Android is killing it, so last year, Google expanded into the mobile space in a bigger way. The company introduced Project Fi and became a smartphone carrier. Okay, technically it's a mobile virtual network operator like Ting and Republic Wireless, but instead of being limited to Sprint's towers, Google has kicked off a way to hop back and forth between both Sprint and T-Mobile.
For the past ten months, Project Fi has been invite-only. That's now changing. Google is making the service available to anyone in the US who wants in. Read More
There's a particularly neat feature lurking in the flags in the latest version of Chrome Dev. If you toggle "enable-ntp-snippets" you'll get a handy list of content from around the web on the new tab page, complete with text snippet previews. Read More
Google is rolling out a new version of Photos today, and it's a pretty significant update. There's a new navigation paradigm you might remember from a different Google app, and the strangely named "Collections" section is no more. It's now called Albums. As usual, we have the new APK available for download. Read More
Google long ago teased Hands Free, a way to make mobile payments without even having to reach for your phone. Now it's launching a pilot program in the southern San Francisco Bay Area.
Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services to communicate with cash registers inside participating stores. Right now those partners are McDonald's, Papa John's, and some local restaurants. Read More
Google is constantly making changes to the Play Store layout, and these tweaks are often server-side. A new line here, a different dialog box there, and the experience changes. This time, Google appears to be testing a layout for reviews that takes away a dialog box when you leave a review. Instead, the review dialog is embedded in the page. Read More
Direct carrier billing is one of the easiest ways users can buy apps, games, and other content on the Play Store. In countries where credit cards aren't readily accessible, where gift cards haven't been circulated, and where other methods of payments are either unavailable or not so attainable for everyone, having your operator handle the transaction for you makes things a lot simpler (although usually a bit more expensive thanks to added fees).
Two countries have recently seen direct carrier billing enabled for them: Vietnam and Kuwait. In Vietnam, the top mobile network Viettel has enabled carrier billing (they even have a friendly how-to on their site), and even though Google's support document doesn't mention it, it looks like the second largest operator MobiFone will do the same soon. Read More
Google's annual developer conference is now less than 77 days away; at least that's what the new Google I/O 2016 website says. The website also says that registration begins 9AM on March 8th and goes through March 10th. As always, tickets will be in very short supply. Read More
We all love the Chromecast thanks to its cheap price and almost endless potential to turn any TV into a smart streaming machine. Last year, Google released an update to the original Chromecast with a few minor improvements as well as a Chromecast Audio that works with all Aux speakers. Now these new gadgets are available for purchase in the southern part of our planet: Australia and New Zealand.
In Australia, the Chromecast 2015 and Chromecast Audio will be priced at $59 AUD (approx. Read More
Google changed the style of Android's notification shade and quick settings with the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, and based on an early version of Android N we've seen, it's changing things up again. The look of Android N's notification shade is being altered, but it's more than cosmetic. Notifications will include more info, and quick settings are finally creeping in. The full quick settings UI is getting a new paginated style, and editing tiles will be easier. Read More
Virtual reality is suddenly a big deal again. It's like the early 90s, but with devices you might actually want to buy. Google is ramping up its Cardboard VR promotion with a dedicated VR area of the Google Store. Featured for sale are the View-Master and C1-Glass VR viewers. Read More