Lately Google has been cranking out important updates and improvements to many of its products across all of its platforms (Android, IOS, Gmail, etc). Today we see yet another improvement coming out of the Mountain View company, this time in connection with its quickly growing Google+ social network. The company announced on its blog today that it will be rolling out a new feature within Google+ called “Google+ Communities”. Google+ Communities act as a hub around which people with common interests can gather, discuss, debate, trade ideas and more. In essence it functions in many ways like a Facebook “group”, but catered toward specific interests. The communities are arranged by topics (photography, surfing, Android, music) so people of a like-mind can flock together, make new friends, network and more.
It looks like there is a new version of the Android Market that will be pushing out soon. This new update will bring the market up to version 3.3.11 and hosts a whole bunch of welcomed new features. If I know you guys like I think I do, you are ready for the update now! Lucky for you we have already scored the .apk file and have the download waiting for you below. A word to the wise though – apparently this .apk file isn’t working properly on Honeycomb tablets, if that’s you, you had better wait it out a while.
New features reported so far:
- New setting: Auto-update apps (an easy way to keep all apps auto-updated, finally)
- New setting: Update over Wi-Fi only
- New setting: Auto-add shortcuts (automatically adds shortcuts to your homescreen for newly downloaded apps)
- Smaller font
- New app drawer icon
- Microphone (voice command) button in search menu
- Star rating chart on app pages
- Minor UI tweaks
If you find anything else worth reporting, let us know in the comments below. Thanks!
[via Android Police]
T-Mobile, the small yet scrappy innovative carrier of them all appears to be gearing up to add some new features to their smartphone plans. According to some leaked screenshots from our ninja loving friends over at TmoNews, it looks like existing customers can add unlimited WiFi calling, Name ID features for anyone not in your contact list and a voicemail-to-text feature for your added convenience. We especially love the unlimited WiFi calling for those who might be having less than par coverage in their area. This is much like the UMA (unlimited mobile access) feature we’ve seen on Blackberry devices. However, the difference is there are no hand-overs from UMA to the network and vice versa. WiFi calling is strictly over your WiFi connection and still uses your minutes unlike UMA. And once you are outside of your WiFi hot-spot, you lose the call. This is still a great feature for anyone having less than three bars in-house. Oh yeah, and it’s free. The caller ID feature will provide you with any name, number, city and state for businesses and contacts that are not stored in your phone book.
And finally, there’s the voicemail to text feature that is sure to be a hit. T-Mobile will add the feature to their existing Visual Voicemail application which transcribes messages for you via email or text message. Overall, we’d say not too shabby on T-Mobile’s part. Great job Magenta, it’s no wonder you’re constantly getting awards for innovation. As of now, we’ve not heard an official word from T-Mo on these new features, we’ve only got the leaked screenshots. So, things could possibly change or get scrapped all together. But be sure to keep it here to find out.
If you’ve never heard of SayNow…you’re not alone. You may, however, remember that a lot of celebrities went through phases where they would blast a phone number on Twitter, Facebook, a commercial, or at a concert and say “Call me.” When you called that number, it gave you some pre-recorded message. You know you all called one of them, at least once…heck, I did. But this service has now been acquired by Google, and they have made it clear that they intend to incorporate it into Google Voice, although at this point it has not been stated exactly how they intend to do that or what service they will add.
SayNow also provided a service that aimed to make business conference calls easier. This service was apparently created by an intern in about a week, but in our (admittedly brief) searching for information about it, it seems to have been a very solid offering. So perhaps Google wants talent? They didn’t really say.
Regardless, it’s very likely that we’ll be seeing some new additions coming to Google Voice soon, beyond the number porting service that they just announced. We’re eager to see what they come up, so stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted.