Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts

Chrome Updates from Google : Chrome Beta for iOS

In addition to the stable channel, there are 3 other Chrome channels you can use to check the latest features before they're released for everyone: beta, dev and canary. Canary builds are only for Windows and Mac, the dev channel is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS and Android, while the beta channel is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android and now iOS.

That's right, you can try out Chrome Beta for iOS. You need to enter your email address and confirm you "understand that Google will share your information with Apple in order to participate in the TestFlight program". Google will send a confirmation email. "Once you have confirmed your e-mail address, you can expect to receive an invitation to join TestFlight within a few minutes."


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Install the TestFlight app on your iOS device, tap "redeem" and enter the code from the invitation. If you've already installed Chrome on your phone or tablet, TestFlight will ask you if "you want to replace the current app version with the test version".

Right now, you can upgrade from Chrome 46.0.2490.73 to Chrome 47.0.2526.53. The new version adds support for more Bluetooth keyboard shortcuts (open/close/change tabs and voice search) and adds 3D touch support on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (force touch the Chrome icon to open a new tab, a new incognito tab or start a voice search).



Google Update for YouTube Music

YouTube launched specialized mobile apps for kids, gamers and now for music lovers. YouTube Music replaces the music section from the regular YouTube app and provides a better interface for playing music. There are no comments, you can switch between the video mode and the audio-only mode, the autoplay feature is enabled by default and you can't disable it.

"With YouTube Music, you'll get a completely new type of experience, designed to make discovering music on YouTube easier than ever. No matter where you start in the app, the music will never stop. Every song you play or artist you choose will take you on an endless journey through YouTube's music catalog. (...) The home tab will recommend tracks just for you and create personalized stations based on your tastes," informs the YouTube blog.

You can download YouTube Music from Google Play Store and Apple App Store, but only in the US. If you're not in the US and you manage to install the app, you won't be able to use it without a proxy/VPN service.

YouTube Music works even better if you use YouTube Red, so you get the YouTube Red features for free for 14 days. No ads, background audio, offline music.


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Google About Me Account Details

It looks like Google works on a replacement for Google+ profiles. About Me is a new site that lets you control what people see about you. "Changes you make here show up across Google services like Drive, Photos, Google+ & others," informs Google.


You can change your name, photo, sites, gender, birthday and occupation. If you click the "+" button, you can also add work contact info, personal contact info, education, work history and places.

"You can change what other users of Google products see about you. For instance, when you connect with people on apps like Gmail or Hangouts, you can choose to share certain additional information with them, like your birthday and phone number," mentions Google's help center.

For now, the "view as public" feature doesn't work. "You'll soon be able to see what you look like to other people across Google services in this card. While we are working on it, view your public Google+ profile," suggests the site.

How to Records Song in Google | Google Shows Other Recordings of a Song

When you're searching Google for a song that has multiple cover versions, Google shows a new section below the video: "other recordings of this song". For example, if you're searching for [Felix Jaehn Ain't Nobody], Google shows the original version of the song from 1983 (Rufus and Chaka Khan) and a recent cover version from 2013 (Jasmine Thompson), which was remixed by Felix Jaehn, a German DJ.


You can click the other recordings to find more about them and watch their videos.

Google OnHub: Smart Router for Internet of Things

Google is all about the Web: it develops the most popular browser and mobile operating system, it has a public DNS service, it provides broadband Internet (Google Fiber) and wireless service (Project Fi). So why not build a router to improve your Internet connection and make your router as smart and easy to use as your smartphone?

Google partnered with TP-LINK to build OnHub (TGR1900), a next-generation router for the Internet of Things. It's not the fastest router (AC 1900 Mbps), it's not the most expensive router ($199.99) and it's not the best router for power users. Instead, Google focused on providing the best experience for regular users, much like Apple and its AirPort devices.


"We replaced unruly cords and blinking lights with internal antennas and subtle, useful lighting, so you'll be happy placing OnHub out in the open, where your router performs its best. A unique antenna design and smart software keep working in the background, automatically adjusting OnHub to avoid interference and keep your network at peak performance. You can even prioritize a device, so that your most important activity — like streaming your favorite show — gets the fastest speed,"mentions Google.


