Google takes another step in bringing better commenting to YouTube


Anyone who has spent any time on the Internet knows that YouTube’s comment system may best be described as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy” as Obi-Wan would say. To combat that impression and clean the place up, YouTube has started to implement some changes to turn comments into conversations. One piece of that effort is the move to require a Google+ account to be able to leave a comment, similar to the strategy used to clean up the Google Play feedback system. After rolling out some new comment features back in September on a limited basis, YouTube announced today that they are expanding this to all videos you may be watching on the service.

One change visitors will note is that “Top Comments” will move to the top of the comment feed. Posts from the video’s creator, popular personalities, threads that are judged “engaging” based on up ratings, and people in your Google+ circles will be listed first. If you really want to see comments chronologically regardless of the quality of the content, an option to switch to “Newest First” will be available.

YouTube is also making it possible for commenters to limit accessibility to their comments to different levels, like the public, only people in chosen Circles, or even just specific individuals. YouTube says replies will be threaded to help make it easier to follow the conversations.

Finally, if you post videos on your channel on YouTube, the service is providing some new tools to let you moderate comments before they are posted, block certain words, or auto-approve posts from known fans.

Check out the video below for more on the new commenting system, then head over to the TalkAndroid channel to see it in action while you watch some of our videos.

YouTube Preview Image

source: YouTube Creators Blog

Google announces a Google+ event for tomorrow, still no Nexus 5 news


At this point, I’m pretty sure Google enjoys trolling the internet. They recently held a Google Play event where seemingly nothing noteworthy happened, and today, Google has announced an event for tomorrow… just for Google+ updates. No hardware, no software, just news about a “few updates” to their social network. I’m sure it’ll still be an interesting event, and there’s probably some cool stuff planned.

That Nexus 5 has to be announced sometime, right?

source: Google+

Top 5 photo and video gallery replacement apps for Android [October 2013]

photo gallery

Most of us use our smartphones as our primary camera, and we’ve already shown you the best apps for taking photos as well as editing them. There’s still another piece to that puzzle: apps for viewing your artistic creations. Sure, you could use the built-in gallery app on your phone, but there are plenty of excellent alternatives in the Play Store that give you more flexibility over organizing and viewing your pictures. In this guide, we’re going to go over the top ones. Hit the break to get started. Read more

Google+ Android app update includes photo enhancement and auto-backup features

google_plus_photosThe Google+ Photos enhancements that were announced last week were already available on the web, and they have now been added to the Android app as well.

Auto-backup is added in the update to automatically backup user’s photos taken on their phone to the cloud, of course with permission. Snapseed features are also included. Users can use tweaks like cropping, rotating, and exposure adjustments, as well as the popular filters Snapseed offers. Google’s own “Auto-awesome” feature which was demonstrated at the I/O is also available in the app after the update. Searching for the best photos is also improved in the update, using the new “highlights” feature which allows Google to pick and display the best photos from an album on the main page of that album.

Among the other features the update offers are improved location sharing and automatic related hashtags. You can download the updated app through the link after the break. Read more

Google+ Hangouts for desktop now allows remote control of other computers


If you’re constantly heading over to the homes of friends and family to supply some tech support, Google+ now provides a much more simple solution, via Hangouts Remote Desktop.  Powered by the same technology behind Chrome Remote Desktop, this new feature will provide a much more efficient way of getting things done.

Of course this application requires permission, so you don’t have to worry about hackers being able to swiftly commandeer your desktop without your approval.

Instructions to use the application are after the break. Read more

Google+ Now Allows Animated GIF Profile Photos


Google+ has supported animated gifs since the very beginning and along with its major app update, has also announced the ability to have animated profile photos. When you upload an animated GIF as your profile photo, it will animate on your profile page on both mobile and desktop. Fortunately, Google+ made it to where your photo will not animate within the stream, otherwise that could be incredibly distracting. If you aren’t sure how to go about making an animated GIF, simply doing a Google search for “How to create a gif” will point you in the right direction.

Source: Google+ Page

Google adds Google+ sign-in to Google Play services 3.0


Google has rolled out an update to their Google Play services, which features some pretty cool new features. Both new maps APIs and Google+ sign-in are features present in the update.

Google+ sign-in allows users to sign in to their applications using Google credentials, which brings along all of their Google information with them for the app. Things like your name, display picture, and social circles will carry over into applications. Sharing posts to your Google+ page are also more customizable and will allow you to make them a bit more interactive, like including actions such as “listen” and “check-in” to your posts. Popular location app Banjo was used to showcase the integration, and showed what’s possibly one of the coolest features of the update; over-the-air installs of an application from a website, with or without access to an app store. That seamless integration is going to let developers add plenty of cool features to their apps in the future. TuneIn Radio is also on board with the Google+ integration, and more apps are sure to follow.

Google Maps also received some API updates, fixing plenty of bugs for users. Not quite as flashy and exciting, but still worth having. Hopefully we’ll see some apps take advantage of these features in the near future.

source: Android Developers Blog

Unified messaging feature to make possible debut in Chrome OS


We’ve seen Google push more and more for complete desktop and mobile integration through it’s popular browser, Chrome. Now, we’ve got a sneak peek at some brand new features to be debuted in Chrome OS, including some new notifications and an unnamed icon sitting pretty in the task bar. The notifications appear to pull from both Google+ and Google Voice, cleanly keeping everything in one place. As far as that mysterious icon goes, we don’t have much information on it, but since Google has a plethora of different communication apps in their portfolio, it isn’t too much of a stretch to assume it’s going to tie all of those together, or consolidate them. Personally, I think getting an application to text via your PC built into Android natively would be a great addition.

source: The Verge

CyanogenMod rolls out new Chronus clock widget for CM10.1 ROMs

The crafty CyanogenMod team has introduced a brand-new clock widget for CM10.1 ROMs today, offering impressive weather and calendar integration. Featuring the same bold face as the revamped clock in Android 4.2, CM’s new clock, Chronus, works on both lock screens and home screens. Also included are several nifty features that aren’t apparent in Jelly Bean’s stock clock widget, with complete control over your choice of weather data and a slew of calendar options. The best part? The new clock will be included in CM10.1 nightlies starting tonight. Read more

Google+ for Android gets major update, available for download now

Google has been relentless with its updates lately, and today we see yet another important release from big-G; this time to its Google+ application. Early this morning Google released Google+ v.3.3 for Android and it includes some pretty big feature additions. First of all, Google has made the general user experience better by giving you the ability to easily edit your profile details, quickly author new content, receive more “subtle” notifications, and giving you access to Google’s newly released “Google+ Communities”. On the photo/video side of things, you’ll be able to upload full sized photos via Instant Upload (up to 5GB of free storage) on top of the unlimited storage that you already get for standard-sized photos (2048px). Android 4.2 users will now be able to post Photo-Spheres to their feed, and anyone running Android 2.2 and up will be able to view them. For video chatting capabilities, Google has made it possible for people to join a Hangout even if they have extremely low bandwidth (down to 150KB), though this feature seems to be enabled only on the web version of Google+. Also available on the web version, Google has made some improvements to the Hangout user interface, including hiding the “filmstrip” of faces if you’re the only participant in an “On Air Hangout”.

Read more