Google Maps Updated With Improved Typography, Areas of Interest

An update for Google Maps will affect users on Android, desktop, as well as iOS, bringing a cleaner look, improved typography, and much more. As you would assume, when looking over a city in Maps, there is a lot of information, all condensed until you zoom in. Because of this, Google is redesigning the layout of Maps, but don’t expect anything too drastic. Google will be providing a “cleaner” look, plus improving the typography to make things a bit easier to read.  (more…)

Google’s Phone App for Nexus Devices Gets Spam Calling Protection

Google is updating the Phone app that is included on their Nexus devices to include spam protection against unwanted calls. The newest version of the app will alert you as a call is coming in if it may be a “suspected” spam caller (see below) and then let you take additional actions on it.

With Caller ID & spam protection turned on, users will be able to both block and report spam calls. From within the Recent calls log, a tap on a call you’d like to report will offer up an option to “Block / report spam.” You should see options to both report as spam and then block, assuming you want to do both.  (more…)

Pokémon GO SDCC Panel: Game is Only 10% of Final Product, More Features on the Way

At this year’s SDCC, a lot of attention was paid to the Pokémon GO panel, featuring members of the Niantic Lab’s team. A lot of details were revealed, but most importantly, it should be known that no legendary Pokémon were released for those in attendance to catch. That would have really chapped my hide.

According to what was discussed, Pokémon GO is hardly finished, with the developers stating that the game is at about 10% of what they want it to be. Yes, you read that right, only 10%. As for which features we can expect in the future, Niantic wants to bring more Pokémon (as in later generation Pokémon), release legendaries (but only when everyone in the world has access to the game), as well as new functionality for Gyms.  (more…)

Prisma is Now Available on Android

Prisma, the photo filtering app thats is apparently a huge, huge, huge deal on iOS, has come to Android as of today. Apologies for not being in the know on popular iOS-only apps, but word has it that people are really into the filters offered through Prisma.

With Prisma, you get the opportunity to use existing pictures on your phone or new ones taken through the app, to create “awesome artworks.” The app works a lot like Instagram, in that you choose or take photos, crop and adjust to your liking, then apply a filter. The filters here aren’t just auto tunes or brightness and vibrance enhancements, though, they are instead “modern art filters,” where your photos take on the essence of artwork from Picasso, Munk, etc.  (more…)

Verizon is Acquiring Yahoo for $4.83 Billion

Yahoo and Verizon announced this morning that Big Red is acquiring the struggling tech giant for $4.83 billion. The move will push Yahoo under AOL, another former tech darling that Verizon picked up within the past year. Verizon and Yahoo hope to close the all-cash deal by Q1 of 2017.

So what does this mean for Yahoo products, like email, sports, finance, and Tumblr? They are all coming along for the ride to Verizon and AOL. From what I can tell, neither company said anything other than that those services will continue on.  (more…)

Bubble Zoom in Google Play Books is the Best Way to Read Digital Comics

Introduced at the best time, given this week is SDCC, Google Play Books is getting a new feature exclusively for those who enjoy reading comic books on digital devices such as tablets and smartphones. Called Bubble Zoom, this feature intelligently recognizes text bubbles inside of digital comics, allowing users to follow a storyline more interactively. It gives off the sense that the comic is alive, making the act of reading a bit more fun.

To get this feature working, all a reader must do is tap on the screen and the text bubbles will follow along with your taps. It’s not automated, so you don’t need to worry about the bubbles going too fast.  (more…)

Borderlands 2 Hits Google Play for Select NVIDIA SHIELD Devices, Priced at $15

The day has finally come, although, somewhat unfittingly because one of the people who would appreciate this announcement the most is no longer writing for us. Eric, this means you. Borderlands 2, the sequel to Borderlands, is now available for the SHIELD Android TV and SHIELD Tablet from NVIDIA. Talk of Borderlands 2 for Android began in 2012, and funny enough, Eric actually wrote that post.

The Borderlands 2 title you will now find on Google Play is exactly the same as you would see on the gaming console inside of your home. You will be leading a team of misfit companions, using unique strengths and weapons to take on Handsome Jack in the world of Pandora. Of course, all of the same loot, weapons, and Relics are available for your usage.  (more…)

Swiftkey Introduces Swiftmoji, a Keyboard to Help Predict Your Next Emoji

Swiftkey, the Microsoft-owned popular keyboard maker, released its first new product today since being acquired. The new keyboard (yes, they made another keyboard) is called Swiftmoji and it aims to help you become the emoji champion you always hoped to become. In fact, the sell here is that it “removes the frustration of playing hunt-the-emoji” from your life and predicts which emoji you might want.  (more…)