There are mobile apps for Android and iOS which let you setup the router, change the settings and check the stats. A Google account is required and Google saves all the settings online, except for the WiFi password. Google's OnHub downloads and installs new versions of the firmware automatically and the best thing is that the router doesn't restart, so it doesn't interrupt your connection

OnHub is designed for Internet of Things and it supports Bluetooth Smart Ready, Weave (Nest protocol for the Internet of Things), IEEE 802.15.4 (a standard that focuses on low-speed connections between devices). The router has a dual-core 1.4GHz processor from Qualcomm Atheros (it's based on Snapdragon S4), 4GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, one USB 3.0 port, a 3W speaker, a WAN port and a single LAN port (both are Gigabit ports). You'll need a switch if you want more Ethernet ports.

You can pre-order OnHub from Google Store, Amazon and other sites in the US and it will ship in the coming weeks. It will also be available for sale in retail stores in the U.S. and in Canada. Google plans to release a second OnHub device later this year, in partnership with ASUS.

Many people will wonder if Google monitors the sites they're visiting. There's a help center article about this, which mentions that Google collects some data about your Internet usage (data speeds, historical network usage, network status, connected devices, network settings) and associates some of them with your Google account, but you can disable this in the settings. Google DNS is used by default, but you can change the DNS settings.

So why isn't OnHub a router for power users? It has a single WAN port, it uses mobile apps for setup and changing settings, it's complicated to connect multiple OnHubsbecause OnHub has a fixed subnet IP address that currently can't be changed.



source...http://googlesystem.blogspot.in/search?updated-max=2015-09-01T12:42:00-07:00&max-results=10

New Mobile Google Homepage

Google's mobile homepage looks different. The tabs for web search and image search are now blue and you can finally use the app launcher. Just click the grid icon to see the same app launcher from the desktop site. Many shortcuts will open the corresponding mobile apps instead of the mobile sites.


For now, the app launcher is only available from the Google homepage and from Google Image Search's homepage.


Google has recently changed the color of the tabs from red to blue for both the desktop site and the mobile site. There's now a bigger Google logo at the top of the page and the header uses more space.

Google Photos, The New Home for Your Private Photos

I've clicked the Photos link from the Google+ navigation menu. The page redirected to Google Photos and it displayed a new message:

"Welcome to Google Photos, the new home for all your private photos. The photos you've shared on Google+ are still available in the photos tab of your Google+ profile."


The message links to https://plus.google.com/me/photos, which is the photos tab from your Google Profile. Until now, Google Photos linked to Google+ Photos, bypassing the redirect.

You can still go to Google+ Photos using this link:https://plus.google.com/photos/highlights, but I don't know for how long. Most likely, Google+ Photos will disappear soon.

Updated Mobile UI for Google's Related Searches

Google Mobile Search has a new interface for related searches. Google usually shows up to 8 related searches at the bottom of the search results pages, but now the list looks different: there's a table with white rows and small arrows next to each related query.


Click a related search and you can see the search results for that query and even more related searches. You can start with a generic query like [nightingale] and create a more specific query by only clicking on related searches. For example, you can find searches like [sound of a nightingale singing], [Yanni nightingale live] or [how do you become a nightingale in Skyrim?].

Templates, Insights and Dictation in Google Docs

Google's standalone web apps for DocsSheets and Slides now show a list of templates you can choose to quickly create a document, spreadsheet or presentation. For example, Google Docs shows templates for resumes, reports, letters and you can expand the list to see even more templates (essays, class notes, project proposals, meeting notes, brochures, newsletters).



Google Sheets has templates for to-do lists, budgets, calendars, schedules, invoices, time sheets and more.


Google Slides also has a few templates for photo albums, pitches, status reports, lesson plans, portfolios, weddings, party invites and more. 


Another new feature lets you get insights on a spreadsheet by simply selecting a range of cells and clicking Explore. This feature works in the desktop web app and the Android app and it shows trends, patterns and even charts for the data you've selected. It's surprisingly useful.


