“Hey Cortana” Feature Removed From US Market for Android Users

Over on Google Play, the Windows team has removed the “Hey Cortana” feature from within the Cortana app, as it is reported it was causing issues for Android users who also utilized the “Hey Google” feature from Google Now. Instead of releasing a quick fix for this issue, the team behind the Cortana app for Android decided that removing the feature altogether was the only remedy available, as it is possible it could take a bit of time before a fix can be implemented and rolled out to users.  (more…)

Tip: Set a Shortcut to Your Google Reminders After Setting a Reminder

In the most recent update to Google Calendar, Google finally made reminders a centrally functional feature across a variety of Google apps, including Calendar, Inbox, and Keep. Before this update, there was a chance that a reminder set in one app wouldn’t ever make it into another app and your chances of missing it or forgetting about it were likely. While this centralized reminders control is awesome, attempting to find a complete list of reminders, including both current and past, has always been somewhat of a chore. In fact, the only ways I can think of to pull up a list is to say to Google, “View reminders,” set a reminder and then hit the “View reminders” button shown after completion, or swipe into Google Now, then swipe out the side menu and choose “Reminders.” Why there isn’t some sort of dedicated Reminders widget or readily available shortcut is beyond me.

Well, there is actually a shortcut, it just isn’t exactly all that easy to find, from what we can tell. Yesterday, one of readers spotted a prompt to add a home screen shortcut for reminders after he set a reminder. You can see it in the screenshot above and below.  (more…)

Cortana Exits Beta, Available for Select Android and Cyanogen OS Powered Devices

Cortana, the digital assistant made to be the perfect companion for Windows users, has officially exited beta, made available to a number of select iPhone, Android, and Cyanogen OS powered devices. In late August, a public beta was made available of Cortana, and since then, the Cortana team at Microsoft has been consistently adding features and fixing bugs.  (more…)

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…)