Google Play Store gaining new features for discovering family-friendly apps, videos, & books

 

Google gave some stage time today at the I/O conference to a few family-focused changes coming to the Google Play Store. Families can now find age appropriate digital content from apps to game to books to movies and TV shows by tapping a new “Family” button.

This will take you to a section for each media type that allows you to browse for content by age and interest. When you browse the Play Store after tapping the Family button, you’re presented with more than just a curated section of content as other elements of the digital store change as well. Read more

Google’s ‘Inbox’ email app now open to all, updated w/ new features

After first launching its new Inbox app as an alternative email experience to its main Gmail service last year, Google today announced that Inbox is now open to all sans the original invite system while it also introduces a number of new features for the service.

As for features, Google highlighted a new “Trip Bundles” feature that keeps emails related to travel in one place, and improved controls for things like Undo Send, Signatures, and Swipe to Delete: Read more

Microsoft launches its Office Lens document scanner app on Android

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Continuing with Microsoft’s new mission under CEO Satya Nadella to make its productivity software available everywhere that potential customers are, the company officially released its Office Lens document scanner app for Android today to the Google Play Store.

Microsoft ran a public preview of Office Lens for Android from April 2nd up until today through the Google+ communities method, which they say had over 130,000 testers, and Android was the only place where they tested it with users before launch. Here’s how the company describes the functionality of Office Lens in its announcement: Read more

Google now indexing info from iOS apps in search

OpenTable Side-by-side Google’s App Indexing technology isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to discuss, but so long as the majority of the company’s revenue still comes from search (it does), it is imperative that they figure out how to make their main business work on mobile where the eyeballs are going. So the company announced that today App Indexing is coming to iOS apps, starting with Chrome and Google Search.

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Google I/O 2015 Preview: We’re doubling down on Android M, Chrome, Wear and more

Stephen and I are off to Google I/O 2015 this week (the first time we’ve sent 2 people – for double the coverage!) but we wanted to preview what we we’re excited about this week. I’d run through the list of expectations but Chance already made 90% of the list when the sessions were launched. Go check it out. Here’s what I’ve been hearing… Read more

Twitter’s live broadcasting app Periscope officially lands on Android

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After months being completely missing from the biggest smartphone platform there is, Twitter is ready to release a version of its Periscope app and service for Android users. Twitter acquired and launched the live video streaming app earlier this year exclusively for iPhone users, saying in early April that an Android version was in development. Hopefully making up for the lost time, Twitter has included a few features in Periscope for Android that you won’t yet find on iOS.

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Microsoft’s Google Now competitor Cortana coming to Android in June, plus tight integration with Windows (Video)

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Reuters reported back in March that Microsoft planned to bring its Google Now competitor Cortana to Android, and Microsoft has now officially confirmed this in a blog post.

Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go […]

The Cortana companion will be available for Android phones at the end of June and for iPhones later this year.

While Microsoft is pitching the intelligent assistant as a companion to a Windows PC, it appears that most of the functionality will work in the Android app without the need for a Windows device, Microsoft saying that you can “make the same queries, ask the same questions” in the standalone app …  Read more

Google Hangouts Chrome app updated w/ redesigned interface, OS X support

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 8.29.15 PMGoogle today updated its Hangouts Chrome app with an entirely new interface. Perhaps more notably than that, the app has support for Mac OS X users in addition to the trio of Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. The UI has been refreshed to be more similar to the Android version of the app, a trend that has been increasingly common for Google services over the past few months.

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