Google Docs now shows the new changes in a collaborative document. "If there are new changes, click the New changes button to the right of the Help menu. You can also click the File menu > See new changes."

Voice typing lets you dictate a text in Google Docs for desktop, but only if you use Chrome. Activate this feature from the Tools menu and speak in one of the 40 supported languages. You can say "period", "comma", "question mark", "exclamation mark", "new line", "new paragraph" to add punctuation to your text.



You can customize your forms by picking a theme or adding a photo. Google chooses the right color palette to match your photo. Insert images and YouTube videos to illustrate your questions.


More About Google's New Visual Identity

Google Design's site has an interesting article about Google's new identity. Google's designers started by "distilling the essence of the brand down to its core" and built 3 elements that work on any platform: a sans serif logotype, the dynamic dots that respond to users and a compact version of the Google logo.



Some people said that Google's new logo is childish and it really is. "The Google logo has always had a simple, friendly, and approachable style. We wanted to retain these qualities by combining the mathematical purity of geometric forms with the childlike simplicity of schoolbook letter printing. Our new logotype is set in a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface and maintains the multi-colored playfulness and rotated ‘e’ of our previous mark—a reminder that we’ll always be a bit unconventional," mention Google's designers.

The dots are a brilliant way to convey the full Google logo in a Material Design approach. "The Google dots are a dynamic and perpetually moving state of the logo. They represent Google's intelligence at work and indicate when Google is working for you. We consider these unique, magic moments. A full range of expressions were developed including listening, thinking, replying, incomprehension, and confirmation."


Google now uses pixel-perfect SVGs for base assets and generates thousands of vector-based variants. For example, there's a version of the logo that's optimized for low-bandwidth connections and is only 305 bytes. Google's old approach was to serve a text-based approximation of the logo.

All in all, the new logo is more flexible, works better for devices with small screens and there's an animated abstract version. For the first time, Google's logo becomes a user interface control that communicates information and connects users to Google.

{ Thanks, Brendan Early. }


source...http://googlesystem.blogspot.in/

Updated Interface for Google Play Music Mini Player

Google Play Music for the Web wasn't the only thing updated to Material Design last month. Google also updated the mini player that's displayed when you install the Chrome app.

The mini player is still standalone, so it works without having to open Google Play Music in a new tab. It has some new animations, controls hide when you're not using them, there's an icon that shows the main player and you can click the song's title or the artist's name to open the album page or the artist page in Google Play Music.

Here are some screenshots from Chrome for Mac and Windows:



Google's Navigation Bar Removes Google+ Integration

When you are logged in, Google's navigation bar shows your name next to the app launcher. Until now, Google added a "+" next to the name and linked to Google+. Starting today, Google no longer links to Google+ and the "+" prefix has been removed. You can still find the Google+ shortcut in the app launcher.

It's another change which shows that Google+ will take a back seat and will no longer be promoted as a standalone service.

Offline Google Maps Navigation, Directions and More

Google released free turn-by-turn navigation for Google Maps back in 2009. At that time, it was one of the top reasons to buy an Android phone, at least if you lived in the US. Since then, Google added support for a lot more countries and developed an app for iOS which included the navigation feature.

Unfortunately, Google Maps Navigation still requires an Internet connection, like most of the features of the Google Maps mobile apps. Navigation continues to work if you lose your Internet connection, but you can't change your destination or your route. Google Maps lets you cache maps, though they're limited to 50km x 50km and you can't get directions, use navigation or find local businesses. Nokia's HERE apps for Windows Phone, Android and iOS allow you to download full-featured country maps for free and use all of these features offline.

The good news is that Google Maps will soon add support for offline turn-by-turn navigation, directions, local search and it will even let you find more information about businesses. Here are some screenshots from the Google I/O Keynote:





According to Jen Fitzpatrick, Google VP for Engineering & Product Management, the new features will be released later this year.

Google's Smart Lock for Passwords

Google Play Services brings an interesting feature: a Smart Lock for passwords and connected accounts. This feature is enabled by default and it allows the passwords of your apps and websites to be saved to your Google account. By default, Google automatically signs in to apps and websites connected to your account, but this feature can be disabled.


