How Google Now Works In Chrome & How To Enable Or Disable It

Google Now is arguably one of the best personal information aggregation services that we’ve seen so far. It’s like having a personal assistant at your service all the time, to present you with just the information you need – a task the ancestors of our modern smartphones, which were aptly called PDAs (short for Personal Digital Assistants), aspired to accomplish. Since its debut on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google Now has come a long way, with several new cards being added with each OS update, as well as iOS support added last year. On the desktop front, last year brought Google Now-like information-rich cards Google search results, and Google Now-style natural language voice search added to Chrome. The latest update in this series of Google Now expansion brings its cards to Chrome’s notification center. Let’s take a closer look after the jump. Read More

Google Now Launcher Hits The Play Store For Nexus & GPE Devices; Download APK Here

There are only so many times we can introduce Android with some variation of the phrase “is infinitely customizable”. We have discussed launchers like Dodol, Buzz, Smart Launcher and so many others to death already. However, these third party customizations have never been able to help alleviate that feeling of alienation. They might be excellent, but they don't feel right; even the recently reviewed Aviate is no exception - it's brilliant, but alien ground. Until now, that is. Google decided that its stock Android launcher should be available to download and released it to the the Play Store under the label Google Now Launcher. Read More

How To Opt Out Of Gmail’s New Email Via Google+ Option

The big G recently made a controversial change to Gmail, making it possible for users to send email messages to anyone from their Google+ profiles. The integration means that if you use both Gmail and Google+ services, anyone on Google+ can now email you without knowing your email address. The change has become a lightning rod for controversy, particularly among privacy advocates who do not want their Gmail account being shared among their Google+ circles. What even struck more is the fact that the new feature is opt-out rather than opt-in, meaning it's enabled by default, and those who don’t want it must disable it manually. Fortunately, it’s fairly easily to disable this feature and in what follows, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of doing that. Read More

How To View And Delete Google Location History

I love traveling so much that I often find myself journeying places that I have no clue about. And one gadget that always proves handy in my trips, be it on foot or in my car, is my Android phone. Whenever I find myself isolated, that nifty Google Maps app instantly comes to the rescue. But recently when I found that Google has been tracking my location – okay, maybe I’m a bit late to the party – it creeped me out a bit. If you are also using a Google device or service (which most of us are, these days), than odds are the search engine giant might be tracking your location data too, especially using a Google Map featured called Google Location history. Fret not though - Google lets you disable it if you want. In this short guide, I will explain what Google Location history is and how to keep it from recording your location info. Read More

Flagship Android, iOS & Windows Phone Smartphones: Specs Comparison

With each passing year, the number of smartphones that hit the market keeps rising, even as the brutal tech market forces certain manufacturers to throw in the towel. While the head honchos of the market dish it out, constantly trying to one-up each other in the hardware specifications race, the consumers find themselves spoiled for choice. Low-end and mid-range devices might satisfy the regular user, but a technology enthusiast will seldom settle for anything but the best an OEM or developer has to offer. The list of choices for the latter is only relatively short, the key word here being 'relatively'. One would still have to skim through a lot of specs sheets and device reviews to make an informed decision. To make the first part easier for you, we're going to be compiling and comparing the specifications of current flagship Android, iOS and Windows Phone smartphones from major manufacturers and developers right here.  Read More

Download The Latest Google Play Store APK For Android

If you are using any mainstream Android phone or tablet, chances are that Google Play Store is your primary source for finding and installing apps on your device. Even users of non-mainstream devices or those using an unofficial version of Android (such as CyanogenMod) often install the Google Apps package to get Play Store on their devices in order to get access to the vast list of apps, games and multimedia content available on Google’s platform. While Google does update the Play Store with new features and improvements quite frequently, the rollout of a new major version is often done in phases over a few weeks, meaning there can be a delay of several days between the latest version’s release and you actually receiving it on your device. For this reason, many people decide to manually install the latest version using its APK file, as soon as it is made available online by those who receive it in the first phase. We aim to make that task easier for you by providing you with one place where you’ll always be able to find the latest version of Play Store, along with a list of major changes since the last version. Read More

Google Voice Search Hotword Adds “Ok Google” Command Support To Chrome

If you're even a little bit into tech, chances are that you are already aware of the "Ok Google" hotword support found in Moto X, Google Glass (albeit a bit altered to "Ok Glass") and now the company’s own latest handset, the Nexus 5. The feature, which lets you trigger voice commands from anywhere on the home screen or in the search app, is now landing on to the desktop as Google Voice Search Hotword Chrome extension. That’s right, no more clicking the search bar and typing with your keyboard; you can now simply speak to Google’s search engine after triggering voice search by saying "Ok Google". Read More

