Google Awakens the Force With Star Wars Themes for Apps, Includes Gmail and Maps

Because there was not already an over saturation of Star Wars crap for you to buy in stores, Google has launched Star Wars themes for your apps, just in case you needed more Force in your life. If you have a Google account, and use it for Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and other Google services, you can experience what the Light or Dark side have to offer their users.

To start, you will need to choose a side – Light or Dark. Once a side is chosen, you will begin to see Star Wars themes throughout many of Google’s applications, whether it is on an Android device or desktop computer. For example, I chose the Dark side, opened my Gmail, and I was greeted with a darkly colored Empire theme. In addition, if you open Google Maps, find your home, you should see a Death Star.  (more…)

Android Wear Gets a New Google Now Collection Card, Cleaner Traffic and Navigation Cards

It’s tough to tell where this originated from, but thanks to an update to either the Android Wear or Google apps, some of us are seeing a new Google Now card on watches, along with cleaner traffic cards. I say that it could be from either, because both received updates within the past day, though one could be the recently launched beta of the Google app and may not be available to all.  (more…)

Facebook Introduces Google Now-Like Notification Tab in Mobile Apps

Facebook is rolling out a new Notification tab to their mobile apps on both Android and iOS that gives its users more control over the information presented throughout the day or as they change locations. Not only will this tab show your notifications, but you will be able to customize it to show life events, upcoming events you are attending, sports scores, weather, etc. It’s a lot like Google Now, though you may have more control here than what Google gives you with its own service.  (more…)

Video: Google Now on Tap Tour!

Google Now on Tap is finally live and available to use for those running the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow preview. It will also be live when your new Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P arrives, or if your older Nexus is due for next week’s update to 6.0.

To recap, Google Now on Tap “anticipates what you need in the moment.” By long-pressing on your phone’s home button, “you can get cards with useful information and apps that feed your need to know.” Think getting quick information about a movie you are having a conversation about through email or being able to book a restaurant a friend just mentioned in Hangouts. It could even be a need for more information about an athlete you are reading about or artist you are listening to.

To get a better feel for the power of Google Now on Tap, check out the video below.  (more…)

Google Now on Tap is Working Again on the 6.0 Preview

Two weeks ago, an update to the Google app briefly activated Google Now on Tap for those running a device with the Android 6.0 preview. For all of eight hours, owners of a Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 could take advantage of Google’s new service that allows you to pull up relevant information within apps, so that you don’t have to leave what you are doing to get answers.

But because the Now on Tap service wasn’t exactly ready for prime time or someone accidentally pressed “GO!”, Google killed it. We have been waiting for it to return and were wondering if today would be the day, now that Android 6.0 is super duper official.  (more…)

Bing’s “Snapshots on Tap” is a Take on Google Now on Tap

Google Now on Tap is one of those features that can’t get here soon enough. As a refresher, Now on Tap makes Google Now smarter and more present by allowing Google to scan your screen to present you relevant information when you need it, without the need to leave that screen. It’s like an on demand service that could bring you movie show times when in an email string with a friend who wants to catch a flick or restaurant reviews after your sister mentions a specific lunch spot in a text conversation. Unfortunately, it’s still not here even though Google first announced it back in May at Google I/O. We are expecting it to launch with Android 6.0 Marshmallow later this year.  (more…)

Cortana Can Technically Replace Google Now on an Android Device

Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, can now replace Google Now on an Android smartphone, technically. While complete integration is not there, users can set the default app used to Cortana for when you long press or swipe up on the Home button. This will allow you to use Cortana in a more seamless way, with setting timers and asking questions made a bit easier.  (more…)