and - yes - a section for related images. Read More
Almost anyone who uses YouTube regularly has seen a video with either 301 or 301+ views, according to the player. Why is this? Well, Google automatically checks videos crossing this threshold of views to see if the visitors are legitimate or just bots designed to pump up the number. From now on, they are tweaking the method to count "real" views in real time and only holding off on adding those that YouTube is unsure about.
Screen capture originally posted at Business Insider.
Stopping at a low-ish number like 301 kept a video with fake views from looking too popular. Read More
After adding the feature to the web version of Keep in May, Google has updated the Android app to allow users to easily convert their notes into Docs. Sometimes what starts as a stray thought or two that you dump into a note becomes something you want to expand upon. Rather than rewriting or copy and pasting, why not have your notes manager do the heavy lifting for you?
And by easy, I mean easy. Go to a note and head to the overflow menu. Tap "Copy to Google Doc" and the process begins. Keep tells you when it is finished on the bottom of your screen, giving you an "Open" link. Read More
Google is rolling out the Stagefright patch to Nexus devices as promised, but the bigger news alongside that announcement is a new update policy for Nexus devices. Going forward Google will release security patches for Nexus phones and tablets about once per month, which mirrors Samsung's recently announced Galaxy update program. Google is also making official the length of time you can expect to get Nexus updates. Read More
We haven't heard a lot about Project Tango lately, but Google is still working with developers to advance this take on machine vision and sensing technology. As part of its ongoing efforts, the Tango development kit is finally being made available outside the US. It's out today in Canada and South Korea, and will come to ten more countries later this month. Read More