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Posts Tagged: Google

Google Android Apps

Although Google’s first party application update timing isn’t quite as predictable as it once was, “Google Update Wednesday” is still a thing. Today, Google has issued major updates to its first party Google Camera and Gmail apps, following up on a minor Google Search update that was issued yesterday.

The stars of the show here are Google Camera and Gmail. The update to Google Camera brings us up to version 2.3.017 (up from 2.2.024 a little over a month ago). This update brings support for Android Wear as well as a refreshed panorama mode interface. The new panorama and PhotoSphere interface increases visual polish by giving us larger and more visible guide circles, as well as a new in-app guide to show you how to get the best results.

Next up, we have a moderately significant update to Gmail. This update brings us to version 4.9 (1266230), up from version 4.8 last month. For those who don’t remember, last month’s update brought us the ability to save attachments directly to Google Drive from within Gmail. Today’s update takes the Google Drive integration one step further by allowing users to insert attachments directly from Drive. Google Drive-based attachments can be inserted just like standard local attachments, and they can be found in the action overflow menu in the compose screen.

Finally, we have a minor update to Google Search that brings us up to 3.5.16.1262550 (up from 3.5.14.1234234 just a few weeks ago). This update, which started rolling out yesterday, is pushing out to both x86 and ARM devices. It doesn’t seem to add any new functionality that we’ve noticed just yet. However, we don’t have too much reason to complain on that front, thanks to yesterday’s backend update.

All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our Google Drive for your sideloading pleasure:

voice search correction

As accurate as Google Voice Search has become over the years, it’s still far from perfect–especially for less common words or when issuing search queries in noisy environment such as a car or crowded area. Now, a Google Search backend update update has made Voice Search a bit smarter by allowing you to correct misheard queries.

Google Voice Search has demonstrated contextual awareness for quite some time. For example, if you search for “Show me pictures of Renaissance art,” it shows you pictures of Renaissance art as you would expect. If you then follow this up with, “how about Baroque,” you are then shown pictures of Baroque art. Today’s update takes this one step further by allowing you to correct misheard search queries by simply saying “No, I said,” followed by the corrected query.

The results are pretty hit or miss right now, as Google Search seems to break contextual awareness somewhat frequently when correcting search queries. This is even more likely if you attempt to correct a misheard query multiple times. However, this added functionality is certainly a step in the right direction. And when used in conjunction with “OK Google Everywhere,” Voice Search is now even more useful for those in situations where direct device control isn’t the most convenient.

[Source: Google]

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"OK Google" on any screen

You may recall how last week’s update to Google Search brought “OK Google” hotword detection to any screen, something which was previously only available when on the home screen of the Google Experience Launcher or in the Google Search app itself. We’ve now received one more update to Google Search, but even with this latest update, the revised hotword detection is only available to certain Google accounts. Luckily, root-enabled users were quick to find workarounds, but as we all know, not everyone’s running a rooted device.

Now, Redditors have found a way to get this working on any device and user account, without the use of any fancy root-enabled sorcery. The procedure itself involves nothing more than searching for “OK Google Everywhere.” After doing so and then backing out of Google Now, you’ll be able to go to Google Now Settings –> Voice –> OK Google Detection and enable hotword detection from any screen (including the lock screen).

This fix was originally found by Redditor xStreame, and it was then expanded upon and reposted by pr01etar1at:

  1. Open Google Now
  2. Search for “OK Google everywhere”
  3. Click any link [may be unnecessary but I did it]
  4. Back out to Google Now
  5. Go to Settings>Voice
  6. Audio History and Anywhere Detection should now be available as settings.

If you’ve been longing for the Moto X-like hotword detection from any screen, now’s your chance to get in on the fun. Now if only this could be extended to when the display is powered off for users willing to sacrifice a bit of battery life for this added functionality.

