Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, Google announced a groundbreaking service called "Google Now." For the few lucky people who got to experience it, Now was everything you wanted at the swipe of your finger. Future appointments, trips, scheduled deliveries, upcoming reservations, all useful information without any fluff. Then random articles and news started flooding it. At first, they were dismissable with a swipe, until they were not. Slowly, Now became Discover, and your cards went away, leaving in their wake any information Google wanted to shove in your face.
In the meantime, Google started developing Assistant's upcoming (aka updates, aka inbox) screen as a replacement where all your personal cards would live, and eventually launched it under the name "Snapshot." Read More
Assistant's daily Snapshot feed is the reincarnation of the Google Now of ol' for our modern times. It took a few years for Google to migrate and integrate most of Now's excellent functionality into Assistant, but we're finally there now. We get weather, calendar, shipping, travel, commute, reservation, and more contextual cards, and it's all customizable. We can even call it with a simple "Hey Google, show me my day." What we can't do, though, is swipe right on the homescreen to get to it — that functionality has been monopolized by the Discover articles and ads. But Google has implemented another faster way to get to Snapshot. Read More
OnePlus has been surprisingly hesitant to illuminate the precise differences between the T-Mobile and unlocked versions of its phones, but gradually the distinctions are coming to light. Recently, it was revealed to us that the T-Mobile version replaces the OnePlus Launcher's "Shelf" functionality with the popular Google Read More
Now Feed Discover, and OnePlus remains tight-lipped as to whether the feature is coming to other phones, though it admits only the T-Mobile version has it for now.
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. Read More
Google Voice Search is dead. Cue in somber music.
For many years before Google Assistant was a thing, Android had a microphone you could trigger to perform actions. It had actions such as calls, texts, emails, music back in 2010, more than 10 languages supported way back in 2012, introduced nicknames and relationships such as "mom" and "husband" in 2014, and had multilingual support also in 2014. But then Assistant was introduced and Google started slowly transitioning things over from Voice Search. Read More
Just about a month ago, the "what's this song" music identification functionality started to roll out to Assistant on both of the new Pixel 2 phones. Google's voice search (for instance, via "Google Now") had this functionality for a long time, but for whatever reason, the transition to the new Assistant stripped that feature away. Although it was back for the Pixel 2, it appears that music recognition in the Assistant is now rolling out to non-Google devices as well. Read More
Google has been toying with changes to the Google Feed in its eponymous app all year, seemingly settling on a translucent look when you swipe right from your launcher home screen, or the three-tab interface in the full app. Google may still be testing different options, so yours may not be the same as mine, but I find it a lot worse than what I had before, especially as I can't swipe away cards to dismiss them anymore. Read More
It's been a long road, getting from there to here. Google announced at the end of 2016 that it would start rolling out a tabbed interface in the Google app - one tab for your feed (previously known as Google Now), and the other for reminders/emails/etc. But then Google only enabled it for a small amount of users, and left it at that for a few months. Then a third tab was added, and even more users received the changed interface. Read More
If you're one of those who has yet to even see the two-tab interface, you'll be surprised to hear that Google is already testing out a third tab. Reports indicate that the new button performs a search. The tab might be a bit redundant, given the search bar already present at the top of the page, but perhaps scrolling to the top was a bit too inconvenient for some. Read More
Back in February of last year, Google unveiled Accelerated Mobile Pages - or AMP, for short. In a nutshell, sites can choose to generate AMP versions of their pages (with an automated tool or site plugin), which load extremely quick compared to normal sites. This is due to various restrictions, compression on the included images/video, and caching by Google's own servers. Read More