Search, as the foundational product Google is known for, is obviously something the company is very thoughtful of when it comes to design. Even small changes can cause a big impact on user experience and engagements, so Google is careful about how design tweaks are implemented.
One common method of testing and easing into (or out of) design tweaks is A/B testing (something we recently saw Google experimenting with in the Google+ app). Today, it looks like Google has begun an experiment on its search engine results page when users search from Chrome on mobile devices. Rather than show results in a lineup, separated by gray lines, Google is playing with a layout that puts each result on its own card, underscored by a line colored to match one of Google's four primary brand colors - blue, green, yellow, and red.
Samsung loves hype, and it's that time of year for a flagship launch. We don't always report on teasers, because they so often don't give us much information. Still, we can put the many teasers for Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S6 together and get something worthwhile out of it.
Samsung has given several signals that they are going to be very proud of the camera in the S6. A leak from several months ago suggested the shooter on the back of the S6 would be either 16MP or 20MP, they weren't sure. Let's take a look at the teasers for more insight.
With just a week until we can expect to formally meet HTC's next flagship, we're already feeling like old friends of the device. We've seen it purportedly leaked sixways to Sunday, and if today's materials are to be believed, it looks like some of those leaks ended up being right. The HTC One M9 appears to have surfaced on Cyberport.de with copious renders and full specifications. First, let's have a look at the specs.
If you have ever been traveling and wanted to know where the best place to get gas is, you might know that this can be kind of difficult at times. Gas station X might be near you as you search for options, but is it on your route? Or, you don't want to stop just yet, making that problem even more complicated. Well, Google Now has added a card to help with that.
Those we have heard from were not navigating when this card popped up, but they were driving. Google is noticing the speed you are moving and making a prediction about where you're headed in order to give you this information.
Wallet has to be pretty frustrating for Google. They beat Apple to the punch by quite a long time, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus basically introduced the lay public to mobile payments. How did this happen? Insert the tired cliches about Apple's control over hardware and software here. More interesting is what Google will do, considering how much they still have to gain by getting more adoption of their Apple Pay competitor.
A report by The Wall Street Journal indicates that Google is not going to stand pat while this burgeoning market passes them by. While it seems much is still in the air, Google is apparently planning several interesting things to remake Wallet, which they will re-introduce at this coming May's I/O conference.
Google has come out unscathed from a lawsuit in which consumers accused the company of anti-competitive practices. The basic allegation was that Google requires manufacturers to use a Google version of Android and that the way they place their own apps at the forefront has increased prices and prevented potential rivals from emerging. The main issue is the stipulation that Google's search be default in order to preload Play Services on Android devices.
There is probably some merit in the raw outline of the complaint; requiring Google Search to be default in order to access the rest of the Google goodies has probably held down competitors both in the search and mobile software market.
Ah, February: the time when mobile hardware leaks spring out of the ground like daisies. It looks like Thai gadget site MXPhone has gotten its hands on portions of the Mobile World Congress phone lineup from Lenovo weeks ahead of the event, giving us a tantalizing look at the company's hardware plans for the next several months. Of course, it's possible that at least some of the Vibe phones on display below will never leave China, and the chance of any of them coming to the US market is basically zero.
Lenovo Vibe Shot
The most interesting of the new models is probably the Vibe Shot, a camera-focused competitor to devices like HTC's One EYE.
Google has revealed their intention to roll out a new YouTube app just for kids, starting next week. It will be aptly named YouTube Kids and is geared towards those 10 years old or younger. Perhaps most interesting for non-children is that the app, at least initially, will be released exclusively on Android.
Image by USA Today
It features a fairly dumbed-down user interface that will leverage Google's voice recognition rather than rely on the spelling abilities of young children. And, of course, it has the huge benefit (for parents) of filtering out inappropriate content, including denying searches that will obviously turn up bad results.
A couple of days ago, we reported that NVIDIA was pushing update 2.2 to SHIELD Tablet units. For the most part, the update is a good one – it brings more GRID games, improved battery life, broader support for high performance chargers, and overall performance enhancements. Those are all the makings of an excellent update, no doubt.
However, a small number of users are experiencing weird color reproduction issues on their tablets, mostly with bright colors like red and orange – they just look dull post-update. After receiving a tip about this very thing, I realized that my LTE unit seems to be suffering from this bug, and the once vibrant red and black wallpaper now just looks much less enthusiastic.