New Google Contacts Looks, Manages, and Gets Rid of Duplicates Better

Google gave us a big update to Google Contacts this afternoon, by introducing a “fresh look and feel” to an app inside of Gmail that has been painful to use over the years. The new web version of Google Contacts will now “conveniently” pool together contacts you talk to the most in Gmail, help you get rid of duplicates much easier, show recent conversations in contact cards, and even keep your contacts up-to-date automatically.  (more…)

The New “Be Together. Not the Same.” Android Commercials Just Keep Getting Better

I can’t count the number of times over the last few weeks that random emails popped into our inbox telling us that our new commercials, especially the one with the animals, are amazing. After the Super Bowl, we heard a dozen times, “This should have been played during the game! It would have been the best commercial!” Of course, these Android “be together. not the same.” commercials are not ours, they are Google’s. But one thing is clear – people absolutely love ‘em.

In the most recent two, Google goes in two directions – one to show different people, young and old, coming together to enjoy life. The other, well, it’s all about that Androidify selfie dunk. Come on, tell me you haven’t wanted to selfie dunk?  (more…)

Tuesday Poll: Missing SD Card Slot, Waterproofing, & Removable Battery – Dealbreaker on the Galaxy S6?

Few would argue that the new Samsung phones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, are not massive upgrades over last year’s Galaxy S5. You could also argue that Samsung made almost all of the right moves with these phones in order to help them re-establish their dominance in the smartphone game after a terrible 2014. I say almost, because a number of our readers have made it clear that they are extremely disappointed to see three key features missing in this year’s flagship line-up – a microSD card slot, waterproofing, and a removable battery.

It’s more than likely that Samsung will defend these disappearances through talk of the 128GB option for storage hungry folk and the quick charging capabilities of each to fix battery worries. But what about the lack of waterproofing? And what about the bloated price we will surely see in the jump from 32GB to 64GB and 128GB. Or what about the person who doesn’t have the option to quick charge a phone, but could use a swappable battery in a pinch?

You tell us – are these missing features dealbreakers? If so, feel free to rank them by level of importance in the comments.

Missing SD Card Slot, No Waterproofing, and Non-Removable Battery, Dealbreaker on the Galaxy S6?

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Google Confirms That They Dropped Default Encryption on Lollipop Because of “Performance Issues”

As it turns out, Google did indeed drop the requirement for full-disk encryption on new devices running Android 5.0 “Lollipop” because of “performance issues.” In a statement issued to Engadget, Google confirmed that a change was made to their final Lollipop hardware requirements document, going with “recommended” instead of “must” for new devices.  (more…)

Google at GDC 2015: Native In-App Ads Introduced, Nearby Connections API for Second-Screen Controls Showcased

While MWC is still alive and kicking with news, the GDC (Game Developers Conference) is also taking place down in San Francisco this week. Yesterday, Google took the stage to announce a few important things, specifically focused on in-app purchases, in-app advertising, and a new API which allows developers to turn your smartphone into an Android TV game controller.  (more…)

Google Play Services 7.0 is Rolling Out With New Places, Google Fit APIs, and More

Yesterday afternoon, Google began pushing Google Play Services 7.0 to devices. The update introduces a new Places API, a handful of Google Fit APIs that replace the old single API, a new location settings dialog, automatic AdMob and Google Analytics integration, a Nearby Connections API (more on this here), simplified App Indexing, and more.  (more…)