In the wake of the tragic events in Brussels today and the recent violence and bombings in Turkey, Google has made calls to both countries free via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice. Calls to people on Belgium's biggest carriers — Lycamobile, Mobistar, Proximus, and Telenet — are free, along with calls to all landlines in Turkey. Google's announcement follows earlier news of all major U.S. mobile carriers offering similar free calling and texting to Belgium (Turkey was not mentioned).
In addition, for the Brussels area, Google has been publishing Google Now cards with transit updates, keeping the public informed and up-to-date, plus a direct link to the Government Crisis Centre. Read More
Google Photos already has some "smart" features that try to make your photos easier to manage, and today it's getting another one. Google is rolling out "smarter albums" to the app. From now on, when you take pictures while on a trip or attending an event, Google Photos will automatically assemble your best shots into albums for easy sharing. Read More
If you're looking for a mid-range smartphone with the stock Android experience, you can't do much better than the LG Nexus 5X. It packs a zippy hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor clocked at 1.4GHZ, 2GB of RAM, a sharp 12.3MP rear camera with dual LED flash and laser autofocus, and a vivid 5.2” display. Since it's a recent Nexus phone, you can guarantee it's running an untainted version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Read More
The ever-evolving Google Photos has another new feature hidden in the recent 1.16 update: the app will now share slow-motion videos to other apps, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote and not mess up the timing. Videos have of course been exportable and shareable through Photos since the start, but this marks the first time a video with slow-mo frames can be exported without the whole video being converted into slow-motion, rather than just a section. In the same way, you have long been able to edit a video to slow either a portion of the video, or the entire thing, down to 120 frames-per-second, the standard slow-motion video framerate. Read More
Google is on a roll with the app-less updates this week. After trialing a new homescreen weather shortcut for a small amount of users a few days ago, users have been noticing that there is a new feature in Google Now to block any site from showing up in the 'Stories to read' section. Therefore, if you see a card you'd rather not see, it can now be banished and will go back to whence it came.
Blocking sites in Now has been around for a while, but only for select cards; namely the ones that specifically show up for sites you've visited before. As of the update, likely to be a server-side rollout, the blocking ability has been upgraded to apply to any card. Read More
Google Now's purpose is to give you useful information before you even think to ask, and additions continue to roll out that make the service better at its job.
A reader has reached out to us with a screenshot of a Refueling options card in Google Now. It shows the names of individual stations, how far away they are, and how long they're open. Interestingly, as mentioned at the bottom of the card, this information is appearing because the recipient has to return a rental car to the area. It's also worth noting that the reader was using Google to manage his travel itinerary. Read More
Google's OnHub router offers an easy setup process and cool app management, but it's still working on getting all the features people expect from a $200 router. For example, the USB port still doesn't do anything. There's a new update rolling out, and while it does not address the USB port situation, it does make tracking your speeds and getting devices on the right band easier. Read More
We knew Google was going to be pushing out OTA updates to the Android N developer preview this year, but I don't think anyone was expecting it to happen quite so fast. The first update is rolling out to devices now, and factory images have been updated for those of you planning to do it the old fashioned way. Read More
Google has released a new app in the Play Store, but before you get too excited, it's not technically a new app. It's just new to the store. It's the Android TV Backdrop Daydream app. If you've got an Android TV device, it already has this app installed, but now that it's in the Play Store you should get automatic updates. Read More
One of the loudest voices of criticism when T-Mobile launched Binge On was none other than Google, but it would appear the two companies have patched things up. T-Mobile just announced a big expansion of Binge On support, and among the new options are both YouTube and Google Play Movies. Read More