One might assume that anyone who's enthusiastic enough to enable Google Now On Tap, the contextual search engine that uses screenshots and optical character recognition, would also want access to Google Now cards, which depend more on location, time, and search history. But you know what they say about making assumptions. Previously Now On Tap did indeed depend on the more vanilla Google Now, or at least was linked to it, but the latest version of the Google search app for Android seems to have reduced the interdependency of these two tools. Read More
You don't have to look far on the internet to find someone complaining about a memory leak in Android. There is, of course, the infamous Lollipop memory leak that was fixed in Android 5.1, but Google just crossed another big one off the list. According to the Android issue tracker, Marshmallow system memory leak issue 195104 has been closed with a status of "future release." That probably means Android N or a monthly patch. Read More
June's Android security updates started rolling out earlier this week, but you could still be waiting for them if they're going out in batches. Those of you who are too impatient can get the full factory image and flash it or download the smaller OTA files linked here and sideload them. Cody already posted the detailed changelog if you want to read about all the changes, but if you're just interested in the links, here they are. Read More
Google Street View is awesome. With just a few taps of a button, you can get transported to new countries to explore their streets, landscapes, museums, and more. I remember using it two years ago to get a feel for my hotel's location in London and check the distance between the metro station exit and the hotel. I didn't want to look like a complete tourist upon my arrival for my first vacation in the city.
But Street View has caused lots of security and privacy concerns. Some countries have outright banned Google from driving their streets, others have spent years arguing with Google until they let it start collecting information (like Greece), and others have citizens who asked Google to blur their houses, and so on. Read More
When the Nearby API started rolling out to Google Play Services in July of last year, it had a lot of potential and promise. It made it so devices could talk to each other based only on their proximity and regardless of whether or not they were on the same WiFi network (in certain applications) or paired via Bluetooth. That's why we've often said it's the genius feature no one is using.
But Nearby in its original form required a lot of involvement from the user. The few apps that implemented the API only used it in specific screens, had to ask for a permission to activate it, and had to show a notification whenever Nearby was on and looking for other devices. Read More
We posted a pretty sweet 32GB Nexus 5X deal two days ago, but today's B&H deal is just a touch sweeter yet. Just head to B&H's website, drop a 32GB white or black Nexus 5X in your cart and use promo code "DADSDAY16" - you'll knock $100 off the price. B&H also throws in a couple of screen protectors, if that's your thing.
While still not quite as good as the Project Fi sign-up offer, this does get you a proper US Nexus 5X and not some GSM-only international unlocked model. That means this 5X will work on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Project Fi (among many other MVNOs) - making it quite the cosmopolitan carrier choice. Read More
Apple announced a new revenue sharing policy in the App Store earlier today. The company said it would change the subscription revenue split from 70/30 to a more generous 85/15 after those subscriptions have been active for a year or more. We were wondering if Google would follow suit, and it didn't take long. Recode is reporting that Google will be doing just that, but it's actually an even better deal for developers. Read More
Did you get your Android N name suggestion in yet? If not, you missed your chance. Google has closed submissions and says the final name will be announced in the coming weeks. So, pay attention in late June or early July. Read More
If you're a regular reader, you'll be familiar with our US Deal Alert posts. The occasional European deal alerts also pop up as well, but as of yet we've had no UK-specific deal alert (or none that I can find, anyway). That changes now, with the Chromecast Audio going down to £15 at Currys.
The Chromecast is normally £30 in the UK, so £15 is a considerable saving. I'm debating buying one despite not having any speakers to use it with (yet). The deal is only for delivery or click and collect - it's not available off the shelf in a Currys brick-and-mortar store. Read More
If you've been waiting to "smart" up your home theater's audio, Vizio may have just given you incentive to pull the trigger on a purchase with its new SmartCast sound bar collection, launched today. They start at just a paltry $180 for the basic 38" three-driver sound bar and go all the way up to $500 for fully-equipped 5.1 systems. What makes them smart? Well, they're Google Cast enabled right out of the box, meaning you can cast audio to your Vizio SmartCast speakers just like a Chromecast, and that's pretty damn cool.
At launch, Vizio has nine configurations available, so there's probably a setup that fits in a price:performance:practicality bracket for you. Read More