So, Google Now is a pretty handy app, isn’t it? With its ability to turn our search and location data into useful facts, bringing us the latest scores from our favourite sports teams (or not), reminding us of appointments and even showing us gas stations on the route you are driving, it’s getting more difficult to imagine life before Google Now. With that, we have news that Google Now is set to become even more useful thanks to the planned release of an open API that any app developer will be able to bake into their apps. More details after the break.
Earlier today, Motorola announced the shocking news that the Verizon Moto X is getting Android 4.4 KitKat starting today. One of the reasons why Motorola can be quicker than other manufacturers is the fact that their phones are pretty much stock Android except for a few minor modifications. Motorola continues this theme with the KitKat update, but they did make one interesting modification with the KitKat easter egg.
As you probably know, if you go into Settings / About Phone and tap rapidly on “Android Version” the easter egg begins. If you’re using stock Android, you will get the letter, “K”, but with the Moto X, you will get the number, “1”. We can only assume this represents that the Moto X is the very first non-Nexus phone to get the KitKat update. To me, it’s not even about being the first, it’s about how fast this was accomplished. The Moto X is getting KitKat before the Nexus 4. Pretty amazing indeed.
It will be interesting to see if this modified easter egg makes its way to the other carrier updates or if it’s reserved for just the Verizon version.
Google Hangouts has a lot of cool features, including over 800 emoji characters to use. Apparently there are also six hidden “easter eggs,” including ponies, dinosaurs, and the ability to change the background of the chat window. Google employee Moritz Toxdorff posted the above image on his Google+ account, which explains how to use them. All you need to do to experience the magic is type in your desired code into the chat window, and press enter. Right now, these easter eggs only work on the Google+ client of Hangouts, but the Chrome and mobile clients should surely get them soon.
It’s only been roughly a few days since we’ve been graced with Chrome’s arrival, but it’s all we needed in order to see the first two (of hopefully many Easter Eggs) cracked. The first one involves the number of tabs opened in the browser. If you’ve noticed, there’s no limit of the number of tabs being opened as there are in other web browsers. So what happens when you have 99 tabs opened and want to open the 100th? The 100th turns into a smiley emoticon. Pretty clever there Google.
The second one is a real doozy too. This involves what happens when you look at the page showing all your tabs. You generally can swipe up and down to flip through the stack of tab windows, but when you’ve flipped to the top, the tabs then poke out to highlight they won’t go any farther. However, if you swipe up five times in a row, the whole stack does a animated flip. This is perhaps one of the specific reasons why Chrome has decided to unleash the beta for Android 4.0+ users only— the use of hardware acceleration in order to see the stack do an animated flip. Moreover, when looking at the back of the stack as it flips around, you can then see an embossed Chrome logo. Very cool.
You’ve read about the Easter Eggs now. So why don’t you check out Chrome doing a backflip in the video below? You’ll be glad you did.