Everyone uses Google Maps, but not often do we consider where, exactly, all that data comes from. When a new road goes in, or a bypass, or the name of a street changes, it isn't as if your local city reaches out to Google to make sure everything is up to date. Some of that used to come from user submissions in the Map Maker forum. Now those tools are being rolled into Maps itself, but that's not the only source of information. Google's fleets of Street View cars collect an insane number of images, and nestled in with them are pictures of businesses, street signs, and addresses, and Google's latest research blog post goes into some interesting details about all that potential data. Read More
Phishing emails are annoying and potentially dangerous, but very rarely do we see one as nefarious as this. A specific email, shown above, has been making waves in the news and Google has released an official statement regarding it. Read More
Google announced an interesting product last year called YouTube Accelerator that aimed to do away with buffering by caching YouTube videos on local networks. Accelerator initially launched in a handful of locations in the Philippines, but now Google is rumored to be dropping Accelerator. Instead, it's just going to work on rolling out faster WiFi in public spaces as part of the Google Station program. Read More
File this one in the "Did you know?" category of weird limitations placed on Google and Android services. If you have many gift cards that you want to add to your Android Pay account, you might hit an arbitrary and unforeseen limit at some point. Tipster Ananya Gupta encountered the issue while adding several gift cards to his account: the above pop-up showed up and he couldn't add any more cards. So he contacted a Google support rep who explained the limits: Read More
Of the two communication apps that Google announced last year at I/O, it's not a surprise that Duo found a larger appeal and better reception than Allo. It wasn't battling against existing juggernaut standards like SMS or widespread opponents like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and even at launch, it seemed like it did the basics right. The outcry over its missing features was far less brutal than Allo's and with just a few small changes from Skype and Facetime, Duo managed to delight and impress. Simplicity and immediacy are the reasons I, and many others, fell in love with it.
Over the months, Duo has continued its faster progression compared to Allo. Read More
I have been using the Google Pixel XL for six months now. Not continuously, mind you - I have taken breaks here and there. But after using the Galaxy S8+, the LG G6, and the OnePlus 3T, there is only one phone I've instinctively found myself returning to, and it's this one. Google's Pixel isn't without its flaws; in fact, it has a great many I can cite with ease.
The Bluetooth connectivity sucks. The back of the phone has very obvious wear rub. The glass window scratches easily. It's not waterproof. 'OK Google' hotword detection breaks for no apparent reason, necessitating a reboot. Read More
Google has updated the developer dashboard for May, giving us an overview of the Android device ecosystem. Nougat continues to inch upward at a respectable rate—it's now over 7% of devices. However, there's some strange stuff at the bottom of the heap. Gingerbread and Lollipop both saw small increases in usage share this month because math is weird. Read More
Google Assistant launched with support for a handful of apps and services, but the number has rapidly expanded since then. Today, there are a few new markers of smart home devices that are part of the Assistant family. You can now use Assistant to control devices from iHome, Leviton, Emberlight, and Artik Cloud. Read More
Google launched Assistant last year in Allo, and then it came to the Pixel and Google Home. The period of exclusivity for Google is over now with Assistant on tons of Android devices, and there's even an API for developers to implement on just about anything. Case in point, there is now a version of the AutoVoice Chrome extension that can call upon the power of Assistant. However, the setup process is quite a slog. Read More
It's been just over a year since Google first started publicly testing a new Material Design makeover for the YouTube website. The design has gradually rolled out to some users, but many (myself included) had yet to get it officially. Now YouTube is allowing anyone to try it out. Read More