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
Back in February, we caught sight of an interesting experiment Google was undertaking with the help of trusted local guides. The experiment was an app called Tablescape - a "community to make, share, and discover amazing foodographs." With a little digging, we found that the content shown in the screenshots (originally posted by El Androide Libre) lined up with a community called The Plate, which was likely serving as a Google+-based content funnel for the app.
After that initial glimpse though, we didn't see or hear anything official about the service.
Today we've heard something more, but it may not be what we had hoped - it looks like Google is officially closing down the Tablescape experiment before it had a chance to see the light of day. Read More
Search, as the foundational product Google is known for, is obviously something the company is very thoughtful of when it comes to design. Even small changes can cause a big impact on user experience and engagements, so Google is careful about how design tweaks are implemented.
One common method of testing and easing into (or out of) design tweaks is A/B testing (something we recently saw Google experimenting with in the Google+ app). Today, it looks like Google has begun an experiment on its search engine results page when users search from Chrome on mobile devices. Rather than show results in a lineup, separated by gray lines, Google is playing with a layout that puts each result on its own card, underscored by a line colored to match one of Google's four primary brand colors - blue, green, yellow, and red. Read More
Fun fact: Microsoft was working on "smart watches" a solid decade before the current craze. Microsoft partnered with Fossil and a few other watch makers to release SPOT Watches, which received information updates via FM radio broadcasts. I don't want to say that SPOT watches were terrible, and I don't have to, because this Cnet review does it for me. Maybe Microsoft is trying to capture the not-so-glorious days of early 2000s smartwatches, because the company's research division has just posted an experimental keyboard for Android Wear.
Actually, the Analog Keyboard Project seems like a pretty good idea. Instead of trying to replicate a full smartphone-style virtual keyboard on a tiny watch screen, or adapting an alternative input for the smaller form factor, Microsoft is indeed going back to an earlier design standard. Read More
The incomparable @evleaks has offered up another look at Samsung's alleged UI experimentation, this time showing what would appear to be predictive search or information cards, similar to those offered by Google Now. Split into two parts, the collection shows everything from home temperature automation to exercise tracking to flight info, package tracking, appointments, and plenty more.
What differentiates the cards from Google's own service (design aside) is apparent social integration beyond birthdays and commutes. We can see, for example, evidence of check-in or location sharing and media sharing alongside the other cards. Read More