Google Play Music adds drag-and-drop uploads, mini-player, & downloads to web app

GPlay_MusicFeatureDragDrop_v01_r03

Google’s Play Music service previously required installing the Music Manager app to upload music to the cloud service on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Today that changes as Google adds the ability to drag-and-drop your music collection to upload it directly through the browser within the Google Play Music web interface. It’s still in “lab” beta mode, but you can easily enable it:

Read more

Google+ Stream redesigned with three column view, intelligent hashtags, responsive design

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 1.31.14 PM

Google+ will receive a card-based interface redesign featuring a new three column view. The new interface is responsive to the user’s display size. The new multi-column view is customizable meaning you can toggle back to the previous single column view if you prefer.

Google+ will also begin rolling out intelligent hashtags for photos, meaning if you post a photo of the Eiffel Tower, Google+ can automatically recognize the subject and appropriately tag it for you.

Users will now be able to view related photos by clicking on the current photo and seeing related hashtags on the flip side of the photo. A video below highlighting the related hashtag feature is below.

Read more

Google announces Google Play for Education launching this fall

Google today announced a new service called Google Play for Education that allows schools to easier find and distribute Google Play content to Android devices in schools.

The Google Play Education store will allow schools to search for content by subject matter and grade level and provide content that has been recommended by other educators. Google is teaming up with partners such as NASA and PBS for content but it will also begin accepting app submissions from developers this summer before the education store launches this fall.

Rather than using credit cards in an education environment, teachers will be able to purchase bulk quantities of apps and charge licenses against a balance from the school’s purchase order. The Google Play for Education service will also allow school’s that use Google Apps to instantly distribute an app to multiple devices in a school by setting up a Google Group

Google Play for Education will be launching this fall. You can learn more at https://developers.google.com/edu/.

Chrome enters version 25 with speech-to-text API

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 8.28.38 PM

Chrome version 25 was released with a new Web Speech API that allows web developers to integrate speech-to-text dictation into their web applications.

The other feature of importance on the new version is the removal of “silent extensions.” Silent extensions are web-browser extensions that install without your knowledge. From now on, every web extension installation must be manually approved.

The updated version is available here, but Chrome’s auto-update feature may have already installed it for you.

Chrome Beta update makes tabs accessible everywhere, also available on Chrome for Android Beta

A new Chrome Beta update now makes open tab information available on multiple devices in different locations.

In Chrome Beta, when users are logged into Chrome, the tabs open on one device are now accessible on all their devices under the “Other devices” menu on the New Tab page.

“Imagine you’ve looked up directions to a cool new restaurant on your home computer. Later, when you’re leaving work, you realize you can’t quite remember how to get there. If only you could quickly pull up the same directions on your office computer with one click,” explained Software Engineers Nicolas Zea and Patrick Dubroy on the official Google Chrome blog.

Read more

Google says Chrome for Windows 8 is in the works


Google is designing a version of Chrome to run in touch-friendly Metro of Windows 8.

Windows 8 is the upcoming edition of Microsoft Windows and features a new Metro-style user-interface with input for touchscreen, mouse, keyboard, and pen. The platform’s Consumer Preview was just released Feb. 29.

A Google representative told Mashable that Chrome for Windows 8 is based on the desktop browser and not the Android form. The browser will highlight touch support to compliment the company’s interface principle that spans across many of its products and services, such as Xbox 360 and Windows Live. With that said, Chrome for Android indicates Chrome for Windows 8 might feature automatic syncing, swipe-able tabs, and a multitude of extensions.

“Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” announced a Google representative. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support.”

More information is available below.

Read more