COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench into people's holiday plans, but Google's Santa Tracker is back to keep us company while we're stuck at home. And this year, Google has given it a simple modification that makes it feel very 2020: gifting a pair of purple masks to Santa and Mrs. Claus. Read More
Google has made a charming habit of enabling special Nest Hello ringtones for holiday seasons, and that's continuing this year. We got some spooky Halloween sounds not long ago, and now it's time to greet visitors with some festive-themed chimes. In addition to the options that were available this time last year, Google has added a brand-new Kwanzaa category. Read More
Andrew Bell has sold various Android-themed figures, stickers, and other collectables for years under his company, Dead Zebra. If you're looking to add a little bit of Android fun to your Christmas tree, the ornament figures sold last year have returned for a limited time. Read More
Google likes to mark occasions with search Easter eggs (like the Thanos gag for the release of Avengers: Endgame a couple months back) and doodles, and for the Fourth of July this year, it's done both. Searching "fireworks" will fill your screen with a light show, and a baseball-themed Google doodle leads to a fun minigame. Read More
A new update to Google Maps began rolling out late last night to members of the beta channel. This one is arguably light on notable changes, except that there is one feature that may go live in the next few days: Commuting. It was at least briefly live before being disabled remotely. There are also several new topics for a teardown, including more points for longer reviews, new badges, and more.
Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)
- Commuting (coming soon?)
- Another notification channel for timeline notifications (fixed in 9.63.1)
Commuting: It was is live
Commuting appears to be live
At least as of October 9th, the Commute settings appear to be live again.
In its quest to make our lives easier, Google has recently taken on the travel industry by giving us search tools for flights and hotels, as well as an app to help us plan and organize trips we've already booked. Google Search already shows when a slight adjustment to travel dates can save us money, but now it's adding more robust tools for people whose travel dates are more flexible. Read More
Google has added a few entertaining Easter eggs to Google Assistant since its release, including fully interactive quiz games. In the spirit of the season, a few new holiday-related commands have made their way to Google Assistant. Read More
Christmas is coming, but many family members won't get to spend this time face to face. Millions will be placing phone calls, and another large number will be hopping on Skype. The latest update adds more ways to integrate Skype into your holiday plans. Read More
You've decorated your house, you've put on a festive watch face, you can't help but see red and green Christmas stuff everywhere you go, so what about decorating your phone's messenger app? After all, this is probably the thing you look at most during the day, so adding some jolly good spirit would go a long way in making the holiday charm follow you all the time. Facebook agrees and so it has updated its Messenger application with lots of customization options and some end-of-year themed options. Read More