Google Now does a lot of neat things, but the way Google plugs in its wealth of data makes sure the functionality changes often and in unexpected ways. Case in point, it helps you set reminders for some oddly specific events. Need to cancel an auto-renewing membership? Try asking Google Now.
Group chats can get confusing, especially if you've got a bunch of big talkers in the thread. If you need to get someone's attention in Hangouts, there's a handy little trick for doing it. Just long-press on the user's avatar and you get an @name reply.
Look, not every tip needs to be about extending battery life or accessing things more easily. Today we've got some smiley faces and stuff. It turns out you can use Emoji in homescreen folder names, which is neat.
It's time to point out a little-known feature in Chrome's omnibox that may save you a tap or two. If you're looking for something on the page you're currently viewing, rather than tapping on your overflow or menu button, going to "find in page" and typing your search string, you can do it via Chrome's omnibox as shown below. Take a look at the first option with the magnifying glass inside the box. Read More
As I'm sure you've seen by now, earlier today Google exploded a bombshell by unveiling the Android Wear smart watch initiative along with a number of partners that will be making the hardware later this year. Last but not least, the Android Wear Preview SDK was announced so that developers could start playing with the Android Wear watch emulator hooked up live to their devices and get the feel for how everything will work. Read More
While recently re-examining the Google Play Store policies, we took another look at the rules against keyword spam and what the company suggests for app descriptions. Developers are advised to stay away from classic spam techniques like repetitive keywords, exceedingly long descriptions, and unrelated keywords or references. Publishers will often use these tactics in an attempt to sneak their apps into unrelated search results. One of the most interesting of these recommendations comes at the tail end of the page where Google advises against referencing other apps you've published. Read More
It turns out Spotify Connect has a very useful feature that the company hasn't done much to make immediately obvious. The service, which lets you stream music to WiFi-connected speakers from your smartphone or tablet, also lets you pump music to other Android devices. The devices don't even have to be on the same network, for that matter. You can connect from an LTE network, as you can see in the screenshots below. Read More
As a follow up to our recent PSA on bootloader quirks with GPE devices, we thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on a bootloader anomaly which affects both Nexus and GPE devices. Recently, there have been changes to the way unlocking happens behind the scenes. These changes can result in a device that infinitely boots into recovery.
Traditionally, when you decide to unlock and flash a custom recovery, the procedure goes something like this:
- You type "fastboot oem unlock" from the command line.
In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK. Read More
Of all the announced new features of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4/KitKat, one of the cooler ones was a new dialer colloquially known as the "KitKat dialer." It features a revamped UI and includes the ability to search for businesses, contacts, etc. right from inside the dialer. It also features Internet-based caller ID. The name "KitKat dialer," however, is not entirely accurate.
Google Dialer (its official name) is not technically part of KitKat because it is not included in AOSP. Read More