A couple of days ago, Google dropped a pretty sweet but surprising late-night update to Google Search with version 2.7.9. You can read about the announced features and download the APK here, if you haven't yet. After the dust settled, I jumped right into the multitude of under-the-hood changes and was able to uncover quite a few things not included in the changelog - both ones that are coming in the future and ones that are already here.
If you missed out on Woot.com's Sony Internet Player deal last week, Best Buy's Deal of the Day has something that will make you smile. The NSZ-GS7 is again on sale for 50% off, bringing the price down to a more affordable $99.99. And unlike the Woot.com deal, this one comes with free shipping. Just take action before today is over - you wouldn't want to miss out on this deal a second time.
The Chrome team is pushing out an update to all the good little Chromecasts of the world. This one doesn't come with any changes to the UI or new features, but it does promise to improve the stability for Google Play Movies playback, and should make Chromecast devices discoverable on more networks. You won't need to do anything to get this installed on your end, the OTA will automatically download and install when it's your turn.
Given the major Keep update to v2 today, I got excited when I saw that Hangouts was updated as well a short time after. Unfortunately, it seems like it's a very minor bump: from 188.8.131.523199 to 184.108.40.2068356.
A quick teardown revealed updated translations and some minor under-the-hood code changes that aren't anything to write home about. The changelog hasn't been updated either and still lists the added emoji support and other stuff from the previous v1.1 update.
The Field Trip app on Android is a fun little diversion. It pops up location-based cards that tell you about interesting things nearby. It could be a landmark, a historical event, or a place to grab a bite. But the app requires you to whip out your phone to see the notification. Field Trip has just been announced for Google Glass, and it looks like the perfect platform for it – this is what augmented reality is supposed to be.
The Chromecast add-ons just keep coming, don't they? The latest tool to take advantage of Google's dirt-cheap media streamer is called Fling, from Plano, Texas developer Leon Nicholls. Unlike most of the tools from Koushik Dutta and others, this one expands Chromecast's desktop streaming powers. The Fling Java tool streams local video and audio files directly to Chromecast, and uses the popular VLC media player to transcode the ones that Chromecast doesn't support.
Good evening, Australian readers. If you're reading this story right after it's posted, it's very nearly Wednesday by your clock, and you're one day closer to getting Google Play gift cards down under. The Google Play support page for gift cards was recently updated to include Australia, saying that prepaid cards will be available in denominations of $20, $30, and $50 AUD.
The cards themselves don't seem to be on store shelves just at the moment, but according to an anonymous tip sent to Ausdroid, they've already been sent to a "national supermarket chain" and are awaiting an official rollout on Monday, August 26th.
A week or two after Chromecast hit the streets, we started to see all kinds of unofficial applications for Google's HDMI streamer, many of which came from CyanogenMod Team member and ClockworkMod creator Koushik "Koush" Dutta. Now he's worked around the developer whitelist for Chromecast, allowing his app to be used on any Android device and with any Chromecast. He's calling it AirCast, and it's available for a test download now.
The new Play Store is certainly snazzy, but a lot of the functionality of the older site has been missing ever since it got a fresh coat of digital paint. One of the most bemoaned omissions was contextual keyboard shortcuts, especially handy for touch typists whose fingers never leave the keys. (ThinkPad users, I'm looking at you.) Good news, everyone: as of late yesterday, they're back.
On any single app listing, press the left or right arrow keys to navigate between the posted screenshots.