This year, Google's Arts & Culture project dove into a global exploration of cultural and historical wonders as a salve to the travel restrictions inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic — it was dubbed as a way to take a vacation without crossing borders. Now, the showcase is getting more than three dozen 3D models of artifacts and monuments for your eyes to take in, right from Google Search.
Google has a history of making fun easter Easter eggs across its sites, services, and apps, and today's is a wave of 90s-era nostalgia. With a simple query in Google Search and a tap on the fresh license plate, you can celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with period-appropriate results.
Google introduced activity cards in Search last year to let you quickly revisit results from your previous searches of the same keyword. The company is now expanding the scope of this tailored feed to cover three specific new areas: jobs, recipes, and online shopping — the things people are probably looking for the most while stuck at home during the pandemic.
Google set out to acquire fitness company Fitbit in November of last year, but the deal hasn't gone through all the required regulatory approvals yet. There have been concerns that the acquisition could lead to reduced competition and Google extending its apparatus of data-collecting for targeted advertisements, and now advocacy groups around the world are urging governments to closely investigate the deal.
The past few months have seen plenty of Gboard changes come to the keyboard via server-side updates. Dark mode, smart compose, clipboard suggestions, all of these are still rolling out to users (I don't have any of them yet), but more features and enhancements are on the way. Two more appear to be widely available now, be it on the beta or stable version of Gboard: image support in the clipboard, and Google Lens in lieu of Search.
On many Android devices, Google Search lets you view tons of 3D models like animals, pets, skeletons, cells, Neil Armstrong's spacesuit, and much more. With the tap of a button, you can move these objects into your home and see them as though they were in your camera's viewfinder. It's even possible to snap photos and take videos. The list of supported phones is ever-expanding — devices like the Sony Xperia 1 II, the Poco X2, the Xiaomi Redmi K30, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6 Lite made the cut we when checked in at the beginning of June, and now a few more are popping up, including the flagship Galaxy S20 series.
Google introduced Chrome custom tabs five years ago, and most apps use them these days. Instead of creating their own custom browsers, developers can just hand over websites to a Chrome tab without the added bulk of a regular browser interface. The advantage is that devs don't have to spend resources on creating their own webview implementations and that users can quickly open these custom tabs in proper Chrome without reloading or losing their scroll position. It's a great system. But Google wouldn't be Google if it stuck with a great system (looking at you, YouTube Music).