Google removed the SMS feature from Gmail Chat

by Alihassan Mahdi on
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Google‘s experimental SMS feature which was released for Gmail Chat back in 2008 has now been removed. This means that users can no longer send an SMS to their mobile contacts via Gmail Chat. Google said users can switch to Hangouts and choose to receive messages in SMS settings.

However, US and Canada users can send an SMS through Google Voice or switch to Hangouts and “continue receiving SMS messages as follow-me (i.e. if you’re offline and receive a Hangout message, you’ll get an SMS message).” The company said that “by streamlining our services, we’re able to focus on creating the best possible products for our users”. » Read the rest

Google Play Store’s new ‘People’ option gives you recommendations based on your friends

by Robert Nazarian on
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Google is updating the Play Store with a new option called “People.” This section will give you recommendations based on what your Google+ friends are using. This includes apps, books, music, movies, etc. The higher they rate them, the more likely you will see them.

The good news is that it’s not in your face. You will only see these recommendations if you open the section. You find it by tapping on the hamburger menu at the top left, which reveals the main slide-out menu. Just choose “People” under “My Wishlist.”

What is strange is that this new option appears in the current version of the Play Store app (version 4.6.17), but it’s being rolled out slowly. I have checked at least 5 or 6 devices, and neither of them have it yet. So if you don’t have it yet, be patient because there is no APK download that I know that will force it.

» Read the rest

Google takes us behind the scenes to peek at Project Ara development

by Jeff Causey on
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As Google prepares for a developers conference later this month for their modular smartphone project, known as Project Ara, they took some time to share a peek behind the scenes of some of the ongoing work. The video that was released focuses on a few areas of development, like the electro-permanent magnet system that has been designed to hold the modules in place. They also showed a little bit about how they will be utilizing 3D printing to produce parts with different colors and textures. » Read the rest

The TalkAndroid app, plus 23 other Android apps, can now be accessed worldwide through Google Search

by Robert Nazarian on
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Back in December, Google announced the ability to find content in Android apps from Google Search results in the U.S. So when searching for a movie or a book on your mobile device, search results allow you to open the content in an installed app.

Google just announced they are taking it worldwide for english content and are adding 24 new apps. We are proud to announce that the TalkAndroid app made the list, as well as 500px, AOL, BigOven, Bleacher Report, Booking.com, Eventbrite, Glassdoor, Goodreads, Huffington Post, Merriam-Webster, Pinterest, Realtor.com, Seeking Alpha, TheFreeDictionary, The Journal, TripAdvisor, Tumblr, Urbanspoon, Wattpad, YP, Zagat, Zappos and Zillow.

So when you are searching for Android news, you will now be able to open search results directly in our app. Speaking of our app, be sure to download it today.

source: Inside Search

Big changes in store for Google’s native and web apps due to wearables

by Robert Nazarian on
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Yesterday we heard about a few things that Google is cooking up for the Gmail app, and today we are hearing that those changes are part an overhaul of many Google apps, both native and web, to get ready for wearables.

9to5 Google is reporting that the Gmail additions we saw yesterday will also hit the web app and iOS. The overall plan is to provide a full page of information with menus and other distractions getting pushed out of the way. Some of the stuff that gets removed could be replaced with voice actions.

» Read the rest

Is Google ready to become a mobile phone carrier?

by Jeff Causey on
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New reports out today suggest Google is starting to make moves to become a mobile phone service carrier in locations where it has deployed Google Fiber service. Supposedly Google has been in contact with Verizon to discuss the possibility of becoming a mobile virtual network operator riding on the back of Verizon’s network. Some sources have pointed out that Verizon and Google are not exactly on the same page when it comes to issues like net neutrality, so a partnership of this magnitude may be questionable. It should be noted though that Google actively develops for the iOS platform, so the company clearly will not let some philosophical disagreements stand in the way of good business.

Would you be interested in using Google as your carrier for wireless service?

source: The Information
via: Engadget

[Rumor] Google toying with the idea of an Android Silver program

by Jack Holt on
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While there has been chatter that Google is planning on axing the Nexus program a new rumor discovered by the folks at Android Police suggest that Google may be toying with the idea of a premium line of phones and services. Slides discovered from a presentation one last year suggest that Google will be working on an Android Silver program designed with carriers in mind.

In order to qualify for the program, a hand set must “run the latest version of Android with no or very limited customizations.” Think either the Nexus 5 or Moto X. However unlike the Nexus 5, none of these handsets will be Google made/designed. There would be displays in carrier stores with the silver devices available on their respective networks.  Unlike the Nexus program, Google will have complete control of how the experience is designed and staff of those stores must be trained/certified in selling Android Silver devices.

» Read the rest

Google Play Newsstand updated to version 3.2.0 with updated layout and new My Library tab

by Jared Peters on
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Google Play Newsstand is one of the Google apps to get an update today, bringing it up to version 3.2.0. The update changes the interface around a bit, adding in separate tabs for different topics such as business, entertainment, and sports in the Read Now section and merging My News and My Magazines into a single My Library section.

Having the different labels in the Read Now section of the app makes it much easier to quickly jump to exactly what you want to read, and creating a single My Library destination will trim the app up and make it easier to navigate. Keep an eye out for the update on your device. » Read the rest

Google Keep updated with interface tweaks, image search functionality, and a trash menu

by Jared Peters on
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Keep an eye out for an update to Google Keep soon, as the search giant has updated the note taking app in the Play Store with a handful of improvements. The interface looks slightly different in the update, with the default status bar changing to Keep’s signature yellow hue. The same status bar will update to match different colors depending on the color of the note you’re currently viewing.

Google has also added in the functionality for searching specific images, and there’s a new trash menu where you can view your recently deleted notes.

This one’s going to be a staged rollout, like always, so keep an eye out for the notification. Hit the link below for the Play Store link. » Read the rest

Chrome Remote Desktop hits invite-only beta

by Jared Peters on
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Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop app has taken one step closer to an official release today, with an invite-only beta going live in the Play Store. Unfortunately, that means you probably won’t be able to test it out, but considering Google publicly releases a ton of products with beta tags, this might be widely available sooner than you think.

The app appears to work pretty similarly to most other remote desktop clients. You install the Chrome extension on your PC, then install the Android app from the Play Store, then sign into your Google account to start a connection. Pretty simple, for better or worse.

There’s no shortage of remote desktop apps available for Android, but a (free) Google option might convert a few users.

source: Droid Life