[Source: Reddit (1,2) | Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Google Android Apps

It’s still Wednesday in Mountain View, and you know what that means—it’s another Google Update Wednesday. Today, we have one entirely new application in the Play Store, two major app updates that bring Android L compatibility, and four other, more minor updates.

First off, we have Android Wear. Coming in at inaugural version 1.0.0.1261840, this app allows you to pair with and edit the parameters of your new Android Wear device–provided you’re one of the lucky few to already own one. In addition to basic device configuration settings, this app also allows you to control voice action preferences, as well as notification settings.

Next up, we have Google Docs 1.3.251.21 and Google Sheets 1.3.251.25. Those of you brave enough to be using the Android L Developer Preview on your daily driver device will have undoubtedly noticed that before today, Docs and Sheets simply would not install on L Preview. This changes today, thanks to updates to both of these apps. In addition, both updates now allow you to directly edit Microsoft Office (Excel and Word) files, just like what we saw in Slides not too long ago. If that’s not all, both apps have been given a touch of Material Design UI flair, thanks to a floating action button and trademark Material Design visual stylings.

Finally, we have minor updates to Search, YouTube, Slides, and Google Play Services. These updates come in at versions 3.5.15.1254529, 5.7.41, 1.0.783.22, and 5.0.84, respectively.

All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:

Latest App Updates:

Google Play Services:

[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the APKs!]

android wear tv auto

Android OEM customizations like Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense are undoubtedly a love-it-or-hate-it affair. There are certainly users out there who care for the added features that these skins introduce. But on the other side of the coin, there are more than a fair share of users who despise the aesthetic nightmares found in some skins. What’s more, this extensive customization often (but not always) results in Android firmware update delays—and that’s if the bloated firmware doesn’t prevent updates in the first place. Oh, and let’s not forget about how these customizations result in a greater number of security vulnerabilities. READ ON »

QuickOffice on Android L

Approximately two years ago, Google acquired Quickoffice, Inc. Then about nine months ago, the QuickOffice suite was re-released as a free app in the Google Play Store. At the time, many were quick to criticize the redundancy of having editing capabilities in Google Drive, as well as a standalone office suite. Complicating matters further, Google also decided to release standalone Docs and Sheets apps at the end of April. But two days after the release of Docs and Sheets, Google Drive 1.3 removed its built-in editing capabilities in favor of the new standalone apps.

Now that we also have the standalone presentation editor Slides, it’s natural to assume that Google would aim to remove the last remaining redundancy: the QuickOffice app itself. As stated on the Google Apps blog, QuickOffice will be removed from Google Play and the iOS App Store in the coming weeks:

With the integration of Quickoffice into the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps, the Quickoffice app will be unpublished from Google Play and the App Store in the coming weeks. Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but no features will be added and new users will not be able to install the app.

With the removal of QuickOffice, hopefully Google will be better able to focus its efforts on making Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive as smooth and capable as possible. Are you a QuickOffice user? If so, what are your thoughts?

[Source: Google Apps Blog | Via AndroidPolice]

Jordan0627

Android L developer preview is available for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7(2013)! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of Android L and what interface changes it has in store, and there is an article about Nokia’s new X2 Android phone! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!

Be sure the check out the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for MinMinLock. Then, Adam did an XDA Unboxing of the ASUS PadFone X. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of WiFi Scheduler. Pull up a chair and check out this video.

READ ON »

Google Nexus Line

You may recall that about a month and a half ago, there was a widespread rumor that the Nexus program would come to a halt in favor of Android Silver. This rumor originated with a set of tweets by famed leaker @evleaks, stating that there would be no Nexus 6. This rumor can be put to rest for now, thanks to the head of Android engineering and Google’s Nexus program, Dave Burke.

In an interview earlier today posted by ReadWrite, Burke stated that the Nexus program isn’t going anywhere. As such, users can expect a new Nexus device with the official release of Android L later this year. And although Burke couldn’t comment directly on Silver, he made it clear that they “are still invested in Nexus.” And to that end, he wishes to put people’s fears to rest by stating, “People have been commenting about Nexus because there is something else and they think that means the end of Nexus. That is the totally wrong conclusion to make.”

