26
Dec
voicetiny

If you use Google Voice, or simply make the occasional outgoing call via Gmail, Google's got some great news for you. The service is going to continue to be free throughout 2013 for users in the U.S. and Canada! International callers will still have the same rates applied. In short, nothing is really changing, and that's a good thing.

When Google first introduced the ability to make phone calls in Gmail, it said the service would be free through at least the end of 2010.

23
Dec
sadsantatiny

Man, Google. You just can't stop screwing with Christmas, can you? First you cancel December, and now this? In a very real and totally serious bug report over on Google Code, one user is reporting a serious flaw in Android: If you use the Emoji keyboard to enter a Santa face, he looks decidedly unhappy. Emotionless at best. But, as everyone knows, "Santa should be jolly."

2012-12-23_16h01_56 2012-12-23_16h02_16

Okay, yes, so Google did fix that Calendar problem, and even went out of its way to build a special Santa Tracker, after Norad hired that other search engine.

21
Dec
image

If you aren't quite feeling the holiday spirit yet, Google has decided to lend a hand with a few holiday-oriented offerings focused on our favorite green robot.

The official Nexus page on Google+ shared a few "Happy Holiday Cards" this evening, depicting Bugdroid hanging out with some arctic pals sitting by a fire, having a party, ice skating, and – of course – playing with Android-powered phones and tablets. To download the full-resolution cards or share with friends, just click through to the original post, linked below.

21
Dec
youtubetiny

It's rare that the phrases "developer API" and "holy crap" are uttered in the same sentence, but if anything's going to pull it off, it might just be Google's new YouTube APIs. These allow developers to embed high-quality videos right inside their apps, obviating the need for that silly WebView thing.

Here's the full list of new features that this API allows:

The API, which was pre-announced at Google I/O 2012, offers these benefits:

The news is fantastic for developers, partly because it will make it much easier to include video content, but will also make it possible to improve on the YouTube browsing experience.

21
Dec
unnamed (2)

Update: Turns out the app is only compatible with LG Google TV's for the time being (meaning no Google TV set top boxes are compatible at this time). That's lame.

Remember Google TV? You know, the Google-developed set top box running an Android variant that never managed to catch on? Well, if you're one of the small but dedicated users of the most neglected streaming device around, there's reason to celebrate: Amazon's Instant Video app, previously "exclusive" to the Kindle Fire, iPad, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray players, various connected TVs, and just about everything except standard Android devices, is available on Google Play from your Google TV.

20
Dec
image

In a pair of new thirty-second ad spots, Google is showing off what it does best – search. The spots both feature Google's Search app for Android, using the same cozy, refined aesthetic as Google's other ads in recent memory, even showing off Search's new "search with camera" functionality.

The first spot follows the story of a nervous job candidate, gaining some insight into his prospective employer's interests with a last-minute Google search, while the second spot shows us a "smart Dad" who uses Google Search as a cheat sheet to answer his inquisitive son's astronomical questions.

19
Dec
2012-12-19_11h03_27

You've gotta hand it to the folks in Mountain View. When NORAD decides to pass Google over for Santa tracking data, the company isn't one to sit on its hands and let someone else handle Christmas. This isn't the first year that the data giant has kept you up to date on the comings and goings of everyone's favorite fat bearded man in a red suit, but this Santa tracker may just be the best yet.

18
Dec
play music logo

While Google's been working feverishly to build out its Play Store, bringing it to other countries and expanding its offerings, the company's music store has been lacking one crucial feature that its competitors have: library matching. Where Amazon and iTunes can scan your current collection and add the songs to your online storage, Google has, until recently, required users to upload every individual track manually. A long and tedious process. In mid-November, the scan and match feature came out for Europe, and today it arrives for US residents.

14
Dec
mapstiny

In times past, we've seen Google add new countries to its list of supported territories for Google Maps Navigation shortly before we see the update itself rollout. Today, there's been a pretty huge change to that document that added 10 new nations including Bulgaria, Estonia, Ghana, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Senegal and Slovakia (for some reason Singapore appears to have been added to the list, even though that nation already has Navigation).

14
Dec
1[5]

Yesterday, the gift card redeem page went live in the UK's Google Play Store, suggesting that gift cards will be hitting the scene relatively soon. It looks like Google is already gearing up for launch, as the option just showed up in the mobile Play Store, as well.

1

Of course, there's still one major problem: Play Store cards can't yet be purchased anywhere in the UK. In fact, they're not available anywhere aside from the U.S.

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