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All posts tagged "google"

Monday, May 30, 2011

Do the Math! Two Top Ten Lists Equal Twenty Awesomely Productive Android Apps

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Software" @ 06:00 AM

Who doesn't love a "Top 10" list? Here are 10 Android apps that will make your life a little more productive. Included are some favorites - Dropbox, Evernote and Google Docs, but other lesser know awesome apps are included too so check it out! And if you are super productive (you know, from those previous 10 productive Android apps) and are motivated enough, here are 10 more Android apps that are worth rooting your phone to get. Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Google Wallet: Shop, Tap, And Go (Also Buy A Nexus S)

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android News" @ 07:00 PM

"Today in our New York City office, along with Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint, we gave a demo of Google Wallet, an app that will make your phone your wallet. You'll be able to tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC). We're field testing Google Wallet now and plan to release it soon."

Finally. This is the kind of technology I've been waiting to use for the last 10 years. It's not that it has ever been a technological limitation either, it's just that no one ever did it. Well leave it to Google to tread all over that untouched ground. The only drawback I see at the moment is that your device must support NFC to use this system and the only Android phone to do that right now is the Nexus S. If Google were smart they would link this Google Debit card thing strait to Google Checkout and automatically transfer funds directly from the credit card you have configured there. You know, kinda like Google Voice for your credit card numbers. Looks like NFC support will be on my required feature list for my next phone. How about you guys? Anyone excited about Google Wallet or did you just add another layer to your tinfoil hat?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Web Version of Google Maps for iOS and Android Now Available

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 02:00 AM

"Google wrapped up on Friday with a long-requested version of Google Maps for smartphones. Both Android and iOS users can both track their individual location with the usual Google Maps layers, such as satellite maps and traffic, as well as get directions. Place pages have their own optimizations and tie in properly with the map."

This was released Friday and works anywhere Google Maps exists. On top of that, the one big advantage is the continual updating you get from web versions over apps, which require updates from either Apple or Google. Sign-on to Google and you get access to all your favorite locations, saved maps and landmarks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Google Universal Translator for Android May Not be Far Off

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 04:00 AM

"One of the things high on Google's to-do list was translation, rendering the billions of words appearing online into the native language of any user in the world. By 2001, was already available in twenty-six languages. Page and Brin believed that artificial barriers such as language should not stand in the way of people's access to information."

About six months ago I had a network storage device loose its configuration for some reason. The default language wasn't English or anything similar. I was a little worried when I couldn't understand anything in the web interface and didn't know how I would change it back. But I was using Chrome at the time and I noticed a notification pop up at the top. Chrome was telling me it didn't think this page was in my native language and it offered to translate it for me. I chose yes and Chrome turned it all into English. It may not have been a perfect translation but from what I remember it was very good and it made it pretty easy for me to find the option to change the language back to English.

That's just one example of how Google is very serious about language translation and how that fact has already helped me out. Gizmodo has a great article about how and why Google got so serious about translation. With resources available to Google they have been able to do some amazing things with translation even related to languages they don't have native speakers of. The Google Translate app for Android is evidence of their work and the fact that a real universal translator may be possible one day. I would love to hear what you think about the article. Are you excited about the possibilities or scared of computers becoming too "smart"?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DANGER, Andy Rubin! Danger!!

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android News" @ 02:00 PM

"Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt, two legendary figures in mobile phone development, have suddenly resurfaced as part of the team building Android. Their hiring signals a big change at Google, showing that the company is getting just as serious about the hardware of phones - and this goes well beyond flip vs. candybar -- as it is the software."

Looks like Mr. Rubin is getting his old pals from the Danger days back together to have a little fun with some Android hardware. The pair are already hard at work in the labs at Google, cranking out all kinds of crazy ideas that you and I may one day see in a new Android phone. It will be interesting to see where this is headed and what it means for Google and Android alike. Will be be seeing more Nexus devices in the future? One can only hope. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The World Looks Better Through Google Goggles: Now With More Oooooo!

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Software" @ 07:00 AM

"Since its launch, we have worked to make Google Goggles faster and more accurate when returning search results for a wide variety of images. Today, we are taking several steps to make Goggles a better and more personal experience."

The latest update to Google Goggles brings quite a few improvements to better personalize your Google Oogling. Goggles version 1.4 brings with it new features like being able to share your search results, tag your search history with notes to better help you organize the stuff you find, and the ability to submit suggestions to help improve Goggles when it has trouble recognizing your picture. If that weren't enough Google even threw in better business card recognition to help save you time when you meet a new business contact. So what are you waiting for? Go get your Goggles on and start Googling!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sprint Google Voice Integration Fall Down Go Boom: Neither Sprint or Google Seem To Care

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Mobile Operators" @ 05:00 PM

"Have you tried Sprint's new Google Voice integration? We know a lot of our readers have -- and many of them have had problems, writing in to us to express their displeasure. We started investigating and found a hoard of complaints, and the deeper we looked, the more issues we found."

