If you've ever absentmindedly loaded a website that you already had open, don't worry - you're not alone. Google has long had a flag that could help with that, though it's now experimenting with an improved UI containing a 'Switch to this tab' button for it. Read More
The team behind Chrome OS is often testing new features via flags, and the latest of these is a centered shelf layout. The concept is pretty simple - the apps you have on your taskbar, called a 'shelf' by Google, get centered with this flag. Fancy stuff. Read More
Technically speaking, Android is open-source. This means anyone can look at the operating system's code, or change it - this is how OEMs like HTC and Samsung add their own tweaks. That openness has often been a rallying cry for hardcore Android enthusiasts. Why use a closed platform like iOS, when you can have a free and open-source platform?
But even from the beginning, there were components of Android that were closed-source. The Gmail app, Maps, Google Talk, and the Play Store were some of the earliest examples. To combat the always-present fragmentation of Android, Google offers many APIs through the Play Services Framework. Read More
Google's AI Experiments are fun showcases for feats of artificial intelligence the company's research has enabled. Scrying Pen is a new one that uses algorithms trained by data from 2016's Quick, Draw! experiment to show a path to draw one of a set of objects, like a cat or a hand. Read More
"Machine learning" and "neural network" are familiar terms to anyone who follows what Google is up to these days, but they may not be the most accessible or comprehensible concepts for the masses. And that's fine — you don't need to have a firm grasp of machine learning to enjoy better photos or keyboards, for instance. Still, Google has been quietly showcasing ways for users to get more hands-on with these concepts, and the latest such experiment is a game called Emoji Scavenger Hunt. Read More
Whether on mobile or desktop, Chrome always has a few experimental tricks up its sleeve. You can find these at chrome://flags where they can be enabled or disabled. Google uses these to test new features ahead of turning them on permanently, and lots of what we love about chrome started out as an optional flag. Read More
Back during 2016's I/O festivities, Google quietly launched what I consider one of its biggest sleeper hits: Science Journal. I could wax poetic about the app (and I will later), but the name is quite descriptive. Yesterday it saw a significant update, with support for more sensors, UI changes, and a new snapshot feature for capturing data points. An iOS version of the app was even released, so people of all platforms can more easily engage in the pursuit of quantitative inquiry.
Armchair science has never been so easy, or fun. Read More
Google has published numerous experiments with its cloud AI technologies, but 'Quick, Draw' is perhaps the most fun one yet. Using the same technology that interprets written symbols in Google Translate, the game attempts to guess what you are drawing. When you start, you are prompted to draw a specific thing, and the game continues making guesses until it wins or time runs out. Read More
I love science. That has to be pretty obvious from both of my work fields, but there's also more to my passion for science than medicine and technology. My physics professor used to call me "The Brain" because, well, I had a knack for solving the most complicated physics problems he could come up with. I want my kids to have this same love for science and this same curiosity, and I'm glad that the world we're in right now not only encourages this kind of enthusiasm, it also celebrates it and has developed more communities and tools and environments where kids can indulge in their scientific pursuits. Read More