It's no secret that Android is heavily integrated with Google search. Google Now (soon to be Google Assistant) is the primary voice assistant, and Google search is included on every device with the Google Play Store. According to Reuters, Google also pays device manufacturers to keep Google as the only search application on Android devices, and the European Union isn't thrilled.
EU antitrust regulators are ordering Google's parent company, Alphabet, to cease providing incentives to keep Google search installed exclusively on Android devices. A 150+ page EU document outlines the issue, stating that Google "cannot punish or threaten" manufacturers for not complying with its conditions. Read More
If you're a student, you've probably used Google to look up information about colleges and universities. You've also likely noticed that most, if not all, schools have their own personalized cards with figures such as acceptance rate, tuition, total enrollment, and endowment. Now, Google is partnering with the US Department of Education to integrate statistics from the College Scorecard into Google Search. Read More
Last year around this time, Google announced that unsupported cards already in Google Wallet accounts would be able to be used with Android Pay, but only for a limited time. Problem was, we didn't exactly know how long Google's "limited time" would be. Thanks to a ton of emails that were sent out to Android Pay users with unsupported cards today, we now have an actual date: October 14th, 2016. Read More
A week ago, a Chromecast Preview Firmware changed all references of the companion Google Cast app to Google Home. The reasoning for that change seemed simple at the time: presumably you would control Google Home and your Chromecasts from the same app. But a recent report from Variety sheds light on Google Cast's role in Google's smart home ecosystem.
It's no secret that adoption of Google Cast in WiFi speakers has grown exponentially. Cast is a huge step up from Bluetooth speakers in terms of usability (no finicky pairing), and unlike Apple's AirPlay technology, is platform-agnostic. Thanks to the rapid adoption of Google Cast, Google has relationships with numerous companies in the audio industry - relationships it hopes to use for Google Home. Read More
Generally speaking, smartwatches are pretty cool. While they might just be wrist-worn extensions of a phone, that can be pretty useful sometimes. However, I think most of us agree that smartwatches should be multi-platform, like most other electronic accessories such as battery bank chargers and Bluetooth speakers. This is why Android Wear is awesome - because it works with both Android and iOS. With the release of the iPhone 7, though, a few Android-based smartwatches have not been working or pairing correctly with the new flagship Apple device.
It's not really known why these watches are not working with the iPhone 7. Read More
Google's new smart home hub, Google Home, will work with the Samsung-owned SmartThings platform out of the box, according to a source familiar with the companies' plans. We trust the quality of this information implicitly, so consider this rumor a '10' on the confidence scale, barring some sort of delay that leads to Google postponing the announcement.
Google Home would probably be near-dead on arrival without compatibility for some common smart home technology, and aside from Nest (for which we assume Home compatibility is a given), SmartThings is one of the most obvious choices. SmartThings hub devices work with a wide variety of smart home products, and making Google Home compatible with this platform will ensure that SmartThings users have another, non-Echo option for a smart home assistant and speaker device. Read More
If you click the source links at most of our posts about Google products, you might notice there is a lot of Google blogs. Almost every Google product has its own blog - Android, Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, Google Fiber, you name it. I think Google finally realized the need to consolidate, and has created 'The Keyword.'
The Keyword replaces the former Google company blog (googleblog.blogspot.com), which has been mirrored by the Internet Archive if you want to compare. The blog is a mix of product announcements and coverage of various events. In the official announcement post, Google says The Keyword combines content from 19 other blogs - but doesn't say which ones. Read More
Google Drive has recently added an enhanced search and regular expressions support, but those features have not yet made their way to the mobile apps. Now the Android application exclusively has a new feature, simply called Quick Access. This uses machine learning to predict what documents you are most likely to open, based on your Drive activity and recurring patterns. Google claims this "saves 50 percent off the average time it takes to get to the right file by eliminating the need to search for it." Read More
Google has started rolling Android 7.0 Nougat out to Nexus devices, but no watches have gotten the corresponding Wear 2.0 update. The beta test has been ongoing for months, and today Google has released the third dev preview. That's good, but there's also some bad news. The developer preview is now expected to continue into early 2017, which is a significant delay. Read More