Now Stories September 1, 2015

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In addition to unveiling its all new logo today, Google has announced some changes coming to its Search experience on mobile devices and its Google Now homepage on Android. Google notes that it’s made the search results page for mobile devices easier to navigate with a new swipeable and tappable UI. Google offered a look at the new UI for images, videos and news stories in the video below. expand full story

Now Stories August 6, 2015

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Update: The HBO Now APK with Chromecast support is now available to download. It should be rolling out over the next several hours on the Play Store.

Yes, it’s true. Following the service’s introduction on Android and some of Amazon’s platforms a few weeks ago, Google has announced today that HBO is now rolling out support for Chromecast as well. expand full story

Now Stories June 19, 2015

Spotify 3.1 beta for Android arrives with new Running feature, audio/video shows, and more

After first announcing a handful of new features and redesigned apps last month for iOS users, today most of those features are arriving for the Spotify beta for Android ahead of a public release. The highlight changes include Spotify’s new Running feature that automatically detects an ideal tempo to creates playlist based on your running pace, more content, and a redesigned Now start page.

The update, version 3.1, also brings audio and video shows that were first introduced to web and iOS users last month in addition to other new content and UI tweaks throughout the app. The new content includes videos and podcasts from ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, Condé Nast Entertainment, ESPN, Fusion, Maker Studios, NBC, TED, Vice News, and more.

The new features are currently only available to users in the US, UK, Sweden and Germany, and will likely roll out to all users beyond Spotify’s beta channel in the near future.

(via AndroidPolice)

Now Stories May 15, 2013

Google today announced that it is revamping the Google voice search feature available in Chrome. While users have always been able to search with their voice through Chrome, Google is attempting to make the service work more like it does through Google Search apps and Google Now on mobile devices.

Chrome will now include “conversational search” with a brand new interface that doesn’t require users to click in order to search with their voice. Like on mobile devices with Google Now, users will now be able to simple say “Google” in order to activate voice search.

Today, we previewed what this conversational experience will look like in Chrome on your desktops and laptops. Soon, you’ll be able to just say, hands-free, “OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” and get a spoken answer. Then, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and just follow up with “how far is it from here?” if you care about the drive or “how about Monterey?” if you want to check weather somewhere else, and get Google to tell you the answer.

The new interface, as pictured above from Google’s demo of the feature, is much like the voice search interface for Google Now on Android devices.

While not a full blown Google Now experience yet, the feature will allow users to pull up flight information, email, calendar entries and more by taking advantage of Gmail field trial features that some users have already opted in to try.

The new feature will be coming to Macs and PCs through Chrome soon.

Google also briefly showed off some new content coming to Google Now including new cards for Reminders, Music Albums, TV Shows, Books, Public Transit, and Video games rolling out today: expand full story

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Some pretty incredible new features of Google+ Photos today that will probably be burying Picasa once and for all. Using their algorithms, they will enhance and help sort photos saving time and energy with the net result being incredible photo albums.

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Google today announced new features coming to the Google Play Developer Console that will make it easier for developers to track and optimize apps across markets.

Perhaps one of the biggest features that will soon be available to developers is the ability to manage beta testing and staged rollouts right from within the Developers Console. The tool will allow developers to select a percentage of users for a stage rollout and easily beta test their apps among small amounts of users.

Among the new features, Google will be rolling out a new APK translation feature built into the console that allows developers to purchase translations through various providers directly through the console.

Other features headed to the developer console include optimization tips, referral tracking, and detailed revenue graphs. Check out a full gallery of the new features below: expand full story

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We knew from leaks in the weeks leading up to I/O that Google was planning some gaming related announcements and today the company has officially announced the service in a press release ahead of its Google I/O keynote taking place now. Not only will the service allow Android developers to build in real-time multiplayer, social features, achievements, and leaderboards while storing game saves and settings in the cloud, the SDK for Google Play game services will also be available to iOS and web developers.

Google noted a few titles for Android have already been updated with the feature including World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.

Not surprisingly, the cross-platform gaming service will also build in Google+ integration to track high scores, achievements and more:

-Achievements that increase engagement and promote different styles of play.

-Social and public leaderboards that seamlessly use Google+ circles to track high scores across friends and across the world.

-Cloud saves that provide a simple and streamlined storage API to store game saves and settings. Now players never have to replay Level 1 again.

-Real-time multiplayer for easy addition of cooperative or competitive game play on Android devices. Using G+ Circles a game can have up to 4 simultaneous friends or auto-matched players in a game session together with support for additional players coming soon.

Google’s full press release below: expand full story

Now Stories April 29, 2013

How to enable Google Now on iOS for Google Apps accounts

Earlier today Google officially pushed out an update to its existing Google Search app for iPhone enabling the Google Now service with weather and traffic conditions, updates on breaking news and sports, and more. Some users logging into Google Search through a Google Apps account might have noticed that using the features would prompt an error that “your administrator hasn’t enabled Google Now for your domain.” Hanselman.com shares instructions on enabling the feature which aren’t exactly obvious since the setting is buried in “Android settings”.

Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government: Google Now needs to be turned on by an administrator before it can be used.

If you are an administrator, you can enable Google Now for users in your organization by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Apps control panel.
  2. Go to Settings > Mobile > Org Settings > Android settings.
  3. Click the checkbox next to Enable Google Now to turn on Google Now.
  4. Click Save.

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