Long ago, before Google Now turned into the Feed, Google used to provide you with an easily accessible summary of custom tailored, account-scraped stuff, useful for keeping track of various deadlines or ongoing details. In that transition to Feed, though, the information was relegated to a new "Upcoming" tab in the Google app, and the personal overview started to stagnate a bit. Well, Google's bringing it all back better than ever via the Assistant.
Google Goggles has been basically dead since 2014. It had no updates for three years, and what little utility it brought was quickly replaced by other services, or merged into existing apps. Well, now Google has disclosed a worthy successor to the idea in the form of Google Lens. Just announced at I/O, the new system will provide contextual information about things visually, like flowers you take pictures of, or text you point your phone at. This is huge.
I've been an Evernote user for a long time now. I've watched it grow from a simple way to take and organize notes to a powerful work tool. I've written many reviews in Evernote (for easy cross-device sync), and I don't see that changing any time soon.
With the latest update, finding relevant content to the piece you're currently working on is even easier. With a Premium Account ($5/month), Evernote will offer relevant suggestions from The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Pando Daily, Fast Company, and Inc. according to what you're currently working on. It will also offer suggestions from previously-written and shared notes.
Months ago, we posted a rumor about "modular actions" set to come to Google's Search app (now just called Google) along with "Ok Google Everywhere" functionality that would allow users to activate search from anywhere on their device. The latter has already been implemented, but Google is still inching toward the former. With the technically unreleased Google app, the search interface can overlay apps from which it is called, but Google today announced another step forward - the ability to let apps hook into search by accepting voice queries from the user.
The solution is a mere six lines which, when added to the AndroidManifest.xml file, will allow a user to say something like "Search for pizza on Eat24" to open the corresponding app (in this case Eat24) to pizza search results.
In an effort to make your vacation to Universal Orlando Resort more pleasant and at least a little less chaotic, NBC Universal has released an official app to the Play Store that promises to "put everything you need to know about your vacation in the palm of your hand."
Essentially, the app gives users timely, contextual information about their visit, showing wait times for attractions and rides inside the parks, in-park notifications, and a map that will navigate you through the park to your chosen ride or destination.
The app also allows users to create lists of their favorite attractions, and promises "hidden surprises throughout the parks."
It's not perfect, but the app's interface looks pretty well-polished, and there's no denying that helpful planning and guiding functionality is a big help when visiting an amusement park.
The popular invite-only contextual launcher Aviate upgraded today from Alpha to Beta. It's still invite-only, but it's definitely worth looking at, as one of the most powerful alpha products I've ever used just got even better. (Did I mention we have an invite code good for 500 invites later in the post?)
The team behind Aviate promises that, besides new features, the beta launch means that the full wait list of users will be brought on board, with all users getting five invite codes to dole out to friends.
So, what exactly is new in the beta? Several touches that add a nice helping of functionality to the already stellar contextual launcher, but which avoid cluttering the interface, and help Aviate stay true to its clean, restrained design language.
Dexetra Software, the team behind apps like Iris and Friday, recently brought a new creation to the Play Store with dialapp, a dialer that provides a similar experience to Android's stock dialer, but has one (big) twist: dialapp attempts to guess who you want to call before you even open it.
Basically, by learning from your communication habits based on location, time, and calendar information, the app "magically" knows who you're likely to call, floating those contacts to the top of your call history screen.
Really, it's as simple as that. The app can connect up to Dexetra's Friday service through Google+ to learn more and "unify" contacts, but users are free to pass on signing in.