Chrome already has a syncing feature for passwords, so the new Smart Lock uses it to bring the same passwords to apps. For example, Google could save your Facebook password and it could use it to sign in to your account in the native Facebook app.

Android Police reports that Smart Lock works in the Netflix app and developers need to use a new API to add support. Other Android apps that support this feature: Eventbrite, Instacart, New York Times, Orbitz.



"Google Smart Lock for Passwords takes the hassle out of keeping your accounts safe for your favorite apps and websites. Smart Lock can save passwords to your Google Account and then help you use your passwords securely and conveniently on the websites you use in Chrome and the apps you use on your Android devices," informs Google.

There's also a page that shows your saved passwords: you can find it atpasswords.google.com. "Your passwords from Chrome and Android are saved with Google Smart Lock and accessible to you across devices," explains Google. Unfortunately, this page doesn't show your passwords if you use a sync passphrase to encrypt your synced data in Chrome: "you can access your data within Chrome on your syncing devices, but not from this website." A help center page mentions that you can't use Smart Lock for Passwords on Android if you set a sync passphrase.


If you don't have a sync passphrase, the page shows your passwords and lets you delete them. Click the eye icon to see a password.


You can remove the sync passphrase from this page, but this also deletes your Chrome data from Google's servers. The good news is that this doesn't clear data from your devices, so you can sign in again to start syncing.

Classic Google Maps, Replaced by Lite Mode

If you're using the new Google Maps for desktop and you're trying to switch to the old version, Google now sends you to Google Maps Lite Mode. "To make Maps load faster, you can use a version of Google Maps called Lite mode. In Lite mode, some features are turned off so that Maps can run faster." Some examples of missing features: 3D imagery and Earth view, showing your computer's location, setting home and work, searching nearby, measuring distances, coordinates, draggable routes, embedding maps, My Maps integration.

If you're in Lite mode, you'll see a box in the bottom left with a lightning bolt and this message: "You're in Lite mode." You can click: "Switch back to full Maps" if your browser supports it.


The Lite interface uses a hamburger-style menu, just like the mobile apps.


For now, the old Google Maps is still available if you use this link:www.google.com/lochp, but there's a message which says that "this version of Google Maps is updating soon".


Stats for Chrome's Compression Proxy

A few Google engineers wrote an interesting paper (PDF) about Flywheel, Google Chrome's data compression proxy. The paper only talks about the data compression feature from Chrome for Android and iOS and offers a lot of stats.


Flywheel focuses on the mobile web because mobile devices "are fast becoming the dominant mode of Internet access", while "web content is still predominantly designed for desktop browsers" and mobile data is expensive. Google's proxy compresses web content by 58% on average and relies on the SPDY protocol and the WebP image compression formats, which are used by a small percentage of the sites (0.8% of the images use WebP and 0.9% of the sites use SPDY). The most significant data reduction comes from image transcoding, which decreases the sizes of the images by 66.4%, on average.


Data compression is disabled by default and only 9% of the mobile Chrome users enabled it. "Segmented by access network, 78% of page loads are transferred via WiFi, 11% via 3G, 9% via 4G/LTE, and 1% via 2G." Flywheel is not enabled for HTTPS pages and for incognito tabs and it's interesting to notice that only 37% of the bytes downloaded by Chrome users who enabled the proxy are received from Flywheel, while 50% of the total received bytes are from HTTPS and 13% of the bytes are from incognito mode, bypassed URLs and protocols other than HTTP/HTTPS. For example, the proxy bypasses audio/video files and large file downloads.

"For most users and most page loads, Flywheel increases page load time. For the majority of page loads, the increase is modest: the median value increases by 6%. Flywheel improves page load time only when pages are large and users are close to a Google data center."

The paper mentions that the Opera Turbo feature provides comparable data reduction, while the old Opera Mini proxy uses more aggressive optimizations, but breaks pages that rely on JavaScript or modern web platform features. "Maintaining an alternative execution environment to support whole-page transcoding is not feasible for Flywheel given our design goal of remaining fully compatible with the modern mobile web."

{ via Hacker News }