When we are working, there are sort of two outputs. We’re building a Nexus device and we’re building the open source code. There is no way you can build the open source code without the phone or tablet or whatever you are building. You have to live and breathe the code you are developing.

You can’t build a platform in the abstract, you have to build a device (or devices). So, I don’t think can can or will ever go away. And then, I think Nexus is also interesting in that it is a way of us explaining how we think Android should run. It is a statement, almost a statement of purity in some respects. I don’t see why we would ever turn away from that, it wouldn’t make sense.

So there we have it, straight from the head of the Nexus program. The Nexus line isn’t going anywhere. So now that we can remain hopeful for a new Nexus smartphone this fall, what are you looking forward to in the N5’s successor? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source : ReadWrite | Thanks to Senior Member dd98 for the heads up.]

Screenshot_2014-06-26-14-39-50

Even with all of the I/O 2014 and Android L commotion, Google still managed to give us a healthy Update Wednesday yesterday, with app updates to Google Drive, Search, and Maps, as well as the arrival of Slides and Android TV Remote in the Play Store. But not content in simply delivering 5 new APKs for us, Google has now issued updates to Keep and YouTube. The Play Services 5 update that we talked about yesterday has also begun rolling out.

First up, we have a relatively significant update to Google Keep. Today’s update brings us to version 2.3.02 (up from version 2.2 from early April), and it packs one major feature. If you’re one of the lucky few to already own an Android Wear device–either through I/O or by ordering on the Play Store–you can now view your Keep notes, reminders, and lists on Android Wear-powered wearables.

In order to run this latest version of Keep, you must have Play Services 5 installed. This is most likely due to new APIs needed for the Wear integration. Thankfully, we have you covered there as well, with mirrors for every known variant. In addition, YouTube was also updated to version 5.7.41 (up from version 5.7.38 two weeks ago). There’s nothing major here, so it’s most likely just a bugfix update.

These app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:

Google Play Services:

Are you a current / soon-to-be Android Wear owner? If so, do you see yourself using this Keep integration? Let us know in the comments below!

[As usual, many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the APKs!]

Google Android Apps

Despite all of the Android L craziness we’ve seen today (from its unveiling to the permissions changes and UI improvements) it’s still Wednesday, and you know what that means. It’s time for another Google Update Wednesday, folks. This time, we’ve got major updates to Google Drive and Google Search, a more modest update to Maps. In addition, we also have two new apps in the Play Store: Slides and Android TV Remote Control.

First up, we have a significant update to Google Drive, which brings us to version 2.0.222.39 (up from last week’s 1.3.222.29). There aren’t too many new features in this new version, but it packs a massively updated, and more modern UI that is visible when viewing file details. This refreshed screen now allows you to perform actions more easily, and with fewer clicks. The screen now allows you to share, download, move, and rename a file–and if you hit the overflow button, you can print and delete as well. In addition, a new activity tracking section at the bottom of the details page shows the last modifications made to a file, by date.

Next, we have an update to Search. This update takes us to version 3.5.14.1234234 (up from April’s 3.4.15.1143430). Upon updating, most users won’t immediately notice anything different. However, with Search 3.5 installed, certain Google accounts are now able to use “OK Google” Hotword detection in any screen, including the lock screen and third-party apps. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on a few accounts at the moment, but hopefully the rollout continues quickly.

Last in terms of app updates, we have a more modest update to Maps, which brings us to 8.1.1 (up from last month’s 8.1.0). This update is a bit less significant than the Drive and Search updates, but according to the Google Play Store listing, this update improves terrain view and transit directions. And for those lucky enough to already own Wear, it adds support for that as well!

