Google Hangouts for iOS gains refreshed interface, multi-image sending and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Google on Monday issued a minor but notable refresh to its Hangouts client for the iPhone and iPad. If you’re using Hangouts to exchange instant messages with your friends, engage in free audio and video calls, adorn your communications with stickers and more, the brand new Hangouts 4.0 for iOS is now available free in the App Store.

It brings out several user interface tweaks that Google claims elevate your experience while adding a much-needed ability to send multiple photos at once, and more. Read More

 

Climb 3,000 feet up Yosemite’s El Capitan in Google Maps’ first-ever vertical Street View

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2015

Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan isn’t just the world’s most famous rock wall, but the official name of Apple’s latest desktop operating system, too. Coincidentally or not, Google Maps has teamed up with legendary climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell to capture an awesome panorama tour of El Capitan’s epic 3,000 feet climb.

You can explore it inside your browser with Google Maps’ marvelous vertical Street View mode offering high-quality 360-degree photography of the rocks from the climbers’ perspective that can be rotated and panned around. Read More

 

Google’s native Calendar app picks up 7-day week view, Drive integration and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2015

Google’s native Calendar for iPhone with Material Design and other cool features made its App Store debut a little over three months ago. Tuesday, it has received its first feature-focused update.

In addition to the existing ways of viewing your calendar, the new Google Calendar 1.1 for iPhone introduces a 7-day view giving you an overview of your entire week. Also, week numbers can be enabled for different calendar views in settings. Read More

 

Google launches free ad-supported Internet radio just ahead of Apple Music launch

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2015

Ahead of the June 30 Apple Music debut, Google has cunningly enabled a free streaming tier on its music subscription service called Google Play Music.

The ad-supported tier, which acts as a personalized radio station, is only available in the U.S.

It has hand-made playlists that are personalized around activity, feelings or musical tastes and designed to accompany every moment of your day. You can instantly start radio stations based on songs, artists, or albums—or browse stations by genre, mood, activity, decade and more. Read More

 

Google secretly buys technology for streaming smartphone apps without downloading

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 19, 2015

Late last year, the Internet giant Google stealthily snapped up a startup called Agawi whose technology let people stream an app to a phone without the need to actually download and install it first.

The deal went under the radar until yesterday, when it was reported by The Information’s Amir Efrati. Agawi’s tech can stream Android apps and Windows PC games to connected TVs, as well as iOS and Android devices.

While it’s unclear whether Google plans to bake app streaming into Android, the acquisition signals a potential new direction for mobile software deployment. Read More

 

Nest roundup: home security camera, improved smoke alarm, revamped mobile app and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 17, 2015

Google-owned Nest launched some new home automation gear while refreshing its entire lineup at a media event held in San Francisco this morning. Designed for personal home security, the new Nest Cam is born out of Nest’s acquisition of Wi-Fi video streaming camera maker Dropcam.

The $199 camera has a magnetic stand and can capture and stream a 130-degree video in Full HD 1080p resolution so you can keep an eye on your home while at work.

Moreover, it has advanced night vision, Nest Aware-powered activity alerts and boasts some other cool features worth mentioning. Read More

 

How to find great quotations without visiting any Google Search results

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 15, 2015

The Internet is the perfect place to research some of the greatest quotes from the world’s most insightful people, but often searching for a quote feels like finding a needle in the haystack. What if you could find great quotations without having to click through a bunch of links in search results like an animal? Well, now you can as Google has quietly rolled out handy Quotes cards that inject your search results with—you guessed right—quotes.

