The main reasons I can speak and write in English so well (or at least I think I do), despite it being my third language, are song lyrics and movie subtitles. Teenage-me used to spend hours listening to American music and watching American movies, trying to understand what was being said, then resorting to hit the subtitle button on my VCD player (I'm old) or to go to LetsSingIt to find the lyrics. They helped me get pronunciation right like no book or college course ever could.
I still love checking out lyrics to my favorite songs, even if I can pretty much understand everything, but there are instances when words or sentences aren't that clear or can be interpreted in different manners. Read More
Google first talked about Expeditions way back at I/O 2015, after which they began trying it out with a large number of classrooms worldwide. Using the magic of VR, Expeditions would allow educators to take their students on realistic escapades into far-off lands. At long last, Google is making the app available to anyone who wants it.
Using a viewer like Google Cardboard and a smartphone, people can go on (self-)guided tours of places like Machu Picchu, Antarctica, the International Space Station, and even the now-defunct studio of The Colbert Report.
To go as a group, it works like an old-fashioned LAN party. Read More
Google has offered the Cast SDK to developers in some capacity for three years, but there have long been some annoyances that made it difficult to implement and maintain in certain apps. Cast SDK v3.0 was announced at I/O 2016 last month, and now it's available to developers. This version of the SDK seeks to simplify several elements of the old one to make developers' lives a little easier. Read More
The Landsat 8 satellite was launched by NASA in 2013 to snap photos of Earth in higher detail than was possible before. This is an open project, so you can dig through all the data if you want. Today, we get to enjoy the benefits of Landsat 8 in a more convenient way. Google has rolled out improved worldwide satellite imagery in Google Earth and Maps using the data acquired by this satellite. Read More
One of the handier voice commands that users can give to Google Now is "remind me to [whatever]," which will automatically start a function that adds a reminder and alarm to the cards. Follow that up with a specific time or day, and it will make the necessary adjustments to your command. Now it's even faster: the dialogue used to create a short countdown in the form of a blue line. But if you try the same command today, it will create a card instantly. Read More
If you've been waiting to get your hands on one of Google's oh-so-special Nest thermostats, but balking at the super-high price, now's your chance to get one at a (slight) discount. The connected home gadget is on sale at major US retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Newegg. Customers can pick one up for $199.99, fifty bucks and twenty percent off of the retail price. That's still quite expensive for a thermostat, but not bad for someone hoping to dive into the connected home ecosystem. Read More
Live streaming is a big topic at the moment, what with Twitter (through Periscope) and Facebook introducing their own mobile solutions to the growing social market. Despite the fact YouTube is the biggest video repository on the web, it didn't have native mobile live streaming - until now.
Of course, YouTube has had live streaming for a while - Google I/O for one has been live streamed on the platform for the last few years. However, moving this platform to mobile is a pretty big leap, as it essentially means anyone will be able to live stream anything. According to YouTube's blog post, to start streaming all you'll have to do is hit a big red button in the app - I assume this will be a fairly prominent button - and you're off. Read More
Google's been getting into the virtual reality game in a big way recently, and now it's Chrome's time to join the party: François Beaufort, a Chrome developer evangelist, has posted on his Google+ about a new WebVR flag that has appeared in the latest build of Chrome Dev on Android, version 53.0.2774.4, which allows for browsing the web using a compatible VR headset, such as Google Cardboard or Daydream.
Providing you've got Chrome Dev downloaded on your device, turning the flag on is as simple as going to chrome://flags/#enable-webvr-shell and selecting 'Enable' in the dropdown. From there, certain bits of the web will be viewable in virtual reality, using a headset. Read More
A long-standing gap in the Nexus device feature-set for "normal" buyers has been live on-device support. In the event you need help setting up your Nexus smartphone - a smartphone you bought on the internet, not a store - going through the online Google Support documentation or back and forth with a chat agent in the browser is not an ideal experience. Being able to share your screen with an agent who can see what's happening on your display is a lot easier for many people, and it helps support agents resolve issues more quickly by having direct visual access to a user's device. Read More