Finally, we have two new applications, which have just made their Play Store debut: Slides and Android TV Remote Control. We’ve been looking forward to the release of Slides ever since Docs and Sheets were introduced several months back. Now, it’s finally here–and with it, Google now has a fully functional office suite. Most impressively with Slides is that as announced at the I/O keynote, you are even able to natively edit Microsoft Office files. In addition to Slides, we also have Android TV Remote Control. Even though none of us actually has Android TV yet, this application will be quite useful once Android TV-enabled TVs and set-top boxes start popping up later this year and early next year.

All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:

google i/o 2014

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks—and that’s OK if you have—you’re undoubtedly aware that we are just two short days away from Google’s yearly I/O conference. Google I/O 2014 is set to kick off at 9 AM PDT (UTC-8) with a two-hour event keynote.

This two-day conference will cover topics such as the future of Android, Android Wear, Glass, Project Tango, ART Compiler, developer tools for Android and Chrome, and so much more. And within all of the talks and events, there will be plenty for both developers and end users to enjoy. At this point, everyone who failed to get a ticket to I/O2014 is probably feeling a little left out. But fret not, as Google will be live streaming the event keynote and all of the sessions from the event webpage.

It’s time to start getting excited for I/O, folks–even if you can’t physically attend. To view all of the topics that will be available for live streaming, head over to the Google I/O 2014 schedule site and tick the live streaming option on the right hand side. And when the time finally comes, you’ll be able to stream from there directly–but don’t worry, we’ll remind you at that point as well.

What sessions are you looking forward to at this year’s I/O? Are you most excited about the changes to Android and the possible release of Android “L”, or are you more interested in the future of Project Tango, Android Wear, Glass, and other Google products? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

SpotifySocialPostings

While yesterday was certainly the day of Android 4.4.4 thanks to a rather unexpected security update, a new Android version isn’t all that Google had in store for Android users. Yesterday evening, Google began the rollout of a Google Search backend update that makes it easier than ever before to go from searching for an artist to listening to their music.

With this latest backend update, Google Search now integrates with several Android media player apps. When searching for a particular musical artist, Search now gives you direct links to listen to said artist directly from your search results, as can be seen in the screenshot to your right.

At the moment, this feature is compatible with iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, Rdio, Spotify, TuneIn, and YouTube. But unfortunately, this feature is only enabled in the US at the time being. However, it’s more than likely that this feature, which doesn’t seem to have any particular reason for being US-exclusive, will make its way to other regions soon. In fact, Google even mentions this by saying, “we’ll keep expanding this, so stay tuned.”

It’s nice to see yet another useful Google Search backend update deliver useful functionality without the need for an application update. Being US-exclusive for the time being certainly isn’t ideal and we can’t imagine why such a feature must be regionally locked. Hopefully, however, it is made available in more regions soon.

[Source: Official Google Google+ Page]

dogfood

Yesterday, we had a rather healthy dose of Google Update Wednesday, thanks to updates to Chrome Beta, Drive, Hangouts, My Tracks, and Translate. This was promptly followed by a new Google Email app, which unfortunately also meant the potential loss of yet another formerly open source application. Now, we have an incremental update to Google’s Play Movies & TV app, as well as yet another update to Translate–this time without the dogfooding.

First up, Google issued yet another update to its Translate app. You may recall that yesterday, a dogfed version of Translate unintentionally made its way out to certain consumers via the Play Store. This version, which came in at 3.0.8, has been promptly followed up by a non-dogfood 3.0.10. This unfortunately means the loss of the cute dogfood icon in both the application icon, as well as when switching translation direction in the app. Aside from that, there are no known changes between this and yesterday’s release.

Next, we have Play Movies & TV, which actually began rolling out late last night. Just like most of the app updates we saw yesterday, this one is pretty minor by bringing only one noticeable user-facing feature, which is wishlist support. This list can be viewed both in the app’s Watch Now section, as well as in the slide-out “hamburger” menu on the left panel.

All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:

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