In this post, I’m going to teach you how to retrieve quotations on your Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad without visiting any Google Search results. Read More

 

How to send any place in Google Maps from your desktop to iPhone, iPod touch or iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2015

Google’s native Maps application for the iPhone and iPad now includes a handy option to send a place you search for on desktop to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Before you can use this handy feature, you must update to Google Maps 4.7 for iOS or later, and enable this option in settings. In this post, I’m going to teach you how to set up and use this feature so you can easily send any place from Google Maps on your desktop to your iOS device. Read More

 

How to move pictures from the Mac Photos app to Google Photos

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 8, 2015

Google Photos is a recently released cloud service from Google that allows users to store an unlimited amount of high quality photos without having to worry about costs or storage ceilings. If you’re someone who takes lots of photos with your phone, then it may be worth considering.

Announced at the 2015 Google I/O developer conference, Google Photos is available on a variety of different platforms, including the web, iOS and, of course, Android. But what if you already have tons of photos stored in the Photos app for Mac, which was also recently released?

In this brief tutorial, I’ll show you two ways to easily copy the pictures in your Photos app library to Google Photos. Watch our video to see how easy it is. Read More

 

How to enable Google Chrome’s new MacBook battery-saving feature

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 8, 2015

There’s no denying Google Chrome is brutal on notebook battery life. Don’t get me wrong, Chrome is a great browser and used to be my daily driver.

That was before OS X Yosemite came along with Safari Power Saver, a tremendously useful feature that stops power-hungry plug-ins like Adobe Flash from rendering animations and interactive elements on webpages. In case you didn’t know, Chrome has a built-in Flash Player which takes a toll on battery life and sends your notebooks’s fan into overdrive.

But worry not, Google has enabled a power-saver feature of its own in a recent Chrome update. In this post, I’m going to explain how you can enable it in order to instantly improve your MacBook’s battery performance. Read More

 

Google Drive receives Material Design overhaul with faster scrolling, syncing and image viewing

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2015

Google on Wednesday issued a version 4.0 update to its free of charge Google Drive for iOS application in the App Store. The first thing you’ll notice is a brand new design which follows Material Design guidelines set forth by Google itself.

In addition to a cleaned-up interface, other changes in Google Drive 4.0 for iPhone and iPad include much faster syncing of your files, as well as image viewing.

Scrolling performance has been improved, too, and they’ve finally implemented iOS’s standard swipe gesture to go back. Read More

 

Tim Cook takes jabs at Google and Facebook in speech about privacy and security

By Cody Lee on Jun 2, 2015

Tim Cook took time out of his busy schedule yesterday to talk about privacy with folks attending EPIC’s Champions of Freedom event in Washington. EPIC, a non-profit research center focused on emerging privacy issues, was honoring the CEO for his superior “corporate leadership.”

Cook addressed attendees via a remote video feed, and spoke about a number of topics regarding privacy, security and what they mean to Apple versus other Silicon Valley tech giants. TechCrunch has a transcription of the speech, and he takes quite a few jabs at Facebook and Google. Read More

 

Google Maps gains enhanced transit data with live arrivals for buses, metros and subway systems

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 2, 2015

According to a post on the official Google Lat Long blog, the company’s mapping service now includes improved real-time transit information for select cities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hungary and the Netherlands.

The more accurate transit data includes real-time information on arrivals for buses, metros and subway systems, Google said. Google Maps will even alert you to cancelled routes, so you can “better navigate the intricate and unpredictable world of transit in major cities around the world.” Read More

 

Google’s new Hands Free app will let you pay in stores without even reaching for your phone

By Christian Zibreg on May 29, 2015

If you thought paying with Apple Pay is ridiculously easy and frictionless, think again. No, I’m not referring to Android Pay, Google’s near exact replica of Apple Pay that was unveiled at Google I/O yesterday.

Quietly unveiled yesterday, Hands Free is a new Google mobile app currently unavailable to the general public that promises to let you make in-store purchases without ever reaching for that phone in your pocket.

Details are scarce at the moment but it seems that Hands Free requires you to just tell the cashier you’d like to pay with Google. It’s basically Android Pay without taking your phone. Read More

 

Poll: how does Google Photos compare to Apple’s Photos app + iCloud Photo Library combo?

