It looks like the biggest leak of the Play Store's soon-to-launch gift cards may be coming from Google itself. A support page showed up in search indices (that has now been pulled) which confirms the cards will be US-only at launch and will come in $10, $15, $25, and $50 increments. Through some Google-fu, we've also learned your Google Play balance will have a $2000 limit and cannot be used on subscriptions or devices.
In a post to its official blog that's sure to excite users across the globe, Google has just announced that Voice Search is now available in thirteen new languages. The list of newly included languages, which range from Basque to Swedish, brings the total number of supported tongues up to 42.
In the post, Product Manager Bertrand Damiba explains just what it takes to add a new language to Voice Search – first and foremost, Google must collect "hundreds of thousands of utterances" from volunteers to bring speech recognition up to par.
If you've been following the Play Store-related news cycle recently, you are probably well aware that Google is on the verge of releasing gift cards for use on Play Store's digital goods. The Redeem functionality, along with a new Wishlist, came with the new Play Store APK v3.8.15 that started rolling out yesterday but, unfortunately, the UI does not expose it yet.
There is no web interface for redemption either, but after digging through the APK, I discovered that it was set to intercept calls to http://play.google.com/redeem.
It's not quite live yet, but Google would like you to know that Google Maps 6.10 is on its way to handsets by the end of the day. "What's new for me, the public transit user?" I hear you ask. Quite a bit, in fact! First off, Google has announced that it now has data on more than one million transit stops worldwide, spread throughout almost 500 cities. In an effort to make that information more usable, the Transit Lines map layer can now me narrowed down to a single method of transportation.
When Google announced that it would support all major credit and debit cards, it was big news. What may have slipped under the radar, however, is that Mountain View also sent an open invitation to card issuers to sign up for tighter integration into the service. Today, Google is announcing that you can add your Discover card to Google Wallet directly from your account on Discover's website. You even get fancy card graphics now, too!
One of the most common complaints against Google's Play Store is the lack of certain content or functionality in countries outside the US. Google has been making progress in expanding access to other corners of the globe, though. You may remember, for example, that Play Books hit France just last month after Play Movies opened for the French in March and for Spain in June.
Today, Google (finally) brought Play Movie rentals to Germany, much to the delight of German users who have been asking for more Play content for quite some time.
A new Google Play Store v3.8.15 apk started rolling out to Android devices today, but upon running through its UI, I was unable to uncover anything different from the versions before that. Yet the apk size gained a few
pounds kilobytes, and not knowing what the 300KB of code and resources added was killing me. Not to worry, a few minutes later, I decoded both 3.7.15 and 3.8.15 and compared their contents.
Google has released an update to its social network app on Android today that should please Hangout enthusiasts both young and old. For starters, now you can join Hangouts on Air via your mobile device (like the one we use to broadcast our weekly podcast every Thursday at 8pm EST hint hint). This is fantastic news as Hangouts on Air are among the most useful application of the already-awesome Hangouts feature.
Earlier today, Google rolled out a brand new feature for its online patent research tool: prior art search. Now, while looking at a patent, you can click a single button to pull up a host of results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, with a bit of Google's typical search results sprinkled on top. The goal, of course, is to aid in researching whether a patent that's been filed is "new and not obvious." Which is far more complex than it sounds.
Just three short months ago, China approved Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility, effectively finalizing the deal. Apparently, neither company is looking to waste any time, as Motorola's new Google-driven leadership has already revealed the basics of the big turnaround plan. The first step: lay off 20% of its employees (including about 1,330 in the US) and close 94 offices around the globe. Given that Moto's phone unit has only made a profit in 6 months of the last 4 years, that's not so surprising.