feature Stories February 4, 2016

Voxer is a relatively popular messaging app for Android and iOS, and has long been considered one of the best solutions available for those looking for a great PPT (push-to-talk) experience on mobile. It received a ton of funding a few years ago, and while it never really took off in the mainstream, it’s still being updated even today with new fixes and features for its dedicated group of users. It has somewhere between 10 and 50 million Play Store installs.

George Kola, a software engineer that was most recently Chief Technology Officer of the company for more than a year, has now joined Google according to his LinkedIn profile. While it’s of course possible that Kola could have joined Google on his engineering merit alone and could be working in just about any department within the Mountain View company, it’s still worth asking: Could Google possibly have its eyes on bringing some walkie talkie features to Hangouts?..

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feature Stories January 21, 2016

Feature Request is a new regular 9to5Google series where authors offer their opinion on how to improve popular hardware or software products.

I think most of us who have used it are aware that Android Wear isn’t exactly a complete platform yet. It feels a little beta-ish. And that’s okay for now. One of the best things about Google’s software efforts is that we get to go along for the ride as it publicly experiments and launches new features. It’s not a case of waiting for months, or years, for it to secretly ‘perfect’ its product before telling us we’re ready for it.

Android Wear is still young enough that there’s plenty Google could change without upsetting the apple cart too much. One feature I think should be implemented soon (this year if possible) is a Force Touch-like technology. In other words: Android Wear should have a deeply engrained system to take advantage of pressure-sensitive touchscreen displays…

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

feature Stories December 8, 2015

Update: Just like the multiple account support that disappeared mere hours after it appeared, this awesome 3D Touch feature is now gone.

Instagram for iOS has had 3D Touch features for quite a while, but it looks like the Instagram team wanted to experiment with bringing some of these to Android as well. While the latest version for Android obviously doesn’t take advantage of force sensitive hardware (which doesn’t really exist of this side of the mobile space anyway), it does add a nifty new pop up for quickly liking, commenting, and sharing posts…

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feature Stories October 14, 2015

Update: Never mind. Qualcomm says that this is no longer a thing. It looks like the software on the phones being demoed at the India launch event are running old software.

Both the Nexus 5X and 6P are getting some special camera features thanks to improved hardware, and now we’ve learned about one more. Thanks to the device’s launch in India (and one hands-on video in particular), we’re getting another look at the device’s Settings app, and within there’s something interesting: Nexus 6P (and the Nexus 5X) will support “Double twist for camera”… expand full story

‘Music gifts’ feature starts appearing in the Play Music app for some Australian users

A support page showed up yesterday hinting at a new “music gifts” feature coming to Google Play, and now it looks like the feature is launching in some locales. Specifically, Play Music users in Australia seem to be seeing a new option (via Ausdroid) in “Music settings” labeled “Send gift”. Tapping this icon seems to take users to a new page for gifting a Google Play Music subscription…

feature Stories September 29, 2015

PSA: Google Now on Tap is working again in Marshmallow Developer Preview 3

If you’ve been waiting on Google Now to Tap to be available to those running the Android M Developer Preview, the wait is over. Besides a few days when Developer Preview 3 first launched, those running the developer version of M have been left without access to the feature. Now, it seems that Google is finally opening the floodgates…

Google Now on Tap is the latest big feature to come to Google Now, allowing users to quickly find more information about just about anything on their screen. If you’re reading an article about Donald Trump, Now on Tap can give you more info about him and links to his social media profiles and website, for example.

At this point, I’d suggest waiting until October 5th for the official rollout of Android Marshmallow to Nexus devices. But if you’re super antsy and just want to try out Google Now on Tap right now, you can head over and read our guide on how to install the Developer Preview 3 factory image. It’s not too tough, if you have the time.

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