By Christian Zibreg on May 29, 2015

Among a flurry of yesterday’s announcements at the Google I/O developer conference, the Internet giant launched Google Photos, its brand spanking new photography service available across iOSAndroid and on the web. It offers unlimited storage (with a  few caveats) and has many other compelling features that give Apple’s iCloud Photo Library a fairly good run for its money.

To name but a few: world-class facial recognition that understands aging, sleek design, fast performance, unmatched search and machine intelligence, the ability to create a movie, collage or animated GIF in seconds and more.

The question is, will you be turning to Google Photos as a backup solution for the media you’ve amassed on your iOS device? Or, perhaps you’ll be sticking with Apple’s iCloud Photo Library even though it offers a meager five gigabytes of free cloud storage? Planning on using Google Photos alongside iCloud Photo Library, are we? Not a big fan of either service, you say?

Tell us in today’s poll! Read More

 

Google-owned Snapseed brings back Grunge filter, adds a couple improvements

By Christian Zibreg on May 29, 2015

Following a major 2.0 refresh in April of this year, Google on Friday issued a minor update to Snapseed, its mobile photo editing app popular amongst iPhone photographers.

Available free of charge in the App Store, Snapseed 2.0.2 features half a dozen improvements, among them the popular Grunge filter which has made an unexpected comeback following its mysterious removal.

“After releasing Snapseed 2, we’ve heard a lot of excited voices, but also listened to your constructive feedback,” Sven Tiffe, Snapseed’s technical program manager wrote in a blog post. “You told us and we heard you, Grunge is back!” Read More

 

Google’s ‘Cardboard’ virtual reality app now available on iOS

By Cody Lee on May 28, 2015

In addition to Google Photos, Google announced at I/O today that it would be bringing another Android app over to iOS: Google Cardboard. The Mountain View tech giant says the software will “bring virtual reality to your iPhone.”

For those unfamiliar with Cardboard, it debuted at last year’s I/O conference with the promise of bringing affordable virtual reality to the masses. All it requires is a cardboard viewer that you can either make yourself or buy for $20. Read More

 

The fine print of Google Photos and why you shouldn’t ditch iCloud Photo Library just yet

By Christian Zibreg on May 28, 2015

I jumped with joy after reading Cody’s coverage of Google Photos. I mean, who wouldn’t want a sleek photo service across iOS, Android and the web that came with truly unlimited storage, right?

Here’s an iCloud Photo Library user who’s been paying Apple happily 99 cents month-to-month for the privilege of using a meager twenty gigabytes of iCloud storage.

But I have a confession to make: I need way more storage for all my photos and am reluctant to fork out five bucks a month in exchange for just 200 gigs of iCloud storage.

Having said that, before you ditch Apple’s iCloud Photo Library solution for Google Photos, here are a few facts Google didn’t emphasize enough that you should consider. Read More

 

Google opens Inbox app to everyone: updated with Undo Send, Trip Bundles, new gesture options and more

By Christian Zibreg on May 28, 2015

Inbox, a gesture driven email application from the Gmail team built on Google-acquired Sparrow technology, got refreshed with new features this morning starting with Undo Send. Now, Undo Send has been available for quite some time through Gmail’s web interface.

Now for the first time on your iPhone, Undo Send lets you take back an email right after sending in case you spotted a mistake, or have second thoughts. Also important, Inbox is now open to everyone so all Gmail fans can get in on the action right away. Read More

 

You’ll soon be able to open iOS app content straight from Google Search

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2015

Google will soon start indexing iOS apps, allowing you to open content in your favorite apps straight from Google Search, the company announced Wednesday.

Google has been indexing content from Android apps for a while and now it’s about to help Apple fans discover relevant content from iPhone and iPad applications, right inside search.

“Starting today, we’re bringing App Indexing to iOS apps as well,” the company announced. “This means users on both Android and iOS will be able to open mobile app content straight from Google Search.” Read More

 
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