Google Maps Engine Android App Allows Viewing Custom Maps On The Go

Google Maps gives us the opportunity to explore places we might never get to visit in our lives, but Google wants to let you do even more with Maps than just navigating to your old friend’s new house or exploring exotic Pacific islands. The search engine giant’s Google Maps Engine app for Android is designed to let you view custom maps created by you or users of the service by using map builder API. For the uninitiated, Maps Engine – a service which Google introduced back in 2011 – allows you to plot small spreadsheets of locations, and use styling and drawing options to customize the appearance of the maps to however you please. The mobile app provides a simple way to explore those maps from your phone or tablet. Read More

Quickoffice For Android & iOS Goes Free; Offers 10GB Of Extra Google Drive Storage

Smartphones these days can handle so much more than making phone calls. If you often feel the need to view or edit Microsoft Office documents on the go, then today brings exciting news; Google is now offering its cloud-based Quickoffice app for iOS and Android - which was previously being sold for $14.99 at both the App Store and Play Store - completely free of cost. The app enables you to access Office documents straight from your mobile device, and allows editing Word files, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations, as well as uploading these files to your Google Drive account. The news comes after Apple made its iWork apps free for all users who are buying new Apple iDevices. Clearly a counterattack by Google against their strategy, and one with additional benefits. The app has no device-restrictions to speak of, looks pretty fantastic and comes packaged with loads of useful features including an extra 10GB worth of Google Drive space. Let’s take a closer look at the app after the break. Read More

Google Play Games For Android: A Detailed Hands-On Review

Google Play Games was one of the few new features of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean that were announced at at Google I/O this year, though back then, it was showcased in more of a developer-focused manner, highlighting how developers will be able to incorporate it into their games. At today’s “Breakfast with Sundar Pichai” event, the app was finally made available (along with Android 4.3 itself for the Nexus devices). We’ve taken it for a spin and from what we’ve seen, it looks impressive, apart from one rather major annoyance. So as always, join us as we go on an in-depth tour of Google Play Games and all the features it has to offer. Read More

Google Cloud Print For Android Allows Remote Printing On The Go

Printers are one of the most useful computer peripherals around, but they're also, quite possibly, one of the most frustrating to configure. Then there are also the problems of managing multiple printers on a network, and making sure they are all running fine and ready to accept print jobs. Google, however, has made printing considerably simpler with Google Cloud Print that has been available in Google Chrome across desktop, iOS and Android. Though if you want to print something outside Chrome from your Android device, the new Cloud Print app that has just debuted on the Google Play Store will take care of that. The app allow you to print anything from documents to photos from your Android device. Read More

Install Stock Google Keyboard On Any Android Device From Play Store

If you thought Google has a habit of just chopping off their useful services and apps, think again. One of the best and most intuitive element of Android is apparently its Google-designed stock Android keyboard, which has all the features you’d want from an optimum text input method accompanied by a simple yet decent layout. Google has packed it with the best features cherry-picked from other awesomely designed keyboard apps including Swiftkey and Swype. But unfortunately, this vanilla keyboard is usually absent on third party OEM devices such as Galaxy S4 or HTC One, because they ship their own OEM solutions. Finally, good news for folks who want to download standard Android keyboard on their devices, as Google released Google Keyboard on the Play Store. That’s right, the official Android keyboard that ships with Nexus devices can now be used on non-Nexus ones by simply installing it like any other app. Lets take a closer look. Read More

Get A Universal Google Services Menu In Chrome & Remove The Black Bar

For a lot of users, Google is the internet, and that makes perfect sense; why go anywhere else if your local store is better than the competition? I know it sounds a bit hyperbolic to say this, but Google makes some of the best apps, products and services around. How it enables users to access them is quite another matter altogether; most of us aren't particularly inclined towards the black bar that runs across the top of Google’s homescreen, since it’s limited and non-customizable. Let me introduce you to the brilliant Black Menu, a Chrome extension that places all of Google's most popular apps and services together in a simple, customizable panel, bringing everything you need within single-click radius. If the internet ever had a start button, it’d be this. The developer is also offering Black Bar Removal extension to get rid of the black Google bar that you will no longer need with Black Menu. Read More

