holidays Stories December 29, 2015

galaxy-note-5

According to a new report by analytics firm, Flurry, more Android phablets were activated than any other sized Google-powered smartphones. In fact, if the companies app-tracking tools are accurate, half of all Android activations over the holidays were large-screened mobiles…

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holidays Stories December 22, 2015

spotlight

It’s a little over two years since Motorola launched Spotlight Player, an app that could be used to view a 360-degree interactive animation. Initially limited to the Moto X before being rolled out to other Android devices, you move your smartphone up, down, left and right to choose which part of the scene to view – and can also view through Google Cardboard.

Google held onto the team when it sold Motorola to Lenovo, and it has now launched Special Delivery, a holiday-themed Spotlight Story from Aardman Animations, the creators of Wallace & Gromit. While you have to pay for some stories, this one is free as a holiday gift from Google …

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holidays Stories December 15, 2015

last-minute-deals

We only have about one week to go before your holiday shopping is officially too late. And although Black Friday weekend and Cyber Week have all come and gone, that doesn’t mean retailers have given up on trying to persuade you to part with your hard-earned cash…

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holidays Stories December 14, 2015

Google Search results get Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa decorations in time for holidays

Google regularly celebrates holiday seasons by launching special little easter eggs, games and decorations across its services. This year, if it wasn’t for the Santa Tracker and Spin the Dreidel game, you’d think Google was under the impression it was Star Wars season. Turns out, that’s not the case.

Barry Schwartz spotted that Google has indeed decorated its search results in time for the holidays. Simply head to Google.com and search for ‘Christmas’, ‘Chanukah’ or ‘Kwanzaa’ and you’ll see the following imagery along with the relevant search results. All three holidays are celebrated with traditional imagery like the Menorah, Christmas Tree and the aforementioned Dreidel. (As a side note: Searching for ‘Dreidel’ or ‘Menorah’ also brings up the Chanukah decorations in Search).

While the holidays get a brief hat-tip, Star Wars has undoubtedly been the biggest focus for Google’s design team this year. With its movie franchise tie-in, Google themed virtually all of its services and launched some Star Wars editions of the Cardboard VR sets, while Motorola and Verizon teamed up to launch Star Wars DROID Turbo 2 handsets.

holidays Stories December 3, 2015

gift-guide-2015

We’re well in to holiday shopping season now. Assuming you’ve picked up some of our recommended Android phones, smartwatches and Chromebooks, there are still some great novelty items out there for the Android fan in your life. Whether you’re looking for collectibles, clothing that shows off your allegiance to all-things Google, or something fun, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best little items to buy for Android fans…

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holidays Stories November 6, 2015

XmasEve

After many years of people trusting Google Maps far too much and accidentally driving across town to a store that ended up being closed, Google has finally added the ability for companies to designate holiday hours on Google Maps. Whenever you open up the Maps app and click that little drop-down to see hours for the week, you’ll now see a designated section for these special hours. And if a company hasn’t provided these, you’ll see a warning suggesting that the normal hours might not be right… expand full story

holidays Stories December 25, 2014

Google’s Mr. Jingles gets some holiday decorations for Christmas

It may or may not surprise you to find out that Google has a name for its little notification bell in Google+. Surprisingly, not only does Mr. Jingles have a name, but he has an official Google+ page dedicated just to him. And while Mr. Jingles spends most of the year in his normal bell-like state, he occasionally dresses up to share some holiday spirit on Google’s social network.

Here’s a look at some of Mr. Jingles’ previous costumes, spanning celebrations for fall, New Years Day, Valentine’s day, and Christmas 2013:

This year, Mr. Jingles wanted to make sure that Santa would be able to find him, so he dressed up with some Christmas lights:

To see Mr. Jingles, just open up your notifications pane in Google+ and click the button in the top right corner to clear all of them. You should see the above Christmas 2014 version of Mr. Jingles, Christmas tree lights and all.

holidays Stories May 12, 2014

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXCH9T5Nnaw]

After watching a mother’s day video shot entirely on Google Glass and designed to bring a lump to the throat of even the most hardened viewer, we noticed it followed a video posted a week or so ago celebrating the work of teachers, with some not too in-your-face plugs for Google products …  expand full story

holidays Stories February 14, 2014

doodle1

With so much of what is offered on Valentine’s Day feeling contrived and commercial, today’s U.S. Google doodle provides a rather heartwarming antidote, allowing you to listen to real-life love stories from This American Life.

Click on any of the hearts to play the story, narrated by Ira Glass. If you enjoyed those, you can subscribe to the free weekly This American Life podcast on iTunes …  expand full story

holidays Stories December 14, 2012

Google+ app

Everyone finds a holiday angle during this time of year, and after launching 18 new features, dubbed as “treats” wrapped together “in one holiday package,” Google+ is one of the many.

On the mobile side, according to the official Gplusproject blog, Google+ announced it added new Android features that include on-the-go profile editing
, streamlined ways to author content, a notice when there’s new content to read, and the ability to subscribe to mobile notifications from favorite circles and interact with Google+ Communities. Google+ also launched full-sized backups of photos, with up to 5GB free (turn on Instant Upload to start), and photospheres now appear in the mobile stream (Android 4.2 required to snap 360-degree panoramas, but Froyo or later users can enjoy them now).

As for connecting, Google+ pushed out extra features to make event planning easier that include the ability to message specific guests, view opened invitations, and invite people through Google+ by sending an event URL via email or IM. Guests can also now RSVP with the number of people they want to bring, and a new duplication feature allows event makers to copy their original event as Google+ pulls all the important details.

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holidays Stories November 25, 2011

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVf3UaZePC8]

Google has posted a nice new promo clip for Google+ to their YouTube channel, just in time for the official start of the holiday shopping season. Surprisingly, it isn’t about discounts or deals as Google opted for a different approach.

It’s entitled “Circles Love Story” and illustrates vividly “new ways of sharing the right things with the right people”. So, a guy meets this girl and puts her in the “Love of my Life” circle on Google+. Ring a bell?. She returns the favor by putting him in the Creepers circle, but soon changes her mind and moves him around a bit until he ends up in…

Just watch the clip above. Google also polished up the original Google+ advert and introduced a new tagline. Both the original and new advert are right after the break. Speaking of holidays, have you seen a Thanksgiving Google Doodle that lets you customize a virtual turkey?

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