Among the headline options that come with Android 4.4 is really a refurbished desltop and application launcher. The symbols are bigger, there's more transparency, and also the application drawer makes better utilisation of the screen property. It is also heavily integrated with Search and Google Now, although you will possibly not view it in the surface level.
Sure, there is the usual search bar widget along with a swipe left will open the entire Search application, however the integration goes much much deeper than that. While developing KitKat, Google designed a quite interesting decision: instead of graft a couple of new search UI pieces to the desltop, Google put the present home application within the trash and switched all desltop functionality to google's Search application.
Ars Technica took a closer look to Android 4.4 KitKat and found that the Google Home launcher has been sacrificed in favor of the new Google Search, which takes over the screen in a similar fashion Facebook's launcher does:
That's right, Google Search isn't just integrated into the home screen, it is the home screen. Everything you see on the home screen-the wallpaper, the icons, the widgets, and the app drawer-are all drawn by the Google Search app. "GoogleHome.apk" still exists, but it is an empty shell that forwards everything to the search app.
The difference here is that Google does it in a more subtle way than Facebook, which isn't obvious to the user and doesn't change the overall experience when it comes to visual elements.
Google makes it's Search mobile app better by adding a tip calculator to its laundry list of features.
The tip calculator can be initiated by either a voice command or typing for example "What's the tip for X dollars" and a special interface will pop up prompting you to fill in the facts of the order. To ensure that Google to come back you the exact tip amount, you'll have to input the total bill, adjust the end percentage and split the check among the people you're by helping cover their.
This will output two numbers - the first one is the tip each person has to give, and also the other will be the bill (plus tip) divided through the number of people.
This tool definitely comes handy when you are out of your friends and trying to bring up a 3rd party app to calculate tips while you can use the search app much easiler from your finger tips.
Google's popular mobile browser is going to receive a redesigned start page, a hidden setting reveals. Other new features include image search and new gestures.
Today's Beta release of Chrome you can quickly discover all sorts of content related to an image by right-clicking on it, or by long pressing it on mobile devices, and selecting the option to search for it within your default search provider.
Right-click on an image to use it as a Google search
In Chrome for Android, new gestures make it even easier to get where you want to go. Swipe horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch tabs (this gesture replaces swiping from the edge of the screen). Drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter into the tab switcher view. And drag down from the menu to open the menu and select the item you want without having to lift your finger.
This is all clearly a work in progress (hence the hidden placement within the Chrome flags section); the voice-command icon doesn't yet work, and tapping the Bookmarks or Other Devices buttons takes you back to those respective sections in the old-style start page.
Great news Google Music fans, Google Play Music All Access is now available in Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom.
You can now Sign Up for a 30 day trial, followed by a special locked in price of £7.99/month for being an early subscriber. Normal price will be £9.99 after this initial deal expires on 15th September.
Those of you waiting for this service on iOS still don't have a clear picture as to hen the app will arrive, but judging by the fact that iTunes Match is now working almost world-wide, there might not be a need for a rush.
If you are in a particular Starbucks coffee shop happens to be in the few areas where Google has its Fiber service set up, the speed bump will be up to 100 times faster than the current Starbucks WIFI connection
As TechCrunch points out, this isn't Google's first attempt at providing free Wi-Fi access in a public place. In San Francisco, the company is having talks about setting up free access points in key public spaces. Google's free hotspots should go live there in April, 2014. There are also numerous Wi-Fi access points in the surroundings of Google's Mountain View HQ, too.
Google will start rolling out the new networks this August. They appreciate your patience if it's still a little while before they get to your favorite Starbucks-you'll know your new network is ready to go when you can log in to the "Google Starbucks" SSID.
Google unveiled the new Nexus 7 tablet a couple of days ago and the company had announced that the Nexus 7 2 will be available in US from July 30. However, Best Buy has started shipping out the tablet to those who pre-ordered it.
The newly updated Nexus 7 features a 5-megapixel rear camera and an impressively dense 1920 x 1200 display to the successful formula that Google and Asus introduced last year with the original 7-inch tablet. The entry price is a little higher, starting at $229, but other upgrades like a faster processor, a doubling of onboard RAM, and an all around thinner and more elegant design would appear to justify the premium.
The Nexus 7 is also available in the Best Buy stores if you are planning to pick it up in person. Google has also revealed the pricing of the device and, as expected, the 16 GB model would cost you $230, while the 32 GB comes with a price tag of $270.
Google Glass has received its sofware update code-name XE7, features including a boost of web browsing abilities, touch sensitivity, and oodles of sharing, in my opinion most exciting in very basic way - is the ability to browse the web.
While last month and the XE6 update improved the camera, added HDR, and slightly touched on voice controls. Today's update is much bigger while also addressing a few key limitations the wearable initially had. That being easy calling and messaging, web browsing, and full Google contact list support. We already received it today. Excellent stuff Google!
With XE4 and 5 improving battery life, XE6 fixing the camera, and now XE7 working on web browsing and voice commands it's obvious that Google is hard at work with Glass.
Google's new Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One phones go on sale today, also called the "Google Play Edition"-- and in an unexpected twist, the devices are giving us a glimpse at some subtle changes that appear to be on the way to Android.
If you thought the version of Android installed on the Google Play Editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One would be identical to AOSP, think again. Reviewers at some media outlets able to get their hands on test units noted a few, relatively minor differences between stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the software pre-installed on the Google Play Edition phones. Though not much more than subtle UI enhancements, the incongruities are worth a quick look.
Here are some things that have caught my eye so far:
- A new Camera app interface
- A slightly tweaked app drawer design
- A new live wallpaper
- A new default lock screen clock
- A different boot animation
Check out all the details here
Starting today, Google+ notifications are much easier to use across mobile and desktop. In particular:
- When you read a notification on one device, we'll mark it as read on your other devices
- Likewise: dismissing a notification (with a swipe or a click) does so everywhere, so you can say goodbye to annoying repeats
What's in this version:
- Stream content automatically updates when the app is started
- Ability to delete photos from Photos view
- Additional bug fixes and performance improvements
According to Business Insider, Google may be planning its own retail stores. While we've heard this kind of rumor before, what makes this claim truly interesting is that the retail front supposedly will only feature Google Glass. When briefed on this story, Google said, "we don't plan to comment on rumor or speculation."
Google Glass is quite a bit different than other mobile computing devices out there, which could make for a sharp learning curve. Having a retail presence for Glass could be an important way to train new owners, educate about Glass, and even help some folks get over the fear or distrust of it.
Right now it's sending out Glass to developers as part of its "Explorer" program. Developers pay $1,500 for Glass. They then test Glass, and build applications, helping Google figure out how Glass is really going to work.
Read more: Business insider