Google is on a roll with the app-less updates this week. After trialing a new homescreen weather shortcut for a small amount of users a few days ago, users have been noticing that there is a new feature in Google Now to block any site from showing up in the 'Stories to read' section. Therefore, if you see a card you'd rather not see, it can now be banished and will go back to whence it came.
Blocking sites in Now has been around for a while, but only for select cards; namely the ones that specifically show up for sites you've visited before. As of the update, likely to be a server-side rollout, the blocking ability has been upgraded to apply to any card. Read More
Google Now's purpose is to give you useful information before you even think to ask, and additions continue to roll out that make the service better at its job.
A reader has reached out to us with a screenshot of a Refueling options card in Google Now. It shows the names of individual stations, how far away they are, and how long they're open. Interestingly, as mentioned at the bottom of the card, this information is appearing because the recipient has to return a rental car to the area. It's also worth noting that the reader was using Google to manage his travel itinerary. Read More
Google's OnHub router offers an easy setup process and cool app management, but it's still working on getting all the features people expect from a $200 router. For example, the USB port still doesn't do anything. There's a new update rolling out, and while it does not address the USB port situation, it does make tracking your speeds and getting devices on the right band easier. Read More
We knew Google was going to be pushing out OTA updates to the Android N developer preview this year, but I don't think anyone was expecting it to happen quite so fast. The first update is rolling out to devices now, and factory images have been updated for those of you planning to do it the old fashioned way. Read More
Google has released a new app in the Play Store, but before you get too excited, it's not technically a new app. It's just new to the store. It's the Android TV Backdrop Daydream app. If you've got an Android TV device, it already has this app installed, but now that it's in the Play Store you should get automatic updates. Read More
One of the loudest voices of criticism when T-Mobile launched Binge On was none other than Google, but it would appear the two companies have patched things up. T-Mobile just announced a big expansion of Binge On support, and among the new options are both YouTube and Google Play Movies. Read More
We've received word that Google is doing another limited rollout test, this time surrounding weather, one of their favourite topics to trial with users. Searching "weather" might show you a card asking if you'd like to "Access weather instantly from your Home screen." If you tap add, a shortcut will show up on the homescreen. It appears to work almost exactly like Chrome's Add to homescreen function, except this opens the native Search and not a browser.
This may seem a little superfluous, as Google has weather available through Google Now, and possibly in your notifications too. That might be why they're testing it. Read More
It feels like Google is always adding new cards to Search, and it's just quietly released another one: a metronome. Simply search for 'metronome,' and a card will pop up showing a beats-per-minute slider and a play button. Press play and you get a clicking noise. Voila, a metronome.
The beats-per-minute value is set at 120 by default, but can be changed to any number between 40 and 208. When you tweak the value, the color changes from blue to orange, and when you press play, the button animates, pulsating according to the selected value. The card works with both desktop and mobile search, so you can play the piano and have a beat without needing a computer. Read More
If you entered the Google I/O lottery this year, dust off your F5 keys - lotto results have started showing up in inboxes.
If you haven't received yours yet, don't worry - Google typically sends these notices out in batches. The window for registration after you receive an invite is 24 hours, so unused or declined tickets can work back into the system for the next lucky winners. And just in case you don't get a golden ticket this time, here's what the email looks like: Read More
Everyone knows someone who has made the switch from iPhone to Android. This latest convert will surprise you though. It’s GoogleBot – the all-important web crawler used by Google.
GoogleBot is a vital cog in the Google search engine. In its most simplified form, it works by going from website to website and sucking up as much information as it possibly can. The data is then passed to other Google algorithms, where it is processed, ranked, and transformed into search results.
In order for GoogleBot to get all perspectives of a website, it masquerades as different types of devices – a desktop browser, a feature-phone browser, and a smartphone browser. Read More