Google Wallet Update Lets You Manage/Use Gift Cards, Request Money, and Pay Without Fees

Google Wallet received a solid update this afternoon that brings in features which could make the app immediately more useful. For one, Google Wallet now lets you manage gift cards (check balances) and redeem in stores using the app, rather than having to worry about carrying around the actual cards. You can also request money from friends, instead of only being able to send in the past. Finally, sending money using your debit card is now free. In the past, Google used to tack on a decent sized fee when sending money unless you were sending with cash that was already loaded in the app.

Participating merchants for the new gift card management include AMC, Best Buy, Nike, Sephora, Toys R Us, TGI Friday’s, and Whole Foods.

You can grab the update on Google Play now or sideload using the apk below.  (more…)

Chrome for Android Updated, Brings Improved Text Rendering and Doodles on New Tabs

An update is being pushed out to the Chrome browser app for Android devices, one which includes improved text rendering, plus a multitude of bug fixes. Google also notes that upon opening a new tab page, a friendly Doodle will be there to greet your eyes.

In addition, a few security fixes have been addressed in this release, which includes a URL spoofing fix, as well as an origin policy bypass fix.  (more…)

Still Interested in Google Glass? Don’t Forget About Google’s Basecamps

With no word from Google as to when the public might expect a full retail launch of Google Glass, which means finalized hardware and software design, the company is still trying to give more regular folks a chance to play with Glass.

Google has special Basecamps in select cities, where the public can go get fitted for Glass, talk to Googlers about the device, and even purchase a unit if they feel inclined to do so.  (more…)

Google’s Project Zero Looks to Make the Whole Internet Safer, Not Just Their Products

We know Google has high hopes for the Internet. They want it to be a wonderful destination, where everyone can feel safe while browsing the millions upon millions of sites out there, purchasing goods, sharing information, and connecting with people from around the world.

Unfortunately, the tech-savvy world we live in is quite dangerous, with cyber attacks, bugs, unauthorized monitoring or communications, and the list goes on. Google has taken a lot of steps, while also investing a lot of money into making their own products secure for all users, but the company is now turning its focus to the Internet as a whole.  (more…)

Google+ Lifts Name Restrictions, Call Yourself Whatever You Want

When Google+ was first launched, the company was very adamant about having “real” people be a part of their community. This made the overall feel of the social network more genuine.

As years have passed, Google is now relaxing a bit about the name you can use on your profile, allowing those who wish to remain anonymous to still be a part of the G+ community.  (more…)

Deal: Cheap 32GB Nexus 7 (2013) is Back for $159.99, $110 Off

Nexus 7 (2013) deals seem to be showing up almost daily at pretty incredible prices. Today, is yet another example of the 2013 7-incher seeing a significant discount that you may want to consider if you have yet to jump into the tablet game. For $159.99, with free shipping, you can have the 32GB variant of Google’s popular tablet, which would save you around $110 (regularly $269) over the Google Play retail price. Actually, it will save you more since Google’s shipping costs are never cheap.

The tablet is “manufacturer refurbished,” though, so you are not looking at a brand new device. With that said, keep in mind that some consider refurbished devices to be quite good, since manufacturers have had a chance to button up long-standing issues.

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Google Partners With Novartis to Refine Smart Contact Lenses

When former Google X team lead Babak Parviz announced his departure for Amazon a few days ago, the future of his creations were somewhat cast into doubt. He spearheaded the creation of Google Glass and “smart” contact lenses, and while Google Glass continues to receive evident refinement in the form of software updates and hardware revisions, it was unclear how far the lenses had progressed along the development pipeline. (more…)

Google Will Now Detect if a Website Won’t Work on Your Device, Warn You

Starting today, Google will use yet another of its algorithms to detect if a website may not work on your device and then warn you. Should you search for a website in Google Search on your Android 4.1+ phone that may be an Adobe Flash laden page, Google will toss in a note under the search listing to explain that you may not receive the best experience should you visit it.  (more…)