Waze updated with Notification Center widget and more

By Cody Lee on Dec 16, 2014

The Google-owned Waze updated its iOS app today, bringing the crowdsourced mapping software to version 3.9.2. Don’t let that build number fool you, however, as the update brings about some significant changes.

Perhaps the most notable addition is the new Waze Today Widget for iOS 8 devices. The widget allows you to quickly view your ETA for Home or Work, navigate with one tap, and easily send your current drive & ETA. Read More

 

Google Drive for iOS now lets you upload files from other apps and cloud services

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2014

Following up on a recent Google Drive update which brought out support for Touch ID fingerprint verification and iPhone 6 resolutions along with a brand new Share extension to access cloud files in almost any iOS 8 app, today the search giant Google announced that it’s now possible to send files to your Drive from other iPhone and iPad applications that have advertised their storage extension system-wide.

And in addition to the usual slew of bug fixes and performance improvements, the refreshed Drive client for iOS now makes it possible to view and share custom maps through the company’s My Maps feature. Read More

 

Google refreshes Photo Sphere Camera with better image quality, new library organization and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2014

Following its App Store debut four months ago, Google’s Photo Sphere Camera has been bumped to version 1.1.

The useful photography software which allows anyone with an iPhone 4s or higher to create panoramic images now features enhanced image quality when creating 360-degree images on an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

Additionally, the library view now separates private from public panoramas and the built-in map has been upgraded so that you can expand or contract it as needed. Read More

 

Google Wallet for iPhone adds Touch ID and iPhone 6 support, more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2014

The Internet giant Google has upped the ante in the mobile payment arena with Tuesday’s refresh to its Wallet iOS app. The new version brings out support for Touch ID allowing owners of the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and the iPhone 5s and onward to unlock the app with their finger.

And with native display support for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus display resolutions, the app now takes full advantage of the screen real estate available to owners of Apple’s latest handsets. Read More

 

Google’s iOS app picks up Nest integration

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 15, 2014

Following a recent refresh with Material Design, iPhone 6 support and Maps in search results, Google’s main search client for iOS and Android today gained the ability to interact with your Nest smart thermostat, along with other Nest-branded devices for the connected home, using Google Now voice commands.

Replicating some of the functionality provided by Nest’s own iPhone application, Google’s native search app for the iPhone and iPad takes advantage of voice input and Now cards to help control your Nest hardware.

Just fire up the app and either tap the mic or say “Ok Google” to get started. This is a silent feature upgrade on the backend so no download is required. Read More

 

Google iOS app gains Material Design, iPhone 6 support, Recents and Maps in search results

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

The search monster Google this morning posted a major update to its main search app for iOS.

The company says it’s enhanced the software by bringing out support for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus screens, a fresh new look with Material Design appearance, Maps alongside search results, easier-to-find recent searches, a “G” button that lets you start a new search from anywhere within the app and more.

You can grab the completely rebuilt Google 5.0 app for the iPhone and iPad free of charge in the App Store. Read More

 

Kantar: iPhone 6 helps Apple gain share over Android, iPhone 5c outselling iPhone 6 Plus in US

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2014

In the last three months up to October 31, Apple’s misunderstood iPhone 5c outsold the iPhone 6 Plus in the United States.

Moreover, overall sales of both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets has bumped up Apple’s market share against Android around the world, according to the latest smartphone survey by Kantar Worldpanel, the WPP-owned market researcher.

The research firm reported Wednesday that Apple is poised for a record quarter amid “a huge jump in sales share across almost all major markets” thanks to the new iPhones. Read More

 

Apple TV seen losing ground to Roku and Google’s Chromecast

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2014

Apple’s $99 Apple TV box is reportedly losing ground to rivals in the media streaming space, according to a new study by market research firm Parks Associates shared by CNET.

At a time when as much as ten percent of U.S. households with a broadband connection have bought a media-streaming device in the first nine months of this year, Apple’s market share went down to seventeen percent.

As a result of increased competition, the Apple TV fell down to the number three slot, with Roku and Google’s Chromecast holding the #1 and #2 slot, respectively. Read More

 

Google revamps Play Books for iOS with Material Design, adds new features

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2014

Google on Monday issued a major update to its Play Books client in the App Store, introducing a thorough Material Design rethinking of the somewhat neglected iPhone and iPad software. The app now includes a host of much welcomed new features.

For starters, the ability to read the previously uploaded PDF and EPUB files is now available in the new Play Books 2.0.

Next, you can now access the books you’ve read most recently in a new Read Now view, where you can also tap to read free samples of e-books carried on Google’s store.

Jump past the fold for the full list of changes in Play Books 2.0. Read More

 

Report: Yahoo and Microsoft fighting to supplant Google search on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

According to a report Tuesday by The Information, a technology website started by The Wall Street Journal writer Jessica Lessin, both Microsoft and Google are “fighting” to boot Google search from the iPhone and other Apple devices.

If true, the move wouldn’t be unheard of: Apple teams up with alternate search providers in markets like China.

Apple earns a small commission from search ad revenue each time a user performs a Google search from Safari’s address bar on the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

With that deal expiring sometime in 2015, Microsoft and Yahoo are now hoping the Cupertino firm won’t renew it and will instead make their respective service the default search choice on iOS. Read More

 

Google’s new Bookmark Manager surfaces in latest Chrome Beta

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

Following Wednesday’s release of a stable version of the 64-bit edition of Google Chrome for Mac, the Internet giant issued a new version of Chrome Beta for Mac, Windows and Linux that includes an all-new Bookmark Manager feature that previously leaked via screenshots (it was called Stars).