Hide Unwanted Google Search Results In Firefox

If you’ve ever been bothered by unwanted websites or keywords in Google search results, there's now a Firefox extension called Hide Unwanted Results of Google Search that aims to provide a little bit of help by hiding results from particular websites, or any related content that you specify. As its name implies, the extension only filters out unwanted content from Google's search results, so it will not effect any other search engines such as Yahoo! or Bing. According to its developer, the add-on is basically an alternative to Google’s now disabled ‘Block Sites’ feature that kept certain websites or keywords from showing in the results. Since the official offering by Google is no longer available, this add-on can really save the day for those who used that feature and now miss it. Read More

Hands-On With Google Keep: Notes & To-Do Lists For Web & Android

Google’s new note-taking web service Keep is now live, along with its Android app. Keep lets you create notes and to-do lists that sync over Google Drive. Notes may contain text, voice or images. Notes and lists can be color-coded, and are searchable. With Keep, Google aims to let you collect and consolidate all your thoughts, ideas and useful information together that will be synced and accessible across all your computers through your browser, and across all your Android devices using the Keep app. Let's take both the web service and its Android app for a spin and see what it's all about. Read More

How To Install The Chrome App Launcher On Windows

Chromebooks have been gaining significant popularity lately. These Chrome OS-toting computers basically use Google Chrome itself as a computing and app platform, and require continuous internet connectivity to run all these web-apps. Chromebooks rely solely on the Chrome apps but since the browser itself is always running as a part of the OS itself, you do not need to launch it every time you want to run an app. Instead, you get an app launcher similar to the Start Menu for accessing all these apps. Today, Google has released a developer preview of its app launcher for Windows that allows you to launch your installed Chrome apps directly from Windows desktop. As of this writing, the app launcher is only available for Windows on the Chrome Dev Channel, but Google plans to push it to Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux soon. Read More

Easily Switch Google Accounts & View Gmail Alerts From Chrome Toolbar

Google supports signing in to multiple accounts and switch between them across all of its online services. Though there is a limitation to this switching - you can only switch accounts while on Google's websites, and not while on any other website. Google Multi-Account Launcher is a Chrome extension that adds multiple account support to your browser, letting you you add multiple Google accounts and switch between them from anywhere in Chrome. It also provides a short preview for the 20 latest messages in each Gmail account, along with a whole tab of shortcuts to popular web services. The extension is perfect for opening Gmail or any other Google services in your preferred account without having to launch their site first and then switch account from there. Read More

List Of Google Now Commands & Smart Cards

For the recently concluded Google I/O 2012, big G had quite a few tricks up its sleeve, and, rather unsurprisingly, most of the announcements made at the event were based around Google’s fast-flourishing mobile OS, Android. In terms of hardware, the Android community relished the arrival of the 7-inch Tegra 3-supported Nexus 7 tablet, whereas on the firmware front, it was the latest iteration of Android, Jelly Bean, that snatched the limelight. Besides all other new features and performance tweaks, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brought with it a much improved, smarter and informative search assistant in the form of Google Now. Initially exclusive to only the aforementioned Nexus 7 tablet and a handful of other Android devices rocking Jelly Bean, a fully functional - yet unofficial - build of Google Now can now be installed on almost any rooted device running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (and above). The specialty of Google Now lies in its knowledge-packed Smart Cards. Based on your location, calendar events, search queries and personal preferences, these cards automatically keep appearing at regular intervals throughout the day, keeping you apprised of whatever information you need to have at hand at that particular instance. Although using the Google Now feature is no rocket science, there are a few phrases, query formats and voice commands that can help you maximize use of its Smart Cards. To reveal the list of all such useful commands, continue reading past the break. Read More

Google Mobile Search Becomes Smarter, Integrates Google Now-Like Cards

With the introduction of Google Now in Jellybean, Google really showed the world what really makes Android a “smart” platform. Where there is a functional Google Now port available for ICS devices, but all Android phones running versions older than that haven’t had a chance to get a taste of the amazingly intelligent search assistant. Now, however, the interactive cards that appear in Google Now's search results have been made available to the masses through Google mobile search. The rollout of information card integration with Google search has taken effect for most smartphones, including iOS and Android devices. Thanks to this integration, you will be able to get direct answers to your questions, rather than just getting links to webpages. Ranging from instant solutions to calculations, currency/unit conversions, details regarding stocks, routes to destinations of choice, weather and sports information and general Knowledge Graph-based queries, you can now view all these on interactive cards without having to navigate away from the search results page. Read More