After undergoing further development since August, Google Stars has launched in the Chrome Web Store. The difference today, though, is its name. Google has renamed the extension Bookmark Manager. The overall design has not changed too much, but Google definitely made alterations to fit its own suggested guidelines. Bookmark Manager saves pages, places them into folders, and can be shared publicly with friends.
The web and mobile experiences for Google Drive are being improved constantly. The latest round of adjustments is for the Google Drive for Android app. Google is improving search, share, and view tools. For the search tool, the Google Drive app will have active results suggested. Start typing and the app displays suggestions with the same set of letters. The new sharing menu now has a text box for users to add a message. The same menu also contains sharing options to make document links public. And for viewing, Google Drive for Android has a PDF viewer so it does not have to redirect users to another app.
The update will start appearing on devices over the next few days.
We saw glimpses of this at Google I/O, and developers can now make their apps searchable through Google Voice Search. It only takes a few lines of code. Once added, apps can receive the SEARCH_ACTION intent containing the SearchManager.QUERYextra with the search expression.
Examples of such searches might be “Ok Google, search pizza on Eat24” or “Ok Google, search for hotels in Maui on TripAdvisor.” Imagine the possibilities.
Xiaomi has been aggressively selling phones since the company was founded just three years ago, and according to the latest shipment metrics, they’ve finally got something to show for it. The company moved about 19 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2014, which officially makes them the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. That puts it above other large companies like Lenovo and LG.
Last year, Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet alongside the Note 3. This time around, though, the Note 4 was unveiled next to a few other devices, but no new Note tablet showed up. Since Samsung has a larger 12-inch Note tablet and the relatively new Galaxy Tab S lineup, it seemed possible that the 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1 would be the last of its kind. According to some info on Samsung’s website, however, it looks like we may see another 10-inch Note tab sooner rather than later.
When Apple launched the latest versions of the iPhone in September, we all saw the typical crush of Apple fans clamoring for an updated device and we have seen the news about the large numbers of devices sold. None of this is surprising as we expect Apple to get a bump as part of their release cycle that counters the increases Android claims during the rest of the year when manufacturers release their latest flagship devices. True to form, Kantar Worldpanel’s latest numbers for market share through September show the effect of the release. What may be surprising though is that in the U.S. market, where Apple enjoys its biggest success, Android actually gained ground while iOS lost ground.
There is another application from Google getting overhauled. The Material Design overhaul has been brought to Google Wallet. The functionality of the app is pretty much the same, but, as expected, it has a completely different look. And there is no question that Google Wallet looks great with Material Design. The one feature change is the addition to control your Google Wallet card. There are ways to lock or cancel it from within the app. The changes are so dramatic that Google is moving jumping ahead to version 7 with this update when the last update was version 2.
Google is in the process of rolling out a rather appealing update for its Play Movies & TV application via the Play Store. This upgrade brings the standard Material Design makeover that the search engine giant has been distributing to its full suite of Android apps over the course of the past few weeks, in addition to a new interactive menu that’s displayed on either a smartphone or tablet when casting content.
A new leak posted via Twitter user @upleaks claims HTC will abandon the M* naming system for flagship devices when their next iteration is released in 2015. After the HTC One M7 in 2013 and the HTC One M8 in 2014, it seemed likely HTC would go with the HTC One M9 for their next device. However, if this latest leak is accurate, the next flagship will use something else.
HTC recently released a new smartphone, the HTC Desire EYE, which abandoned a familiar naming scheme for Desire devices. They had previously used a numbering system, like HTC Desire 820 or HTC Desire 610. If HTC decides to abandon the M* convention, it would not be inconsistent with this latest marketing move.
Do you think HTC should stick with their current naming scheme or would a change be welcome? If you could suggest a name to HTC for their flagship line of devices, what would it be?