Google has announced some new improvements to Google Search that may make using a smartphone a little easier. When using Google Search, if a result includes information that may be included in an app on your device, the search results will now indicate the app and provide a handy button to launch the app directly from the results. The example Google provides is a search for information on a movie. They point out that detailed information and trivia about a movie may be included in the IMDb app, box office information may be accessed via Wikipedia’s app, and ratings and review information could be in the Rotten Tomatoes app. Google’s search function will now be able to alert you to the fact that the information can be found in an app instead of surfing out to the web.
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
For almost a year, Sprint has had the monopoly on full Google Voice integration. That monopoly may be in jeopardy. In an interview with CNET, Vincent Paquet, Group Product Manager for Google Voice, said “We are having discussions with other carriers about this,” but declined to mention which carriers.
Google Voice is a service that provides users with online and on-device visual voicemail, cheaper international calls, personalized greetings, text transcription, and more. Sprint’s integration allows Sprint customers to either replace their Sprint number with their Google Voice number, or replace their Google Voice number with their Sprint number without incurring the usual $20 porting fee (see screenshot after the break). Either way, users get full access to all of Google Voice’s features.
The adoption of Google Music has been dismal. Maybe it’s because we expect Google services to erupt like a volcano and immediately soar into the sky, blanketing the people below in Google awesome ash. Or maybe it’s because iTunes, Pandora and Slacker Radio already have a foothold ’round those parts. Or it could be that Google Music is only currently available in the U.S.
My guess is as good as yours, however there might be some sunshine on the horizon in the form of a developer, Simon Weber. Simon has been working on his unofficial Google Music API for a month, and has pretty much every functionality of the service coded into the API. Only one major implementation is missing at the moment: support for uploading formats other than .mp3. Unfortunately, however, the API is currently coded in Python, restricting it to desktop platforms. It isn’t impossible to port it to a mobile-friendly language though, and thankfully Aaron Gingrich of Android Police has put Simon in contact with CM9 [music player] Apollo developer Andrew Neal.
This could mean we see a port of the API to mobile platforms, pending the result of Neal and Weber’s collaboration. The only problem that will immediately come to mind reading “unofficial”, “Google”, and “API” is action taken by Google to, well, cease and desist. I don’t think that’s likely to happen, as Mr. Weber will be interning at Google this summer — possibly bringing official Google support for the API in the near future. This could be great news for Google Music, as integration into Android applications could surely inject some much needed life into the service’s disappointing adoption stats.
source: android police
Want to change you number but thought you couldn’t on Google Voice? Hold the phone, GV allows you to change you number at no cost, while also allowing you to keep your old one for $20. Things have changed since way back in the early Google Voice Beta stages where they assigned a number for you, and we welcome it!
When you grab a new number and keep the old, calls and texts will go to both, but will only show the replacement number for any outgoing calls or texts, so it may be best to alert your contact list of the number change, even if you’re keeping the old one. Find out more here at the Google Voice Blog.
Sprint and Google have been beta-testing a full integration of Google Voice with the Sprint network over the past several weeks, and today the service has been declared “live.” Sprint customers can now use their Sprint number to run all of their Google Voice services, allowing them to set the phone to ring at multiple locations, or even different locations determined by the caller or time of day. Or if you’d prefer, you can have all outgoing calls go out through your Google Voice service. This brings a lot of versatility, and the process is fairly seamless, though by default it will disable SMS messages from coming into your phone and route them through Google Voice instead. This feature isn’t hard to reverse, and tonight we’ll be bringing you a quick how-to on that, plus any other tips and tricks we find this afternoon. Catch the video promo after the break, and head to the official site to get started.
Dropbox has added new features to its existing Android Application, which is available now in the Android Market. The new features include a dropbox notification bar tool, showing you the status of your uploads, and added integration into the Android built in sharing menus.
The pic above is what it looks like now, the pic below is what it mainly used to look like. If you have it installed, simply update it from your downloads area within the Android Market. For more information on Dropbox, click here.
So you need to know where your best buddy is that you haven’t seen since you both graduated college last year, and you happen to be in town. Or, you want to see where your stalker ex-girlfriend is, who’s still in your facebook places, so you can avoid her like a plaid suit at a wedding. What can you do?
Get Loopt! (And I don’t mean loaded)
Users of Loopt will be happy to see that the developers of Loopt have built Facebook Places integration, so your Loopt and Facebook friends will appear as plots on the Loopt map.