In this week's Friday 5, Google Assistant finally comes to a wide range of Android devices and adds SMS functions, Twitch adds a Twitter-like broadcaster feed, Lightroom lets you take photos with HDR processing, Snapseed adds shareable templates, and the popular Calorie Mama app can detect your food based on a photo.Google Assistant extends its aid
Google Assistant, a conversational AI like Siri, has been built into Google's Pixel phones since those were launched in October 2016 -- but were found... Read More »
What can the cloud do for you? You've seen how it can store your music, photos, and documents, so you can access files from anywhere and sync across devices. But at this week's Google Cloud Next 2017 conference, eBay demonstrated how its bot can use the cloud not just to store digital stuff but to get your physical stuff out of storage and onto eBay.
The Next '17 cloud conference focuses mainly on enterprise users, but consumers... Read More »
Well, that was an odd year. We got a very public lesson in why it's important to keep online communications secure; we went outside to toss Poke Balls at augmented-reality pocket monsters; and we asked inanimate objects in our homes for assistance. Here are the software trends of 2016 that we found intriguing, important, or entertaining.Streaming services put cable TV on notice
Update 7/12/16: Niantic Labs has updated Pokemon Go on iOS to version 1.01. "Fixed Google account scope" is among the changes, which indicates that the previous issue with the app's permissions has been addressed. Pokemon Go on iOS now just asks for the username and email address associated with your Google account, which is normal behavior.
Original story follows:
This week Google launched My Activity to show you how you're tracked online, so you can better protect your privacy. Google readily admits that it tracks your every move -- your Web searches, site visits, watched videos, clicked ads, and location. The company claims it does so to autocomplete your searches, improve YouTube recommendations, serve ads, and get you places faster on Google Maps.
If you're willing to sacrifice these expediencies for the sake of privacy, then you can delete... Read More »
If you've been following the VR craze, you've probably noticed that the headsets can cost several hundred dollars, and the games and apps aren't free, either. However, you can try VR on the cheap with free Android apps and the Cardboard VR viewer, available on Google's site for $15, along with several similar viewers. Cardboard's app helps you set up your phone and add apps to your library, though Google's app store doesn't do a good... Read More »
Apple and Google were so late to the streaming-music party that we wondered why they bothered to show up. Apple Music launched in June 2015, and Google Play Music relaunched in its current form in October 2015, long after brands like Spotify and Pandora had polished their products and built a loyal fanbase. We weren't alone in that thought: Some analysts even decried that "Apple Music is doomed."
But now that Apple Music and Google Play Music have had... Read More »
Google this week opened up collaborative tools for mobile users of its Drive app.
Whether you use the Google Drive app or use Google Apps as part of Google for Work, you can now comment on docs from the Android and iOS apps for Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
You can also add collaborators to a conversation by typing their names in the comment box. The person will be added to the conversation and receive an email. Using a + or... Read More »
Tech junkiedom can be an expensive business, since we're always eager to try new things as soon as they're available, instead of waiting patiently for discounts. But I noticed as I gathered this list of personal favorites for 2015 that these apps and services reduce my costs, bundle one thing into another, or both. Maybe my subconcious is trying to tell me something, but I've improved my quality of life (and the heft of my wallet) with regard to my... Read More »