Google

Chromecast to add queuing, autoplay, multi-screen options

While Google's Chromecast has turned our TVs and mobile devices into interlocking home entertainment systems, there are still some features that have been on a lot of users' wishlist. Well some of them may have just come true as Google announced at the I/O conference new features for the casting device that developers can integrate into their apps and products. Users of the Chromecast as well as the Nexus Player and NVIDIA Shield and those who love binge watching shows and playing multiplayer games will benefit from these new features.

Google announces Material Design Showcase and Awards at I/O 2015

It's almost a year now since Google first introduced their Material Design visual guidelines which they encouraged Android app developers to apply to their respective programs. At first it was just a hypothetical idea then it turned into a whole new ballgame for developers and for Google itself. Today at the I/O conference, they announced 18 great apps that showcased the best of their new visual ethos, and gave special awards to 6 of them, this year's equivalent of their Beautiful Design collection of the previous years.

Android Wear hits 4000 apps

Google has another reason to celebrate and gather all Android fans at the Google I/O 2015 conference. Why, there are now 4,000 Android Wear apps ready for download from the Google Play Store. This is good news for everyone who owns an Android Wear-powered smartwatch because it means there are more apps to use and there are more ways for customization even if it's only a small screen.

Android Pay hands-on: buying soda with a phone

Put your phone near a vending machine screen and out comes a can of Coke. If that sounds like a scene from a sci-fi show, then we can pretty much say that the future is here. That is exactly the image that Google wants to paint in our minds in demoing two use cases of its newly announced Android Pay mobile payment system. In one instance, we tried the feature earlier described, buying a soda can from an NFC-enabled vending machine. In another, we buy an Android, a collectible, from an Android, a phone, using Android Pay. Inception!

Inbox now available for everyone, with new features to boot

If you're one of those who were longing to get an Inbox invite so you could use the other Gmail app that people have been talking about, you don't need to wait anymore. Google has opened up the mobile email app to the public, and has even added the most requested features from those who were lucky enough to get the invite and have been using it since October. So now, you can use Inbox to make it easier to sort through and group together your Gmail, whether on mobile or on desktop.

Google Play Services 7.5 to optimize Android devices with new capabilities

Google has announced a lot of new things at the I/O 2015 Conference including Google Play Services 7.5. This one brings several optimizations and new features to Android devices, or those running at least Android 2.3. The new version includes new APIs for Google Cloud Messaging and Google Cast and the Google Maps API on Android Wear devices, Instance ID, and Smart Lock for Passwords among others.

Google improves app discovery, intros “Family star” icon

Admit it or not, searching for a particular app on the Google Play Store can be frustrating at times. You search for "App X" and it won't come up on top of the search results. You think Google should know better but it's not the case as app search isn't a priority and there are too many apps. With now one billion active users every single day and with almost 50 billion installs over the past year, Google wants to improve and help developers be discovered. Announced during the Google I/O 2015 keynote, more tools will be added to help devs like developer profile pages as landing pages.

Google Now On Tap feature works without having to leave an app

Over at the Google I/O 2015, Google's Director of Product Management, Aparna Chennapragada, discussed that Google Now will soon receive an important update. In the next few weeks, expect to see changes in the the feature as the tech giant is set to focus on giving better Context, Answers, and Actions. Google Now has been very useful but the new features can provide immediate answers with the "Now on Tap".

Google to have offline support for Chrome, Maps, YouTube

While most of us are almost always online whether at home, at the office, at a restaurant, and even while mobile, there are times when your data fails, your WiFi is erratic, or you simply just want to go off the grid (but not totally). However, a lot of the apps and features we use require that we're online always. Well that's about to change, at least for some products. Google announced during its ongoing I/O conference that they will be giving offline support for Chrome, Maps, and YouTube.
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