Well, that was quite the smooth start to this wonderful Sprint Google Voice integration. Smooth as a porcupine's butt. After hearing about a few complaints the folks over at Engadget decided to do some digging. Turns out the deeper they dug the worse things got. One issue after another seemed to relentlessly plague Sprint customers when they tried to enable, disable, use, or even not use the new Google Voice integration. Follow the link on over for all the gory details. I think I'll take my Google Voice on the side please.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Google Sued For Something We Asked Them To Do When We Setup Our Phones

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android News" @ 08:00 AM

"Two Android phone users are suing Google for $50 million in the wake of revelations that their phones might be tracking their locations. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on April 27, is seeking class-action status."

Every day I loose just a little more faith in humanity. In yet another strategic money grab by a couple of Android users Google is now the target of a potential class action lawsuit for tracking their users' location. So what about you? Are gonna sue Google? Did they violate your rights by doing what you told them to? Yay for social progress... I'll leave you with this.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gmail's Newest Improvement Saves You Valuable Seconds

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android News" @ 03:00 PM

"We're always looking for ways to make Gmail faster. One of the most common delays happens after you hit that "Send" button..."

Another improvement from Gmail has been released - sending in the background. This new feature permits you to go to continue working in Gmail while Gmail works on sending out your email in the background. It's designed to save you time since you won't have to wait for your email to send before moving on the next task. You do have to wait for all your mail to send before you can log out of Gmail, but that shouldn't be a big deal since most people want to make sure their messages were sent anyways. But it's a big improvement for Gmail that will save you valuable seconds!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Google Docs FINALLY Gets An Android App

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"And my favorite feature: Using the app and your phone's camera, you can turn photos with text into editable Google documents with the power of optical character recognition (OCR). Just create a new ‘Document from Photo' or select the camera icon from the widget, and your converted document will appear in your documents list shortly after you snap the picture."

As far as I'm concerned, Docs and Gmail are Google's two killer web apps, so it's always surprised me that they didn't have a native Docs app for Android. That changes today! Google has just released an app with a ton of features that satisfy the most avid Docs users. One of the most exciting features is the one described in the quote above from the Google Mobile blog. Imagine taking a picture of a document with your phone and then being able to edit it within Docs.

What are you waiting for? Get thee to the Android Market and download. Then let us know in the forum what you think.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Google Adds Undo Feature to iOS and Android Devices

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 10:30 AM

"Google has recently added an "undo" bar to its web app for iOS and Android devices. You can navigate to the web app by heading over to in Safari on your iOS device."

I think we all could have used the "undo" feature at least a time or two in various situations, and now for Gmail at least you can use it to undo one of four actions: archive, delete, add or remove a label, or move a message/conversation. When any of these actions is done, via the web app, you get a small window of opportunity to "undo" it when the yellow bar displays as it is in the above image. After that time though, you are out of luck.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Update Released For Google Translate, Includes Three More Languages For Text To Speech

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Software" @ 09:30 AM

"Today we launched an update to Google Translate for Android that allows you to listen to translations in several more languages."

Google Translate has released an update for their app that includes three new languages for the text to speech feature: Korean, Japanese and Arabic. Also included in the update is improved speech quality to over 15 languages. Google Translate is a wonderful app for world travelers to have on hand or for anyone who would like to brush up on their foreign languages.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Google Sells Four Android Devices Every Second; More Apps Than You Can Shake A Forrest Of Sticks At

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android News" @ 10:00 PM

"How many Android phones have been sold? Google has never given a concrete number, but the company has revealed how many Android phones and tablets are selling: 350,000 units each day."

350,000 Android devices each day? That's a lot of droids runnin around out there. Google continues to impress with their rising global sales figures. On top of that it was also announced that more than 3 billion apps have been downloaded from the Android Market since launch. That's just nuts. We wouldn't have this problem if all you guys would stop playing Words with Angry Birds...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

HP's ePrint Service Offers Tighter Security For Mobile Printing

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Software" @ 01:30 PM

"HP has webOS, Google has Android. Aside from running those competing mobile operating systems, the two companies will fight to see who has the better wireless printing solution."

Starting May 1st, HP will be releasing it's own ePrint Service allowing Android users to print directly from their phones to a nearby printer. HP's printing service will have tighter security than Google's Cloud Print because it will require the users to enter a code from their device directly on the printer before the print job is started. This feature would be good for higher security documents but bad for the common users. But it sounds like HP will be marketing it's ePrint to business anyways since it will allow for the printing of documents, emails and presentations from Android devices. As of now, no price has been set for the service.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gmail: Always Innovating

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Talk" @ 05:00 PM

"Ever since I joined the Gmail team, my friends have been eager to tell me, 'I love Gmail! Except for this one thing...' And every day, Gmail users share their 'one thing' that would make Gmail better for them through our suggestions page. While we enjoy creating new solutions to old problems with features like Priority Inbox, those little annoyances and missing pieces are important, too. Recently, we've rolled out several small tweaks to Gmail to show it a little extra love."

