Google's search engine first attracted users because it was a fast and useful way to find the information. The faster you send users away, the faster they come back, the thinking went. These days Google has no shortage of services to keep us from ever leaving its servers. But some new features keep that original vibe of Google-y awesomeness. This latest addition to Search is one such feature.
Now when you search for a local restaurant, Google will show the option to place an order. Read More
Optical character recognition, also known as OCR, is really an amazing technology. If you aren't familiar, it takes images and reads the text on them. For PDFs, it can make the words it finds searchable, selectable, and whatever else you may want to do with them. The better implementations of OCR work well enough that they pretty much make CAPTCHAs pointless. And while Google Drive has offered this function in English for over a year now, it is now rolling it out to over 200 different languages. Read More
The most recent over-the-air update for the Nexus 9, the one that totally wasn't what you were actually waiting for, has apparently bricked the device for some owners. A couple folks affected by this 5.0.2 issue have taken to Google's product forums to ask what gives.
The person who opened this thread was told to perform a factory reset in recovery mode (as well as the bootloader, which has a separate factory reset option). Read More
To say that Nexus 9 owners are somewhat miffed that Google's flagship tablet is currently lagging several versions behind the latest Android release is something of an understatement. The Nexus 9's slow software update rollout, well behind the rest of the Nexus line and even some third-party devices, is as odd as it is irritating. Read More
In just 3 weeks, we expect Google to officially announce a new subscription option that will allow users to enjoy YouTube completely ad-free. In the lead-up to this, both the web service and its Android apps have received a swarm of updates and features. In just the last month, there has been a revised web player, search for 360-degree videos, and some improvements to YouTube Kids (with more to come). Read More
Besides a dogfood version of Play Games, update Wednesday brought us a new version of Play Books - 3.4.5. The changes in this update aren't major (or even immediately apparent), but they are worth taking a quick look at.
First up, there's a brand new translation interface. Rather than a toolbar and sheet overlay, the new translate interface lives on a card, just like the existing notes and dictionary interfaces. Here's a quick before and after.
Left: Play Books 3.3 Right: Play Books 3.4
Next up, new changes to notes. The ability to take notes in a book was present in 3.3, but users could not do that in a free sample of a book. Read More
Last year, we shared some fascinating information surrounding a rumored effort called "Nearby." According to our information at the time, Nearby would enable Android devices to communicate with people, places, and devices that were, well, nearby.
At the time, we had evidence that the feature would come with a future version of Play Services, with a friendly overview for users explaining that the service could use device sensors to communicate with nearby things.
We've seen some of this functionality already - consider Chromecast's guest mode. The device can use ultrasonic sounds (picked up using your device's microphone) to connect to your device. Read More
The Nexus 9 is not the most beloved Nexus device ever made. Its build quality is a bit questionable (people don't call it the Flexus 9 without good reason), the price is a little on the high side, its performance leaves something to be desired, and it hasn't had the best track record with updates. With these issues it's possible that Google is sitting on a fat stack of these tablets that it hasn't been able to unload.
Until now that is. You see, Google has a trick up it's sleeve that's sure to help relieve their Nexus 9 overstock problem faster than a Snapdragon 810 overheats. Read More
I'm sure everybody can agree, it makes almost no sense that the Nexus 9 is only now receiving a tiny maintenance update to 5.0.2 a couple of months after 5.1 came out. Nevertheless, that's how events are playing out, so we should at least know what's so special about this update. We've generated a changelog from AOSP, and honestly, there's not much to see.
Be aware, the Nexus 9 update goes from 5.0.1_r1 to 5.0.2_r3. However, since we've already seen the changelog for 5.0.1_r1 to 5.0.2_r1, we're keeping the previously seen changes in the old list, and producing a new one that includes only the commits that make up r1 to r3. Read More
Google has updated the Nexus developer page with links to factory images for the latest Nexus 9 Lollipop build. Don't get too excited, though. This is the 5.0.2 build that started going out as an OTA earlier today. Google, you monster.