With Bookmark Manager, it will be a lot easier for Chrome fans to manage their saved bookmarks, delete unwanted ones, file them under folders and more.

And when creating a new bookmark, Chrome will let you select an image and add a note or snippet so you can find it more quickly later. “Google will also suggest a folder if it seems like it could be a fit,” the team said in a blog post. Read More

 

Google buys iOS app prototyping startup RelativeWave, makes Mac app free

By Cody Lee on Nov 19, 2014

Google has acquired RelativeWave, the team responsible for the popular iOS app prototyping software Form. Form is available for Mac and iOS, and allows designers and developers to create rich interactive app prototypes and run them on their iPhone or iPad.

In a note on its website today, RelativeWave announced that they would be joining Google to continue their work on the software, saying they “want to get Form in the hands of as many people as possible, and this is [their] first step in accomplishing that goal.” Read More

 

How to access Google’s Inbox service on Safari

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2014

A month ago, Google launched a new iPhone app called Inbox, a different take on email which uses Sparrow-like gestures to help you achieve Inbox Zero nirvana and surface the most relevant items that tend to get lost in an avalanche of unwanted emails users get bombarded with.

Available on iOS, Android and Chrome, Inbox leaves fans of Apple’s Safari browser in the dark. It’s fortunate that there’s a quick workaround to that, let me show you how.

Inbox is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

64-bit version of Google Chrome for Mac launches

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2014

After releasing 64-bit Chrome for Windows and a beta version of Chrome for Mac with 64-bit support back in August, Google today announced that the app is out of beta and available to everyone.

Public release of the 64-bit Chrome for Mac edition marks the end of the road for 32-bit NPAPI (Netscape Plug-in APIs) plugins as the Internet company now requires developers to provide their extensions with 64-bit support.

Most users shouldn’t be affected, however, because the vast majority of plugins and extensions are readily available in both 32-bit and 64-bit form. Chrome 39.0.2171.65 (Google, we need to talk about version numbers!) also includes more than three dozen under the hood changes for stability and performance and comes with a set of new APIs allowing extension developers to take advantage of new features. Read More

 

YouTube app update adds new music homepage with YouTube Mix

By Cody Lee on Nov 13, 2014

Google updated its iOS YouTube client this morning, bringing the universal app to version 2.16.11441. The update is fairly minimal, but it does include a new music homepage and YouTube Mix integration, making the music listening experience on YouTube “better than ever.”

The new music homepage allows you to do things like play albums right from search, and it will now offer you song recommendations based on your previous listening habits. It also allows you to listen to an endless YouTube Mix playlist, built using your favorite songs and artists. Read More

 

YouTube unveils ad-free subscription service with background play, offline viewing and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2014

Google-owned YouTube on Wednesday announced a long-rumored service which lets you stream ad-free music, play tracks in the background through mobile apps for iOS/Android and on YouTube.com, mark individual music videos and other clips for offline playback and much more, in exchange for a flat monthly fee of ten bucks per month.

Dubbed YouTube Music Key, it’s releasing in beta next week.

The service integrates with Google’s existing subscription music service called Play Music (formerly Google Play All Access), which includes more than 30 million songs. If you’ll be taking Music Key for a spin when it launches, Google will treat you to a promotional subscription fee of eight bucks per month. Read More

 

Google Drive gains Touch ID, iPhone 6/6 Plus support, Storage extension and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 6, 2014

After adding passcode protection to Google Drive for the iPhone and iPad half a year ago, Google on Thursday added more coolness to the software.

First and foremost, the app now includes full support for iOS 8 technologies and can finally lock itself behind Touch ID fingerprint authentication.

And should you happen to own one of the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus devices, Google Drive will take full advantage of the increased resolutions to show more files and content.

They’ve also added a new option to save videos from Drive to your device and implemented a handy system-wide Storage extension allowing you to access your Drive in almost any iOS 8 app.

Google Drive is available at no cost in the App Store. Read More

 

Google Maps with OpenTable reservations, Uber integration and Material Design now rolling out

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 6, 2014

Announced yesterday, a much-improved Google Maps for the iPhone and iPad featuring Material Design appearance, OpenTable reservations, Uber integration and more is now rolling out in App Stores worldwide.

Featuring engaging animations, shadows and depth — courtesy of Google’s newly-found design language for desktop, mobile and the web — Google Maps 4.0 promises to be the funnest version of the app to date.

The search giant says the layers and buttons “come to life so you know just where to touch to get directions, recommendations and imagery.”

Download the app now, give it a whirl and tell us how you liked it in comments.

Google Maps 4.0 is free in the App Store. Read More

 

Google Maps for iOS revamped with Android’s Material Design UI

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2014

Keen on deploying Android Lollipop’s Material Design across its mobile apps on all platforms, Google on Wednesday announced a new version of Google Maps for the iPhone and iPad featuring engaging animations, shadows and depth.

The fresh new design is all about creating surfaces and shadows that echo the real world, the search firm said.

With Google Maps’ new material feel, layers and buttons “come to life so you know just where to touch to get directions, recommendations and imagery”. The update will be rolling out over the next few days.

Google Maps is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

This Chrome extensions lets you open Google Drive files in compatible Mac apps

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2014

Google on Wednesday announced a new extension for the Chrome browser which makes it easy to open files stored in your Google Drive in compatible applications on your Mac or Windows PC.

“This includes apps like advanced image and video editing software, accounting and tax programs, or 3D animation and design tools,” wrote the search firm in a blog post.

Simply right-click on the file from Google Drive and select “Open with” to see a list of applications on your computer that can open it. The extension is called “Application Launcher for Drive” and you can download it for free in the Chrome Web Store. Read More

 
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