If you love Gmail, but have always had a couple of nagging issues with it, check out this post from the Gmail team blog. They've fixed a handful of annoyances, the biggest being adding some settings for auto-saving (or not) of contacts. One of the things I really like about Google, and the Gmail team in particular, is that they are always working to make things work better.

How about you? Are you a Gmail user who wishes they would do more or less tinkering? If you don't use Gmail, what will it take for you to switch? Let us know in the forums.

Tags: google, gmail

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Checkout With Your Android Device

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android News" @ 05:00 AM

"Ever since the Nexus S and its nifty little NFC chip hit the market, there's been speculation that El Goog was planning a foray into the mobile payment arena currently occupied by the likes of Charge Anywhere. Now, it looks like that plan may be in high gear, as the Wall Street Journal reports that Google's secretly partnered with MasterCard and Citigroup to test out just such a system."

In this age of convergence, it was only a matter of time before this came to fruition. Once just a glimmer in the eyes of science fiction authors, the time when you will be able to pay by waving your phone at a keypad will soon be a reality. I have some reservations about the security of this kind of solution and wonder what the cost of this convenience will be. Also, it seems like adoption of changes like this are slow to reach many areas; something which I feel keenly living in the Mid-Western United States.

So, how about it Android Thinkers; is this something that you would adopt for your everyday grocery store and gas station purchases, or are there too many unanswered questions for you to want to jump in right away? As always, let us know in the forums.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Google Helps Out In Emergencies, And With Some Smart Filters

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android News" @ 05:30 AM

"Last year, we launched Priority Inbox to automatically sort incoming email and help you focus on the messages that matter most. Today, we're launching a complementary feature in Gmail Labs called Smart Labels, which helps you classify and organize your email. Once you turn it on from the Labs tab in Settings, Smart Labels automatically categorizes incoming Bulk, Notification and Forum messages, and labels them as such. “Bulk” mail includes any kind of mass mailing (such as newsletters and promotional email) and gets filtered out of your inbox by default (where you can easily read it later), “Notifications” are messages sent to you directly (like account statements and receipts), and email from group mailing lists gets labeled as “Forums.”

Two quick notes from Big G today. First, a new labs feature, Smart Labels, will automatically do some of the label heavy lifting for you. A second note details a new feature that should help in emergencies - Google will now provide Direct dial links for emergency numbers in mobile search listings, letting you get straight to authorities when time is of the essence. Nice work Google!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Google Instant Previews Now Available On Mobile Browser

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android News" @ 01:00 PM

"Instant Previews provides a fast and interactive way to evaluate search results. Starting today, Google Instant Previews is available on mobile for Android (2.2+) and iOS (4.0+) devices across 38 languages. Similar to the desktop version of Instant Previews, you can visually compare search results from webpage snapshots, making it easier to choose the right result faster, especially when you have an idea of the content you'd like to see."

Google is constantly adding new features to their mobile search page but this is the first one that I may actually use! Sure Google Instant was a fun addition that is honestly pretty pointless on mobile. The keyboard covers the bottom half of the screen while the drop down with your search history covers the rest. There isn't really any place where you can actually see the Instant search results. Google Instant Previews, however, is wonderfully useful.

Normally when searching from my phone I will press and hold on every link and open them in a new window so that I don't loose my place in my search results just in case the link I clicked is totally not what I was looking for. Google Instant Preview for mobile works much like it does on the desktop, providing you with a thumbnail overview of the site the result links to. In your mobile browser you get a nice full screen UI where you can swipe left or right through all of the results on that page. It's really pretty slick. This won't entirely take the place of "Open link in a new window" searching for me but it will sure help most of the time. You should definitely give it a go. Just search for something on your phone then press the little magnifying glass next to the results to open the new Instant Preview UI. Isn't it cool?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Google Profiles Gets a Makeover

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Talk" @ 12:00 PM!5775341/goo...-easier-editing

"Your Google Profiles, the space that supposedly lets you have your say when other people are searching you, has updated with a refined look, easier editing..."

Your Google Profile has received a brand new look! And along with the updated style comes easier editing abilities. So swing by your profile and start editing!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Google Maps Gets More Social

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Software" @ 06:00 AM

"You can now also invite Latitude friends to check in at Hotpot locales by sending them a request directly from the app. In other words, if you don't feel like actually texting or calling somebody to ask them to meet you at Starbucks, you can just check in there with Latitude and have the app start nagging them for you."

I'll admit that I haven't gotten into Latitude or Hotpot (a.k.a. Places) much, so this update doesn't add much new for me, but it seems like it could be a cool new feature for some. Is this something that you see yourself using?

Tags: google, social, maps

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